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Orchestra holds holiday concert

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The Evanston Symphony will continue its tradition of collaborating with arts groups from throughout Evanston and the North Shore to celebrate the holiday season.

 “The annual Evanston Holiday Concert is one of the year’s most enjoyable and thoroughly inclusive arts events, bringing together hundreds of local instrumentalists, singers and dancers to put on a wonderful show designed to entertain people of all ages,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

This year’s Holiday Concert returns to the Evanston Township High School auditorium at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, and features the symphony in collaboration with the North Shore Choral Society, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Evanston Children’s Choir and the ede2 troupe of the Evanston Dance Ensemble.

Even Santa will get into the act, leading the audience in a sing-along of favorite Christmas carols.

Orchestral numbers will include James Stephenson’s Holiday Overture, with arrangements of Deck the Hall, Oh Chanukah, I Have a Little Dreidel, O Christmas Tree, Away in a Manger, Jingle Bells, Up On the Housetop and Good King Wenceslas.

The orchestra will also perform an arrangement of Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song” (known more familiarly as “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”), and Leroy Anderson’s famous Sleigh Ride, the exhilarating romp that concludes with the well-known horse-whinnying trumpet.

The North Shore Choral Society will join the ESO in Stephenson’s new “Magnificat” and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from Messiah. And the NSCS and the ESO will be joined by the Evanston Children’s Choir in a version of “O Holy Night.”

Elements Contemporary Ballet, accompanied by the ESO, will dance to orchestral selections from Handel’s Messiah.

The Evanston Children’s Choir will perform the jazzy choral piece Five-Sided S’vivon (Dreidel) and accompany the ESO in the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet.

The Evanston Dance Ensemble’s ede2 group will perform Mozart's “Sleigh Ride” and the audience will join the orchestra for Finnegan’s “Sing-a-long” of beloved Christmas songs, led by none other than Santa himself.

Tickets are available online.

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