by Janet I. Martineau
What do the Saginaw Eddy Band and three mimes have in common?
They’ll share the stage Saturday, Nov. 26, in a Mannheim Steamroller band arrangement of “Silent Night,” with the mimes reenacting the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
It all begins at 7:30 p.m at TheDow Event Center, 303 Johnson, when the Saginaw Eddy Band presents its 17th annual Christmas concert.
The mimes are Todd and Marilyn Farley and their daughter Malia Farley.
Todd Farley this year became the minister at First Congregational Church in Saginaw and he comes to Saginaw with an unusual and impressive background.
As a teen-ager, in 1978 he joined a mime troupe at his church in Washington and for three years toured the west coast with its Rainbow Players -- and the church’s pastor as the lead mime.
By 1980 Farley had created his own solo show combining mime and religion, and from 1984 to 1987 studied in Paris under the legendary Marcel Marceau -- sessions which included ballet, jazz, fencing, aerobics, commedia dell’arte, drama. and physical theater.
In 1985, Farley co-founded Mimeistry, a mime/arts/creative preaching program which for nearly 25 years reached people in more than 40 nations, and in 1989 he was officially ordained as a minister.
As performer, Farley has toured the world, with the Sydney Opera House in Australia and David’s Citadel in Jerusalem among his credits, and he has worked with Ballet Magnificat, the BBC and ABC.
Farley is also on the board of directors for the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ and has taught or lectured in colleges and seminaries.
James Hargett and Paul Lichau co-conduct the Eddy Band, which in the summer presents a series of free concerts on Ojibway Island.
Art Lewis of WSGW-AM will serve as the master of ceremonies for the concert Saturday night at The Dow.
Also on the program: Terry Lenz will narrate “The Night Before Christmas,” and among the band selections are Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” “A Canadian Brass Christmas,” James Curnow’s “Finale for a Winter Festival,” a Robert Shelton arrangement of “A Most Wonderful Christmas,” a medley of popular seasonal tunes, Masamicz Amano’s new arrangement of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and a Christmas singalong.
Admission is free, with a request that audience members in exchange bring a non-perishable food item for the Salvation Army’s Food for Families project.
For a look at Farley as a mime, log on to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etYr12qvaJk