During the Christmas holiday, many homes will have carolers walk by singing special music.On Barberry Drive, the Christmas music was somewhat different. Instead of carols being sung, visitors and …
During the Christmas holiday, many homes will have carolers walk by singing special music.
On Barberry Drive, the Christmas music was somewhat different. Instead of carols being sung, visitors and neighbors were entertained by a mini-trumpet concert of holiday classics.
It was the first time that Chester Caswell performed by friend, both old and new, and though it was a rainy night, he still played the music outside. This is something that Caswell began doing while living in South Carolina.
From "Sleigh Ride" to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," Caswell played requests for the small but energetic group in the subdivision located off Bancroft Road in southern Bradley County.
“I had had inherited my maternal grandfather's sheet music that he had accumulated since migrating here in 1927, and produced sound tracks for especially the Christmas songs I remembered as a child,” Caswell explained. ”The neighborhood setup gave opportunity to play under the lights at Christmas, and it became a tradition in Charleston, S.C., after four or five years.”
Caswell played music on both his trumpet and his flugelhorn during the makeshift concert, though he admitted his flugelhorn was “cold, and somewhat flat.” Still, the music attracted several to the site, regardless of the rain, and even had neighbors listening from their own home porches.
“My skills become a contribution for the neighborhood,” Caswell said. “It brings people together, especially during the holidays.”
He almost didn’t pick up the trumpet, and instead began by playing the drums. He admitted that a drum concert for Christmas wouldn’t have the same feel that the trumpet mini-concert did.
“My brother, Craig, dropped his trumpet lessons, and I picked them up instead, practicing in the back seat of a Volkswagen because the horn was too noisy in our trailer,” Caswell said with a smile.
He picked up the trumpet well, and has been playing it for many years. In fact, he shared a Christmas concert with Josie Burgoyne, his sister-in-law, at the Ooltewah SDA Church on Amos Road on Saturday.
Caswell said he hopes to continue to play his mini-concerts for future Christmases.
“As long as they can stand me, we will make it a tradition at a new venue,” he said.
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