By Sam Elliott
He’s a grad student in biology at Georgia Southern University, but Carmel High School alum George Todd and his high school friends will soon reunite to continue a holiday tradition they started nearly a decade ago in their hometown.
The friends, all former members of the CHS band, will play Christmas music at the Marsh at 146th and Keystone Parkway to help raise money for the Salvation Army.
“We started when I was a sophomore, and there are a few of us who have been doing it every single year,” said Todd, who graduated from CHS in 2010. “I got some friends to form a brass quintet to play some Christmas tunes and encourage people to donate money when they come by.”
Todd, Daniel Smith and Corey Dash play the trombone, Glen Dash, Daniel Alred and William Brady play the trumpet and Tim Vazquez plays French horn. Todd said they can’t all make it every year, but most do and it’s been a fun way for the old friends to keep in touch and see each other when they’re home.
“I remember the very first time we did it, we actually did it outside… but it was so cold that some of the valves were freezing up and we kept having to go inside to thaw them out,” Todd said. “I think we did it outside maybe the second year, too, but after that we asked the managers if we could move inside.”
This year, the group will entertain shoppers with traditional Christmas classics beginning at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 22 just inside the front doors of the store. On the playlist are Christmas staples like “Jingle Bells,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Oh Christmas Tree,” “The First Noel,” “We Three Kings” and “Carol of the Bells.”