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MSO celebrates its annual 'Home for the Holidays'

MSO celebrates its annual 'Home for the Holidays'

Music Director Elizabeth Schulze and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the sounds of the holiday season with their annual “Home for the Holidays” concerts on Saturday, Dec. 21 and Sunday, Dec. 22.

For nearly two decades, the MSO’s “Home for the Holidays” concerts have become a holiday tradition with families and friends gathering to listen to the sounds of Christmas.

“Our ‘Home for the Holidays’ is an MSO tradition and certainly is one of our most popular programs every season,” Schulze said.

Musical highlights include Vivaldi’s “Winter,” “Away in a Manger,” Fantasia on “Greensleeves,” “Somewhere in My Memory” from Home Alone, selections from the Nutcracker Suite featuring Hagerstown City Ballet dancers, “Here Comes Santa Claus,” and “Sleigh Ride.”

“This year, I’ve really wanted to focus on our wonderful orchestra, with a greater emphasis on instrumental selections. For instance, we’re going to feature our concertmaster, Robert Martin as a soloist in the ‘Winter’ Concerto from Vivaldi’s ‘The Seasons,’” Schulze said.

Vocalist Christine Lyons will also be a featured soloist. Lyons is an alumna of Peabody Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University, and completed further studies at the Mozarteum University Salzburg in Austria.

She was the grand prize winner of the Mary Trueman Art Song Vocal competition, a grant winner in the Gerda Lissner Foundation competition, and has garnered top awards from the Vocal Arts DC Discovery Art Song competition, the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Vocal Competition, New York Lyric Opera National Vocal Competition, Rochester International Vocal Competition, The American Prize for Women in Opera Competition, and Washington International Competition. Lyons was also a featured artist on WWFM Classical’s “Celebrating Our Musical Future” live radio program.

“Our soloist, Christine Lyons, is a superb operatic soprano and a big talent. And we’re expecting a special jolly guest to help us sing in the holidays as well,” Schulze said.

In addition to Martin and Lyons, this year’s special guests include the First Christian Church Children’s Choir, The City Ballet School dancers Tegan Chalker of Hagerstown and Benjamin Pierce of Greencastle, Pa., and Santa Claus who will lead audience members in the popular yuletide sing-along.

“City Ballet is honored to have been invited to perform as guests with the MSO. It is an amazing experience for a dancer to feel the power of the symphony behind you as you perform,” said Danielle Horochowski, artistic director at The City Ballet School. “We are excited for the ‘Home For the Holidays’ concert and we are excited to be collaborating with the MSO for a world premiere in the spring.”

The 2019-2020 concert season is presented through the generous support of Antietam Broadband. “Home for the Holidays” is sponsored by Younger Auto Group. The MSO is also supported by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

Performances will take place at The Maryland Theatre Performing Arts Center located at 21 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Tickets for the concert range from $19 to $79 for adults and children. To purchase tickets, call 301-797-4000 or visit Tickets may also be purchased at the MSO box office located at 28 W. Washington St. (2nd Floor).

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