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2018 Brad Boice Christmas special

Brad Boice is coming ‘Home for the Holidays.’

Last year, Boice (you may know him as an Elvis impersonator based in Chatfield) organized a show full of SE MN musicians at Chatfield Center for the Arts. It was “a handful of seats” away from selling out the 600-plus-seat venue, he said, and the viewing public demanded more.

So this year, the show is coming to the Mayo Civic Center’s Presentation Hall, which seats a little more than 1,000.

That’s quite the audience for an all-local lineup of musicians.

“It really shouldn’t, but one thing that may surprise some people is the talent we have right here in the Rochester area,” Boice says. “All our musicians for this show are fantastic… and they could be your neighbor!”

Seven of the 11 musicians in the show are based in Rochester, while three more live in Chatfield, and one hails from Stewartville.

“We have nine returning musicians for this year’s show,” Boice says. “I think everyone in the band was excited about how well the show was received last year. When I asked each one about doing another Christmas special with the venue being the Mayo Civic Center, most everyone was all in.”

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Steve Books and Mark Walsh playing in the Booker Mini Band

Returning player Steve Books, of the Booker Mini Band, was instrumental in bringing in new players, Boice says.

“It’s just such an eclectic group,” Books says. The group involves orchestra and choral group members, accomplished pros, some “old guys that have been around forever,” and more.

But when you put all of those different backgrounds together, they make for a fantastic show.

“It’s a multi-generational band, and I think it’s gonna be really good,” Books says. “(Boice’s) thought was, ‘I know there are enough good musicians around here that we can put on a quality show, as good as any group that comes down the road.’ And I think we’ve done that.”

This year’s Christmas Special contains a mix of traditional, spiritual, and contemporary holiday tunes, Boice says.

“We have such a variety of Christmas songs - from traditional to contemporary to gospel,” he says. “Ninety-five percent of the songs we’ll be performing are only heard around Christmas time, so all of them will be fun to perform.”

The show will focus on “the true meaning of Christmas,” Books adds, with a “down-home, hee-haw” feel in sections.

“People are going to walk away feeling good,” he says.

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