The Annie Moses Band Christmas Special Is a Holiday Treat

The Annie Moses Band Christmas Special Is a Holiday Treat

John FarrellBy John Farrell5 Minutes

I was first introduced to the beautiful and dulcet sounds of the Annie Moses Band a little more than a year ago. Liking what I heard, I tracked down a contact for them. I wanted to interview and learn more about them.

A week or two later, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the group’s founders, lead vocalist, and violinist, Annie Dupre. We spoke over the phone on myriad of topics, including her faith, the band’s history, and individual songs.

Of the songs we discussed, she filled me in on the stories behind such hits as “Cherokee” and “Blush.” She divulged that her favorite and most powerful song to sing is the Christmas classic, “O Holy Night.” In the words of Annie’s Grandma, “That song is just perfect. It’s just perfect. Musically it is just perfect.”

Shortly after the phone interview, I was invited to do a live, in-person interview with Annie and some of her bandmates (who are siblings; more on that later) about two hours away. The interview was scheduled for Spring 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic crushed those plans.

A couple months later, I was excited to learn that I would have the opportunity to watch the Annie Moses Band’s Christmas Special. When I finally had the time to sit down and watch “O Holy Night: An Annie Moses Band Christmas Special”, it felt like I was there in the live audience soaking up the magical experience in person. I marveled at the musical talent on display. This was exactly what I needed to get me in the Christmas spirit after a long year that has been unlike any that I can remember.

From the opening song, “Carol of the Bells” interlaced with “Sing We Now of Christmas”, to the simply grand closing number, “O Holy Night,” I was hooked and in awe. And to think that the members of Annie Moses Band are all related.

Joining Annie (not to be confused with the band’s namesake, Annie Moses, their great-grandmother) on stage are her three brothers (Alex on the viola, Benjamin on the cello, Jeremiah on the guitar), two sisters (Gretchen on the mandolin and violin and Camille on “the instrument of magic, the harp”) and their dad, Bill Wolaver, the band’s pianist, composer, and arranger.

Their hour-long set includes many timeless Christmas classics such as “Jingle Bells,” “Go, Tell It on the Mountain,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and “Ave Maria.” Interspersed among these well-known favorites were some lesser-known songs that were just as enchanting and euphonious.

Gretchen breaks out her mandolin for the sweet and delightful carol, “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella,” which many people may not be familiar. However, the song soars to another level when her family joins in.

My favorite song of the entire set, however, was “When the Christmas Baby Cries.” Annie’s unforgettable performance is simply breathtaking. The words elicit so many emotions that it’s impossible not to fall in love with the song and the images it conjures in your mind.

“This song is one of our most requested original Christmas songs and it’s a beautiful reminder for all of us that hope was born to us when the Christmas baby cried,” Annie told the audience before casting a majestic net of awe over the audience with her voice.

In addition to the stunning vocal performance delivered by everyone in the Annie Moses Band, I was equally impressed with their mastery of their instruments, which I guess should be expected from the Juilliard-trained siblings. I often found myself staring at the rapid movements of their hands and fingers as they hit every note.

To say that watching “O Holy Night: An Annie Moses Band Christmas Special” would be a special treat this holiday season would be a huge understatement. I will gladly add watching this concert every December to my family’s list of Christmas traditions.

My only complaint: I wish it lasted longer.