Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 19, 2013

Director shares joy of regional show

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Along with each symbol that makes the holiday season special, perhaps the most cherished part of this time of year is making it happen at home.

One Yuletide event, “Noel: A Celebration of Christmas,” is offering just such an occasion for Pauls Valley Schools band director Drew Etheredge, who will get to perform in his hometown of Ardmore this upcoming weekend.

Always holding a special place in his heart, his earliest days as a musician go back to being in the school band there when he was in the sixth grade.

Now he will be performing as a part of a brass quintet in what is being promoted as a professional concert and variety show.

“It’s always special going back to hometown, performing in front of your hometown crowd,” said Etheredge, who complimented the person behind it all, Susan Pfau Yeager, for being able to put together what includes storytelling, choral arrangements and the music to go along with it.

“It’s what we’re geared to do, it’s kind of your time to showcase the hard work you put in a performance.”

Playing the trumpet, it is a rare occasion for Etheredge, who typically has a majority of his time these days occupied by his students and their various performances.

He will get to play two evenings and one afternoon starting with the debut this Friday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in a few different numbers that includes jingle bells as well as a full ensemble piece through Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

It’s also a proud moment for Etheredge, who has attempted to make a habit of performing when possible back home where he still has family and friends. He noted how he performed in a similar show a couple of years ago and has also been a part of Ardmore Little Theater shows through some of their musicals.

“I’m always on the teaching side of things,” said Etheredge, who noted how he has become friends with the other musicians as a result, especially one he’s played with since his high school days. “I love to be able to get out and play with ensembles.”

In the end, Etheredge has no problem playing or directing his own band when it comes to holiday tunes and always looks forward to closing the year out with something festive.

“It’s hard not to like Christmas music… you just have to have fun, be focused,” said Etheredge. “I’ve always really enjoyed it.”

Performances will also be Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. The theater is located in the Goddard Center, 401 1st Ave. SW. Tickets are $20 and can be bought at online.