Alpena Symphony Orchestra, AHS Concert Choir offer traditional holiday treat

A highlight of the Christmas holiday season takes place Friday in the Alpena High School Auditorium with a 7:30 p.m. concert featuring favorite seasonal music performed by the Alpena Symphony Orchestra and the Alpena High School Concert Choir.

Taking the baton in hand to direct the orchestra will be Jim VanEizenga, director of orchestras at Novi High School and conductor of the Gaylord Community Orchestra. Jean Brown-Baker, an Alpena native, teaches the choirs at AHS and Thunder Bay Junior High School.

The special event is titled “A Holiday Celebration.”

The AHS Concert Choir will sing “Little Saint Nick” by Brian Wilson and Nick Love, “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow,” American Traditional arranged by Susan Naylor Callaway, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine and arranged by Mark Hayes.

The choir will join the orchestra in performing “Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson and “Hallelujah Chorus” by G. F. Handel.

The orchestra’s desire was to perform a selection by John Rutter with the choir; the program will feature this collaboration on “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

Another first-time feature on this program will be the classic poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” authored by Clement Clarke Moore and set to music by Bill Holcombe. Christopher Olson of Gaylord, a trumpet player, will serve as the narrator.

The audience can look forward to performances of “Sleigh Ride,” “Charlie Brown Christmas” and “A Holst Christmas” as well.

This concert is a ticketed event with the price of tickets at $10 for all adults. Students and children are admitted free. Tickets are on sale at Neiman’s Family Market and at the door prior to the concert. The ASO is a non-profit 501(3)(3) organization.

There will be a reception and sale of handcrafted Christmas ornaments made by a few of the ASO members following the concert. Members of the flute section will play Christmas carols in the lobby before the performance. Plan to attend this special musical treat.