Wednesday, November 29, 2006




DECEMBER 22 & 23, 2006

The Concert Hall at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College

(GREENWICH, Conn., November 26, 2006) - The holidays are here and it is time for the annual Rob Mathes Christmas Concert (the 13th annual), a holiday tradition for many in the area. Rob Mathes is best known locally for his original Christmas music, however, he is also an Emmy nominated music director, singer/songwriter, arranger and composer, and this year, an up-and-coming record producer. The 2006 Rob Mathes Christmas Concert will be held on Friday, December 22, and Saturday, December 23, at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, N.Y. Joining Rob on stage will be some of the top musicians in the New York metropolitan area - Will Lee on Bass from David Letterman's CBS Orchestra; Shawn Pelton on Drums from Saturday Night Live; Billy Masters on Guitar who has played with Suzanne Vega and Cry, Cry, Cry; vocals by award-winning blues, jazz and gospel singers Vaneese Thomas and James “D-Train” Williams, both who have worked with legendary singers in the business including Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson; singer Ian Cron; the 30-member Rob Mathes Friends & Saints Choir; and an amazing horn section including members of Paul Simon’s band and The Rolling Stones horn section. Tickets for the concert are $30 and $40 and are available online at, by calling the Performing Arts Center Box Office (914-251-6200), or at The Music Source in Old Greenwich, Conn. (203-698-0444 or 1345 E. Putnam, Old Greenwich, Conn.). This year's concert will benefit the charity World Vision and its work in Africa and will also showcase new photographs from the award-winning photography exhibit Through the Eyes of Children: The Rwanda Project. Rob's holiday concerts have benefited Rwandan children for the past four years. To learn more about Rob Mathes, his music and his Christmas Concert, visit The Performing Arts Center is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.

Around 2000 people come every year to hear Rob’s contemplative songs along with his edgier versions of carols which can often veer towards Ellington with the horns and Pete Townshend with the band. This year the theme is “Joy.” Rob promises that the musical performances will be mostly up-tempo and uplifting. In Rob’s words, “This year has been so disturbing globally with events in Dafur, Iraq, and North Korea, let alone troubles at home, that I have decided not to get too contemplative like we did post 9/11. I want this year’s concerts to provide a respite from the world for a moment. I am reminded of a phrase that rings true: ‘Tomorrow is a mystery, Yesterday is history, and Today is a gift.’ The Christmas Concert is a gift to me and my musicians every year. We get to perform world-class music in the best of settings, full of Jazz and Blues elements and even Classical and Hymn-like harmonies with our choir. I want to rejoice in that and be thankful.”

The concerts will feature music that embraces all aspects of the holiday season - from Christmas to Hanukkah. Rob will introduce some new songs to the audience this year (Bells, Bells, Bells), as well as some arrangements especially written for Vaneese Thomas (Sister Mary) and James “D-Train” Williams (Children Go Where I Send Thee). In addition, the much-loved song Light In The Window performed last year for the first time and written for a local fan and longtime supporter of the event, Rabbi Mark Golub, will be part of the concerts again this year. Rob also plans on throwing in a little Bob Dylan with the song Dignity and will play his much-loved and original Christmas favorites. This year's concert will also be taped for later release on a CD.

“The Christmas Concert is very close to my heart and something I look forward to all year,” said Rob. “I try to bring sophistication to the music that rivals any holiday offering from an entertainment standpoint, yet at the same time, I would like to think it is a joyous and spiritually deep event as it has become a holiday tradition for many.”

Rob Mathes has had a busy year - and one of his most exciting professionally. He will be coming to the annual Christmas Concert after musically directing the Kennedy Center Honors - the fourth in a row he has musically directed, that honors conductor Zubin Mehta; singer, songwriter and producer Smokey Robinson; country music star Dolly Parton; musical theater composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber; and film director and producer Steven Spielberg. Some other highlights of Rob's musical career this year include an Emmy nomination for his work on last year’s Kennedy Center Honors; co-writing, orchestrating and conducting the score for the upcoming major motion picture Astronaut Farmer featuring Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis; and working with Hall and Oates on the first Hall and Oates Christmas record, Home for Christmas, recorded at Abbey Road in London. Rob played and arranged several songs and was particularly thrilled when Daryl Hall recorded one of Rob's arrangements written originally for his Christmas Concerts, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.” He also produced two records this year, one for Mig Ayesa, a new artist on Universal and the other for Fernando Lima, a counter-tenor from Spain on EMI Classics, recorded with a full orchestra and also at Rob’s home away from home, Abbey Road Studios in London. In addition to this, Rob wrote a ton of string arrangements for artists as far flung as Butch Walker, Avril Lavigne, Kris Kristofferson, The Boston Pops, Bowling for Soup, an edgy punk-pop band Hot Hot Heat and Carole King, as well as working with legendary producer David Foster on the artists Peter Cincotti and Renee Olmstead. To round it all off, Rob also co-produced a track with Panic! At The Disco, the MTV Video Of The Year winners for the re-released Tim Burton film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

After all this, Rob still says that the focal point of his year and the highlight of his year are performing the Christmas Concerts.

Tickets for the Rob Mathes Christmas Concert are available this year online and can be obtained by logging onto, or through The Music Source in Old Greenwich (203-698-0444). The Rob Mathes Christmas Concert will benefit World Vision and support World Vision's efforts in Africa and Rwanda, a place close to Rob's heart. Rob has personally visited Rwanda and has dedicated several of his Christmas Concerts to supporting the Rwandan people. To learn more about World Vision, visit To learn more about Rob Mathes, visit or


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