Tara Winds to host annual holiday concert

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Curt Yeomans


What did the lawyer, the judge and the emergency room doctor do when they walked in a band room?

They sat down with several music teachers and jammed to holiday music.

They are all members of Tara Winds, which is a community band made up of people of all walks of life, from across the metropolitan Atlanta area. The group has been rehearsing for the last few weeks, to prepare for its 22nd annual Music of the Season concert. The concert will be held on Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center, located at 2530 Mt. Zion Pkwy., in Jonesboro.

A wide array of more than 20 holiday standards, including "Sleigh Ride," "Greensleeves," and selections from "The Nutcracker" are on the program for the concert.

"It's music that gets to everybody," said Tara Winds Conductor, Andrea Strauss. "It's positive, and rejuvenating ...It gives people hope and brings us together."

The concert will include not only Tara Winds, but also the Southern Crescent Chorale, Atlanta Festival Ballet, and choruses from Fayetteville-based Starr's Mill High School and Acworth-based Durham Middle School. There will also be performances by local, vocal soloists Matt McCord and Amber Harris.

Tickets can be purchased at the door, before the concert begins. The cost is $10 for general admission, and $5 for senior citizens and students.

Tara Winds was established in 1988 with musicians from across the Atlanta area. It currently has approximately 80 members, who perform four concerts per year, Strauss said. "We really want to perform for the community," she said.

She said members of the group are musicians who come from a variety of professions. "We have some phenomenal, talented musicians in this group," Strauss said. "A large percentage are music teachers, but we have someone that works in an ER, and there's a magistrate judge, and even some lawyers."

Vocal soloist Matt McCord, a McDonough-based lawyer, and Morrow High School graduate, said he has been singing with Tara Winds for seven years. He said he started out pursuing a career in music -- he even has a college degree in vocal performance -- and that led him to his career as a lawyer.

"I was teaching music to inner city students, and I kept walking by the Georgia State [University] law school building on my way to work every day," McCord said. "One day I thought to myself 'Why don't I give that a try?'"

Tara Winds Conductor, Andrea Strauss said the band's members are looking forward to the concert, largely because it has become a fixture on the group's concert calendar.

"It's been such a tradition [for the group]," she said. "We really value traditions, and providing musical performances for the community."