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Silent Night

On the 4th of July, 2006, the Saginaw Eddy Concert Band was scheduled to perform a concert in Frankenmuth, Michigan with special guest of honor John Phillip Sousa, IV. The director of the band and Sousa were visiting the Silent Night Chapel located at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland with Wally Bronner. The building is an exact replica of the Silent Night Memorial Chapel located in Oberndorf, Austria, home of Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber, creators of the carol "Silent Night".   While viewing the many artifacts and information about the song and the chapel the following note was observed:

December 30, 1854

...since the time, on December 24, 1818, when Pastor Joseph Mohr...wrote the words for "Silent Night" and asked me on that day to compose a melody, the Christmas hymn has found favor in other regions.

   Over the years our composition has been sung and printed in some slight variations from the original.

   It is to be known that I would be honored if "Stille Nacht" would continue to be sung as orginally written.

                         Franz Gruber, Pastor, Choir Director and Organist

Paul Lichau, Director of the SECB, told Wally Bronner that a setting, true to the original, would be possible. He contacted Barbara Littell Bruske and asked her to transcribe the carol for the band's annual Christmas Concert. It was imperative that the setting be simple to reflect the original single guitar accompaniment.

The setting was premiered at the Saginaw Eddy Concert Band's 12th Annual Christmas Concert in Saginaw, Michigan on November 25, 2006. Wally Bronner was present and gave the history of the piece prior to the performance.

 

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