Twelve Twenty Four Holiday Rock Orchestra ‘Rocks’ Sunnybrook Ballroom In Pottstown

Tonight Pottstown “rocked out” with the holiday sounds of Twelve Twenty Four at the Sunnybrook Ballroom.  If you have never heard of this group here is a synopsis in their own words:

“Established in 2002, 12/24 performs its Christmas music with a theatrical, rock edge and combines it with a narrated storyline to create a family friendly holiday show suitable for all ages. They are the first and foremost recreation of TSO and are making a name for themselves now with goals that aren’t stopping here.”

TSO stand for Trans-Siberian Orchestra if that acronym is unfamiliar to you.  I had the pleasure of attending TSO’s holiday show last year at the Giant Center in Hershey, so I was interested in seeing how well Twelve Twenty Four took on the legendary Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Between the music and the light show, that’s a tall order.

The 22 member group did not disappoint!  The large and enthusiastic crowd was very vocal in their appreciation of the stellar performance.  Sunnybrook’s wonderful acoustics lend themselves very well to concerts.  If you live anywhere near Pottstown, you should really take advantage of the concerts there. Tickets are very reasonably priced, the restaurant has excellent food and the parking is free and plentiful.

The group appears to be Luzerne County based, from what I could gather on their website, so they are not far away.  They play many venues around Northeast Pennsylvania and beyond. This was their first trip to Pottstown.  They complimented the crowd which leads me to think they might come back again 🙂   We can only hope!

In addition to covering TSO songs, they did some original material.  They have just released their second CD, “Light in the Dark”.  They also drifted away from the holidays for a few minutes and did an amazing version of “Barracuda” by Heart and “Hotel California” by the Eagles.  We were also asked to take part in a sing-along of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Evidently, we did a good job based on the band’s comments.  It was recorded so we might get put on their website.

The musicianship was first-rate.  The instrumentalists and singers were superb.  Co-founder Jason Santos is the principal composer and arranger for the group’s original material in addition to playing keyboards, guitar and singing.  With a group this size, it is noteworthy to mention that everyone stood out in some way.

Here is a link to Twelve Twenty Four’s website:  There are music samples, videos and pictures on the website.  In addition, you can order their CD’s or buy downloads.

Their Facebook fan page is:

What a great way to celebrate Christmas!  Thanks for coming to Pottstown!


Reading Symphony To Perform Handel’s “Messiah” At The Sovereign Center

Portrait of Georg Friedrich Händel Deutsch: Ge...

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For the first time in its 99-year history, the Reading Symphony Orchestra will perform Handel’s “Messiah,” along with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and soloists, led by RSO music director Andrew Constantine, Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Sovereign Performing Arts Center.

The soloists will be soprano Janice Chandler Eteme, mezzo-soprano Jan Wilson, tenor Duane Moody and baritone Robert Cantrell.

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Emmanuel Lutheran Church Pottstown To Host Reading Choral Society Holiday Concert

 Reading Choral Society presents A Celebration of Light

Sunday, December 11, 2011 – 5:00pm

Free Admission – Reception to follow!

 Emmanuel Lutheran Church

150 N. Hanover Street–Pottstown,PA

 Featured soloist: Toni Marie Palmertree

The Reading Choral Society invites you to spend an afternoon enjoying beautiful music of the holiday season.  Featuring a performance of a new setting of the “Magnificat” by American composer Debra Scroggins, the choir will present classic Advent motets and lovely Christmas carol arrangements. The choir is directed by Peter Hopkins, and accompanied by organist Paula Pugh Romanaux. Founded in 1875, the Reading Choral Society is one of America’s oldest musical ensembles and is carrying a proud tradition of choral excellence into its 136th season.   

The Reading Choral Society is very proud to have Mr. Peter Hopkins as its Music Director.  Hopkins is currently the director of Music Ministry and Choirmaster at St. Peter’s Church, Third and Pine Streets, Philadelphia.  His doctoral studies were done at Michigan State University as well as in England and Germany. He is a student of famed conductor Helmuth Rilling, working with him since 1985, and is the only American to guest conduct Rilling’s Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart.  Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Hopkins served as conductor of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, the Michigan Bach Collegium, the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, and the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus. He has led performances running the gamut of choral literature; from plainsong and renaissance motets through the major oratorio literature for chorus and orchestra as well as symphonies and concerti.   Every summer Mr. Hopkins prepares the professional chorus of the Oregon Bach Festival as Assistant Chorusmaster.   

Soprano Toni Marie Palmertree is a captivating performer who delights audiences in concert and on the opera stage.  Caryl Huffaker of The Kennett Paper wrote of her performance:  “Toni Marie Palmertree wowed the audience. They appreciated her complete vocal mastery and technique… she had the audience in the palm of her hand. With her technical expertise, personality and powerful but effortless singing, she is a major force”. 

Toni Marie is proud to hold many awards: She recently won first place in the Long Leaf Opera of North Carolina voice competition. Other first place awards include The Kennett Square Symphony Voice Competition, and The Marcella Sembrich competition. She was awarded third place in the James Parkinson Opera Competition and the second place winner of the Sylvia Green Voice Competition. From The Peabody Conservatory, she was granted The Anita Erdman award. At the age of 21, Toni Marie was a finalist in the International Moniuszko Voice Competition in Warsaw,Poland.  Toni Marie studied voice with Ms. Phyllis Bryn Julson at The Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland and currently studies with Metropolitan Opera singer, Gwynne Geyer.

This concert is part of the MUSIC AT EMMANUEL concert series.  For more information about our 2011-12 concert season, please contact us by phone (610-323-4312) or visit us on the web: or