Members of the Lawrence City Band figure music is better than fruitcake.
That's why they are presenting their second annual holiday concert.
"It's a Christmas gift to the city of Lawrence anybody and everybody," director Robert Foster said.
The 50-member band, which includes top players from across northeast Kansas, will perform at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Liberty Hall. Admission is free.
The concert will include both traditional carols and not-so-traditional Christmas music. But Paul Jordan, a bass clarinet player, said all the music shares a common bond.
"It needs to be good arrangements because most of the people who come to our concerts are experienced listeners to that type of music," Jordan said. "They like to have it done well."
Last year was the first year for the holiday concert for the band, which plays gigs at the South Park gazebo during the summer.
"Our concerts our popular in the summer," Foster said. "We can have 2,500 people at concerts. There are kids and dogs everywhere. This is the same type of concert, just a Christmas concert."
The first holiday concert drew a crowd despite an ice storm. Foster said he's hoping for better weather this year.
The band will have a brief rehearsal Dec. 16 before the concert.
"We're pretty accustomed to doing things that way," Jordan said. "The band members read music at sight really well, though it does take a person's complete attention to do it that way."
The concert program includes "A Christmas Festival" by Leroy Anderson; "Polonaise" from "A Christmas Night" by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; "Rhapsody on Spanish Carols" by Foster; "Slavonic Folk Suite" by Alfred Reed; "Troika" from "Lieutenant Kije Suite" by Serge Prokofieff and arranged by Harold Walters; "Christmas Music for Winds" by John Cacavas; "Greensleeves: A Symphonic Setting" by Claude T. Smith; "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson; "Up on a Housetop" arranged by Jeff Simmons; and "Stars and Stripes for Christmas," an adaptation of the John Philip Sousa march by Foster.