NAMM Foundation Celebrates The Holiday Season with an Hour of Music and Merriment

Elizabeth Dale

On Thursday, December 17, The NAMM Foundation will host an hour of “music and merriment” to welcome the holiday season. The musical extravaganza will be livestreamed starting at 3 p.m. PT and includes special musical guests and “good old-fashioned storytelling” for viewers of all ages.

Spurred on by the impact of COVID-19 and cancellation of many live events and beloved holiday concerts and school performances, The NAMM Foundation invites all of us to pour a glass of eggnog, cozy up near the fireplace, and enjoy programming that shares a message of unity and celebration utilizing the power of music.

Friends of The NAMM Foundation, Black Violin, will perform and co-host the event. Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus make up the duo and combine their classical training and hip-hop influences to create a distinctive multi-genre sound described as a “classical boom.” Black Violin, with Baptiste on Viola and Marcus on violin, have released five albums and two mixtapes, with Stereotypes debuting at #1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart and #4 on Billboard’s R&B Chart. Just recently, the duo released Give Thanks, their first holiday album, which, according to the pair, “employs playful storytelling, whimsical strings, and hard-hitting rhythms to highlight the unifying pillars of the holiday season.” As part of the livestream, the pair will debut two songs from this album.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Black Violin

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Also appearing in the special is Pritchard Music Academy’s Powerhouse Brass Quintet out of Gaithersburg, Maryland. The invitation-only ensemble typically delivers over 50 performances a year, including at the Great American Brass Band Festival, the Maryland State House, the National Christmas Tree in Washington D.C.’s Ellipse Park, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and throughout D.C. at the various national monuments. The group notes many achievements, including first place wins at 2016’s YMIC Metropolitan Chamber Ensemble competition and 2017’s YMIC International Chamber Ensemble competition and superior ratings six years running in Maryland’s state solo/ensemble competition.

The livestream is rounded out with a performance from Mariachi Nuevo Santander, a music program from Roma High School in Roma, Texas, directed by Elroy Garza. In 2013, Garza, was asked to take the reins of the program and under his tutelage, the program has become one of the most elite and recognized mariachi programs in the nation, counting six national titles awarded by the annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Other notable achievements include performances throughout the U.S. and performing alongside elite groups like Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández, Mariachi América de Jesús Rodríguez de Hijar, and even Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. At the heart of the program is the group's motto, “One program, one family, one tradition.

Mariachi Nuevo Santander - 25th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza

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For more information on The NAMM Foundation’s Holiday Celebration and to view the live stream event, visit