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December 10, 2010

Holiday concert in DC commemorates Battle of the Bulge

Photos and newsreel footage of the Battle of the Bulge, which began on Dec. 16, 1944 in Belgium, reveal horrid conditions for the troops in the cold; it makes you shiver just watching it. What began as a massive German counter-offensive became, by the end of January, a decisive victory for the Allies, hastening the end of the war.

Fifty survivors of the Battle of the Bulge will be special guests at a holiday concert on Monday at the Kennedy Center featuring the Choral Arts Society of Washington's 160-voice Chorus, led by Norman Scribner, and the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides, conducted by Yves Segers. Belgian carols will be part of this Christmas program.

In a press statement, Belgium's Ambassador to the U.S., Jan Matthysen said: "The atmosphere of Christmas and the values of peace and understanding attached to it are the best way to remember those who have fought so hard to liberate our country during the famous Battle of the Bulge. I am convinced that there is no better way to invoke this atmosphere than by having the magnificent Choral Arts Chorus joined by the memorable Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides, to perform a tribute worthy of those men."

Also participating in the program will be the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.


Posted by Tim Smith at 4:28 PM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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