Christmas is right around the corner, and the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band will perform its “A Concert for the Holidays” at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center (ARC) for the enjoyment of the entire community.

The Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band performs twice a year at the ARC — once during the spring and right around Christmas — and has been doing so for more than 10 years.

Craig Irwin, who plays trombone in the band, said he enjoys the camaraderie the holiday concert brings throughout each the community and band members.

“There are wonderful people within the band, who take their time and energy to make the band successful, and I enjoy being a part of that,” Irwin said.

“A Concert for the Holidays” is a family-fun event for Ahwatukee, where band members perform different ensembles they’ve worked on throughout the entire year with Christmas-themed music.

The band incorporates audience participation throughout the concert by asking audience members to sing along to the Christmas songs.

Brenden Anderson, band director of the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band, said it’s always a pleasure to put on holiday concerts for the community to enjoy, and the concert is a way for band members to showcase their talents.

“We just really love to have a good time with the community playing a variety of music,” he said.

This year’s holiday concert is surely to be a bitter-sweet performance for Anderson because he has chosen to retire from him position as band director.

Anderson said it has been an enjoyable experience the past 10 years as band director, where he was able to come across many fine musicians and people within the band.

“I’m going to miss for sure the people with the band and just having a place to go every week where it was a group of 70 to 80 people who were really interested in making good music together,” Anderson said. “It’s been a ton of fun... We really wanted to be a community of musicians and play concerts. They’ve been the greatest, most warmest people who I’ve had the chance to play music with.”

Irwin, who’s been part of the band for more than 16 years, said it’s been a wonderful experience working with Anderson throughout the years, and said he’s surely going to be missed.

“We really like Brenden, and I know there are a lot of people in the Ahwatukee community who like him, too,” Irwin said.

The Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band will host its annual “A Concert for the Holidays” this Thursday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 20, at 3 p.m.

Both concerts will be at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive, and are free and open to the public.

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