HANOVER — During World War I in 1914, music became a source of comfort and festive spirit for soldiers amidst the conflict. Over a century later, the Hanover Wind Symphony (HWS) and the Morris Music Men are set to pay homage to the remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914. This tribute will be part of their “Holidays in Hanover” concert at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 10, at Memorial Junior School in Whippany.
The concert, free and sponsored by the Hanover Township Cultural Arts Committee, features a narrative of the Christmas Truce compiled by Elaine Schlatter of Hackettstown and recited by Jim Sodt of Sparta.
Schlatter, an HWS board member and founder, was inspired by the truce’s demonstration of the holiday spirit by soldiers on both sides, despite the lack of official sanction. The truce, which spread along the western front, was a spontaneous display of peace, music, and camaraderie.
The concert will see both the HWS and the Morris Music Men, a cappella group, performing pieces reminiscent of those sung during the 1914 truce. The event will also include readings of soldiers’ letters and reports, narrating the extraordinary circumstances of the truce.
Matthew Paterno of Parsippany, the music director and conductor of HWS, invites the community to experience the joy of holiday music and learn about the historic truce. The concert will feature performances by the Hanover Wind Symphony, including works like “The Polar Express” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” with a solo by Alvin Scott on alto saxophone, culminating in a festive sing-along.
The Hanover Wind Symphony, known for its adult wind band performances, and the Morris Music Men, renowned for their barbershop harmony, both represent the rich musical heritage and community spirit of New Jersey. For more information about these groups and the concert, visit their respective websites: www.hanoverwinds.org and www.morrismusicmen.org.