The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 22, 2013

Catlin native 'steers' TV holiday special

CATLIN — On Christmas Eve, the Taylor family will gather around the television set to watch son Garrett’s latest production.

In fact, the 30-year-old Catlin native will be there, too, watching “A New York Christmas to Remember” with parents Ted and Constance Taylor.

Garrett Taylor was music director for the special, featuring host Regis Philbin and the puppetry of Jane Henson. It was taped at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Manhattan, which Taylor attends. Philbin was baptized in the church, and other noted entertainers attend services there.

In the hour-long program, Philbin will proclaim the Bible passages of the birth of Jesus as dramatized by the puppet characters created by the late Jane Henson.

There also will be performances by Heather Henson, the Fordham University Choir, the National Children’s Chorus and the St. Paul the Apostle Choir.

Constance Taylor said, “We’re looking forward to the show. We’re just really proud (of Garrett).” Besides, she added, she’s always been a big fan of Philbin.

Taylor likened his job as music director to someone who steers a ship, and keeps everything on course. He oversees more than 100 people, including a 25-piece orchestra and a 24-member choir, which he put together using his church choir and professional singers. He’s also conductor and pianist, but does not sing in the production.

About 5 million viewers are expected to tune in Tuesday night, but that didn’t make Taylor nervous during the taping.

“You go in and do your job and hope and pray that your work and preparation come together,” he said in a telephone interview from New York. “Everything is about telling the Christmas story.”

It helped that he had some talented people to work with, he said, adding, “I was so pleased to have a top-notch production team. Everybody was so lovely to work with.”

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