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Thursday, 07 December 2017 13:25

Orchestrating a colossal holiday experience

Written by  Staff Writer
Two area choirs join the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra for a program of Christmas music at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, at Calvary Community Church in Williams Bay. The groups also play Saturday, Dec. 16, at Woodstock High School in Woodstock, Illinois. Two area choirs join the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra for a program of Christmas music at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, at Calvary Community Church in Williams Bay. The groups also play Saturday, Dec. 16, at Woodstock High School in Woodstock, Illinois. Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra photo

LAKE GENEVA — The Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra will join forces with the choirs Voices in Harmony and Voice of Praise to present a program of Christmas music on Sunday, Dec. 17, at Calvary Community Church in Williams Bay. Performances will begin at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The orchestra and choirs will also perform the Christmas program at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at Woodstock High School in Woodstock, Illinois.

The program will feature a variety of music ranging from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” to a setting of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” made famous by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. It also includes music by Gustav Holst and an arrangement of “I Saw Three Ships” by an up-and-coming composer Matthew Jackfert.

“We are incredibly excited to share this relatively new arrangement that seamlessly combines several popular Christmas carols at the same time,” David Anderson, music director, said in a news release. “It is short, fast, exciting and may even make you think of Respighi’s ‘Pines of Rome’, which the LGSO performed a few years ago.”

Voices in Harmony is a community choir based in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Artistic Director and founder Steven Szalaj has had an active career as a high school, church and college music director and voice instructor.

Walworth County-based Voice of Praise was founded this fall by Director Tom Hilker. Hilker has more than 25 years of experience in church music ministry, working with choirs of all ages.

Anderson will share the podium with Szalaj and Hilker to conduct the largest group of musicians ever to perform at an LGSO concert.

“A concert like this is a big undertaking,” said LGSO board member Mike Frazier. “Our season schedule doesn’t accommodate a Christmas concert every year, so we hope music lovers will come out for this special event.”

At the Woodstock performance, students from the orchestras of Woodstock and Woodstock North high schools will join the LGSO players on stage for some of the orchestral work. Lyndra Bastian and Patrick Yasutake conduct those ensembles.

“Part of LGSO’s mission is to encourage music education and support school music programs,” Frazier said. “We’re especially happy to have the Woodstock orchestra students join us to make some holiday music.”

More than 500 students from fourth grade to high school participate in the orchestra program in Woodstock District 200.

Tickets for all performances are $15; students through college are free.

To purchase tickets, go online to LakeGenevaOrchestra.org or call 262-359-9072.

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