The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra presents stunning musical arrangements of cherished Christmas carols and songs of the season at its annual Holiday Celebration Concerts on December 7 and 8 at the Five Flags Theater. Performances are Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:00pm.
“Christmas at the Dubuque Symphony has become a tradition,” commented William Intriligator, music director and conductor. “With a professional symphony orchestra, the Dubuque Chorale and wonderful guests like soprano Sarah Ellis and dancers from the Heartland Ballet we create a Holiday concert experience that can’t be beat. We are honored to have people come back year after year to celebrate with us.”
Concert goers will enjoy traditional pieces such as Leroy Anderson’s “Christmas Festival Overture” and “Sleigh Ride”, selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. Over 90 singers in the Dubuque Chorale will perform “Ding Dong! Merrily on High”, “Candles and Dreidels” and a piece titled “Hodie” by composer and Dubuque-native Michael Gilbertson.
Guest soloist soprano Sarah Ellis, who grew up in Platteville, WI, will be featured in “I’ll be Home for Christmas”, “Jingle Bells”, “All Those Christmas Clichés”, and a new piece titled “The Morning After Christmas” composed by Gilbertson with Ellis in mind.
Since leaving the Midwest, Ellis has received her BFA in Musical Theatre at Penn State University and has become a proud Actor’s Equity Association member. She is now a New York City-based performer. Her favorite roles include Maureen in Rent, Lois Lane in Kiss Me Kate, Amber in Hairspray, and Sandy in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, directed by Tony Nominee Susan H. Schulman. Ellis also fronts the bands for high-end events with Hank Lane Music Productions and sings and dances with Stiletta, an all-female a cappella group.
“As a former Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra clarinetist and having spent 10 years dancing with the Dubuque City Youth ballet and Heartland Ballet Companies I am thrilled to be back performing in Dubuque,” commented Ellis.
Also on Saturday, December 7 at 1:00pm the symphony will present a Holiday Family Concert. It is a shorter and slightly different version of the Holiday Celebration Concerts perfect for families with young children. Soprano Sarah Ellis and the Heartland Ballet will make appearances, but it is only one-hour long and includes a Christmas sing-a-long and a surprise visit from Santa. Accompanying the orchestra will also be The Dubuque Community School District 4th, 5th and 6th Grade Honor Choir. Following the Family Concert everyone is invited to take pictures with Santa. The pictures are free, and parents are asked to bring their own cameras.
Tickets to the Family Concert are $10 for children 12 and under, $20 for adults and $30 for box seats. Tickets to the Holiday Celebration Concerts range from $13 - $44. Box seats are $75. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Five Flags Center box office, your local Ticketmaster retail outlet or online at www.DubuqueSymphony.org.
Tickets are also available one hour before each concert at the ticket counter in the Five Flags Theater lobby. Student rush tickets will be available for the Celebration Concerts only. Cost is $6 and a student I.D. is required.
The Holiday concerts are sponsored by Medical Associates Clinic and Health Plans. For more information, visit www.DubuqueSymphony.org or call the symphony office at (563) 557-1677.