A traditional kickoff to the holiday season, concerts by the Woodland Park Wind Symphony and the Swing Factory Big Band add musical notes to what can be a trying time of year for some, a joyous time for others.

In its 26th year, the wind symphony is part of the tapestry of the city of Woodland Park. “We always do this on the first Sunday in December to go along with the home tour,” said Wind Symphony founder and conductor Craig Harms, referring to the Tweeds Sounds of the Season Holiday Home Tour Dec. 7 and 8.

The evening begins Sunday, Dec. 8 with a reception for the public to meet the musicians at 6 p.m., followed by the concert at 7 p.m. This year’s concert features the Mountain Eire Irish Dancers.

Throughout the year, several community members donate funds to the wind symphony to purchase percussion instruments. This year, they are rewarded with the opportunity to play those instruments, each with an engraved plaque, for the piece titled “Jingle Jangle Bells.”

The music performances continue a week later with a Snazzy Jazzy Christmas Concert with the Swing Factory. The performance begins Sunday, Dec. 15 with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the concert at 7 p.m.

Both concerts are at the Ute Pass Cultural Center; there is no admission charge for either.

In October, the musicians held a benefit concert and raised $1,800 to help the City of Woodland Park pay for upgrades to the lighting and sound system at the center.

“We are a family of people playing music of the people while supporting the community one note at a time,” Harms said. “That’s really important to us.”

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