Submitted by Evanston Symphony Orchestra
The Evanston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Lawrence Eckerling, once again gathers with arts groups from throughout Evanston and the North Shore to celebrate the holiday season at the Evanston Symphony annual Holiday Concert. This year’s extravaganza will be held at Evanston Township High School at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11. The ESO will collaborate with the North Shore Choral Society, the Evanston Children’s Choir, the Evanston Dance Ensemble, Chicago Ballet Arts, and the always popular Evanston Symphony Holiday Gospel Choir, organized by Rev. Kenneth Cherry. Nearly 300 musicians, dancers and singers will participate and even Santa and his elves will get into the act.
For everyone’s safety and peace of mind, the ESO, in full cooperation with the participating arts groups, has adopted protocols to protect your health and safety at the performance. These include:
- Proof of Vaccination and photo ID required for all attendees and performers six-years old and older
- Unvaccinated children younger than six are very welcome but must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult
- Masks are required for all attendees throughout the performance
- Distancing (it’s a big auditorium)
- Risk Assumption
“The ESO Holiday Concert is the one place that I know of where so many arts groups come together to perform with the ESO and put on a concert for our community,” said ESO Music Director Lawrence Eckerling. “Three choral groups, two ballet companies, and of course the ESO! And it’s wonderful to see so many new faces in the audience in addition to our usual subscribers. It’s truly a wonderful time to be had by all.”
The afternoon concert features favorite holiday music loved by everyone and music that may be new even to sophisticated concert goers. The orchestra will kick off the afternoon with Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson and also perform Irving Berlin’s beloved White Christmas, Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan-Williams, and a medley, Winter Wonderland, arranged by Calvin Custer.
The Evanston Children’s Choir and Evanston Dance Ensemble will combine forces with the Symphony for Tchaikovsky’s, “Waltz of the Snowflakes” from the Nutcracker Suite. Separately, the ECC will perform Cahn’s The Christmas Waltz, and EDE is featured in Herbert’s “March of the Toys” from Babes in Toyland and Stephenson’s A Charleston Christmas. Chicago Ballet Arts will dance as the symphony plays Leroy Anderson’s A Christmas Festival, which includes the well-known “The Skater’s Waltz.”
The North Shore Choral Society will join the ESO for Biegel’s Hanukkah Fantasy, Powell’s Ring The Bells and also, with the ESO, lead the audience in “Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah. The Evanston Symphony Holiday Gospel Choir, led by Rev. Ken Cherry, will perform Mariah Carey’s version of Jesus, Oh What A Wonderful Child, and help close the concert as they join the North Shore Choral Society and the Evanston’s Children’s Choir in Quincy Jones’ “Hallelujah” from A Soulful Messiah.
Santa Claus and his Elves will fly in from the North Pole for a special appearance during the second half of the concert. The ESO and many supporters will hold the annual Holiday Concert Raffle, with the grand prize of a $1,000 gift certificate from Christopher Duquet Fine Jewelry.
The Evanston Symphony Holiday Concert will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at Evanston Township High School auditorium, 1600 Dodge Ave. For more information, and to take advantage of early pricing discounts and special discounted family packages by ordering tickets in advance, visit www.evanstonsymphony.org or call 847-864-8804.