In a battle between a band and a pipe organ to see which can play louder, the lead trombone player in the band clips a white cloth to the spit valve at the end of his slide and holds it aloft as a sign of surrender. That’s not what happened at Tuesday evening’s rehearsal by the Ypsilanti Community Band. For one thing there was no pipe organ in the Whitmore Lake High School band room where the 73-member ensemble rehearses. But the anecdote – told by assistant conductor and organist, James Wagner, during a lull in the rehearsal – is based on a true story from Texas.
The Ypsilanti Community Band could repeat that bit of Texas history when it performs the Finale from the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony at its annual holiday concert, to be held this year on Dec. 11 at Pease Auditorium on the Eastern Michigan University campus, starting at 7:30 p.m. Pease boasts a formidable pipe organ, which will be played by Wagner. The concert, which is a joint endeavor with the Ypsilanti Community Choir, is free (including parking) and open to the public.