Crystal Lake band’s Winter Pops concert a family affair

The Crystal Lake Community Band will present its Winter Pops concert 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at Holiday Inn, 800 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake
The Crystal Lake Community Band will present its Winter Pops concert 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at Holiday Inn, 800 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake
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When Nancy Langlois wants to applaud her son during the Crystal Lake Community Band’s upcoming Winter Pops concert, she’ll have to put down her flute.

Her son, 27-year-old Michael Langlois, is the piano soloist for the concert.

Nancy has played flute in the band for the past 12 years, and her husband, John, joined the band last year playing clarinet.

Michael was asked by band director Marty Magnini to play George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” as the highlight of the concert.

“It’s just way cool,” said Nancy of Cary.

The annual Winter Pops concert takes place 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Holiday Inn, 800 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and military members and $7 for groups of 10 or more.

A 2004 graduate of Cary-Grove High School, where Magnini directs and teaches, Michael Langlois is now in the doctoral program for collaborative piano at the University of Maryland.

“If you tell people, ‘Come to my band concert,’ they give you this blank look like, ‘Oh, a band concert,’ ” Nancy Langlois said. “Tell them we’re playing ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and our soloist is flying in from the east coast, and they’ll come.”

When he comes home to visit, Michael often plays casually at home alongside his mother, who picked the flute back up about a decade ago after abandoning it for 25 years after high school.

John Langlois decided about five years ago he wanted to share the family interest and learn an instrument.

Michael Langlois has been playing piano since the third grade, but has performed with the Crystal Lake Community Band only once before, in 2006.

“It’s really a treat,” Magnini said of Michael’s return performance.

“It’s a piece everybody loves, and he’s such a tremendous player.”

His solo and the band’s accompaniment will bring “Rhapsody in Blue” back to its roots, Magnini said. The piece originally was written for a smaller band, he said.

Along with the solo, the band will perform a variety of Christmas music, as well as a Hanukkah song, he said.

The concert takes place in a casual atmosphere, not a stuffy concert hall, he said.

“This concert is really for everybody,” he said. “We try to get everybody in the holiday spirit.”

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