MONTROSE – Once again, the combined talents of the Valley Symphony and Chorus will ring in the holiday season with performances in both Montrose and Delta. The concerts promise a lot of variety and loads Christmas spirit.
Symphony director Mike Kern said audiences will delight to the “wonderful arrangements of popular Christmas carols by John Rutter and many other holiday favorites including ‘Sleigh Ride,’ ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas,’ ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Away in a Manger.’” A special children’s choir will help out on some selections, and the audience will be urged to participate in some of the performances.
The concert will end with the rousing sounds of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” with the chorus under the direction of Lenore Hample, followed by the sonorous tones of “All Is Well” by Michael W. Smith. As the concert comes to a close, the only lights in the room will be electric candles held by the chorus and the lights on the music stands of the orchestra musicians. The lights will go out and the auditoriums will go completely black with the last line, “All is well,” before the lights come back up, Kern said.
“It’s a dramatic ending, because the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ has such big themes, and then there’s this gorgeously beautiful song, ‘All Is Well,’” he said.
Kern said the 80-plus-member chorus and 50-member orchestra will perform a few pieces together and some separately, but the selections will suit a wide variety of tastes and should put everyone in the holiday mood.
“We will do some traditional carols arranged by John Rutter, an epic name in choral productions,” he said. The orchestra alone will play selections from English composer Vaughn Williams, “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson and “a really neat version” of “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Gustav Holst, Kern said.
“We will also be doing ‘White Christmas’ and some sing-a-longs,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun show.”
Members of the orchestra and chorus come from all over the area, from Grand Junction to Ouray and beyond, and all are volunteers. Orchestra members and the chorus both rehearse at the Delta Middle School band room weekly, and new members are welcome to audition, especially string players for the orchestra and tenors and basses for the chorus, according to the website www.valleysymphony.net.
In the past, combined concerts by the symphony and chorus were performed every other year, but because of popular demand, the concerts will be held annually, according to the symphony website.
“Christmas by Candlelight” concerts tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, youth $5, and children under 5 are free.
The orchestra is in its 40th season. Future concerts for the Montrose Pavilion listed on the website are:
Makin’ Overtures – Great Opera Overtures, Valley Symphony Orchestra, Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.
A Musical Tapestry, Valley Symphony Chorus, April 1, 7:30 p.m.
Great American Music by Great American Composers, Valley Symphony Orchestra, April 29, 3 p.m.
Tickets to the upcoming concerts can be purchased at the website, at the Montrose Pavilion ticket office, or by calling 249-7015. Tickets can also be bought at Clubb’s in Delta and in Montrose at the Homer L. Sims Agency, Howard Davidson Insurance Agency and DeVinny Jewelers.
For more concert information, call 209-2295 or send an email to email@example.com.