Johnny Knorr Orchestra brings big-band glory to benefit CDWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry Knorr plans ahead. The leader of the legendary big-band staple Johnny Knorr Orchestra — which he took over from his equally legendary dad, who died in 2011 — knew more than a year out that he wanted his group to participate in “Holiday Wishes 3.” But sometimes it can be hard to coordinate the schedules of all the people who make up the orchestra. So, he had to find ways to get a lot done at once.
“We participated in the CD last year, and we knew at that time we would take part and participate again. And when we did our recording, we planned for this,” Knorr said.
“A group the size of the Johnny Knorr Orchestra, you’re talking about trying to get together for a recording, you don’t do too often. It’s an enormous task to do — you’re talking about 16, 17 people getting together. Plus, if a facility can handle a group that size for recording, it’s not the easiest to locate, either. So when we did our recording for our last album, I recorded the ‘Jolly Old Saint Nick’ for the purpose of this Make-A-Wish CD.”
That “recording for our last album” took place in October — October of 2012, that is. Yes, Knorr certainly plans ahead. And as the group’s conductor, he was obviously very hands-on in every aspect of the recording process, including the selection of “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” as the group’s contribution.
“It’s a little different; it’s not your everyday traditional holiday song. It has a little more, to me, a little more youthful appeal than some of the traditional carols. So I thought it would be nice to do,” Knorr said.
Bridging the generations with a crossover appeal is one of Knorr’s goals with his contribution to “Holiday Wishes 3.” He hopes to give younger listeners a taste of what the orchestra is all about, but also bring their traditional fans to the fold, as well.
“I guess it’s twofold — it exposes the orchestra to new audiences, but [I’m] hoping this also brings the appeal of the CD to an additional generation of people,” Knorr said.
The track is just one of many efforts the Johnny Knorr Orchestra participates in over the course of the year for the benefit of local charities — providing free concerts through a local church and nursing homes is a large part of what the band is all about.
“It’s an opportunity for us to provide and help for those who are in need, who have a need throughout the year,” Knorr said.
The orchestra has also recorded a full concert that will be broadcast locally on New Year’s Eve.
The “Holiday Wishes 3” CD is a two-disc set with 45 tracks that retails for $10. All proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation. It is available at The Town Center of Levis Commons, specifically Blue Pacific Grill, Build It!, C Sterling Jewelers, The Flying Joe, Lily’s, Poco Piatti, Salvatore Capelli Hair Spa & Beauty Lounge, Second Sole, Vivian Kate, Yankee Candle and The Town Center Management Office. It is also available at the ProMedica Flower Hospital gift shop and the Make-A-Wish Foundation office at Arrowhead Park in Maumee.
Tags: Arrowhead Park Maumee, Build It, C Sterling Jewelers, Lily's, Poco Piatti, ProMedica Flower Hospital, Salvatore Capelli Hair Spa & Beauty Lounge, Second Sole, specifically Blue Pacific Grill, The Flying Joe, The Town Center Management Office, The Town Center of Levis Commons, Vivian Kate, Yankee Candle