As the first notes of the Peanuts theme song rang out into the gymnasium, through the doors and up the aisles pranced Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucie, and yes, even Snoopy. The children towards the front giggled and clapped, and even the faculty members in the back craned their necks to watch the hilarious antics of the Peanuts characters. The skit was just one of the fun surprises that were revealed at Maranatha’s 2018 Christmas Band Chapel.
Fresh, exciting arrangements of classic Christmas carols filled the chapel program. An exuberant delivery of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” opened the program, followed by an intense rendition of “On This Day.” “Themes from A Charlie Brown Christmas” was a crowd favorite, with faculty members Dr. Meyer, Pastor and Mrs. Morris, and Mr. Zwolanek (affectionately known as Mr. Z) acting out scenes as the beloved Peanuts characters mentioned above.
The audience got to sing with the band for “Christmas Sing-Along” before Dr. Oats got up to make a special announcement about the release of his newest book, To the Praise of His Glory, a biography of the Cedarholms. The fascinating work can be purchased on Amazon and the MBU Seminary website.
“Let the Bells Ring” opened the second half of the concert, and the band’s percussion section got a rare spotlight for the percussion feature number “Patapan.” The final piece in the Christmas Band Chapel was the Christmas classic, “Sleigh Ride.” Dr. Meyer continued his traditional part in the performance, performing the whip sound effect for the song. However, Meyer doesn’t settle for the typical. Last year, he came to the concert prepared with a slapstick twice the size of the usual instrument used. This year, Meyer dragged out the Super-Sonic Snarly Slapper, his new eight-foot-long slapstick!
The band was pleased to have faculty and staff members Mark Herbster, Tim Meier, Philip Alsup, Jody Herbert, and Katie Potter join for the band’s chapel. Their presence and expertise brought a new level of fun and excellence to the band’s performance.
The gym was filled to bursting with children from Kiddie Kampus, the teenagers of Maranatha Baptist Academy, and university students, faculty, and staff. Some families from the Watertown area even came to watch. The crowd absolutely loved the concert. Several commented enthusiastically that this Christmas chapel was the best they had ever attended.
Watch clips from the performance below.