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November 21, 2013

Music, cookies and Santa Nov. 23 at ‘Christmas at the Cecilian’

The Sinfonietta Pops Orchestra concert “Christmas at the Cecilian” sets the mood for the holidays with music, punch and cookies and a visit from St. Nicholas. The concert begins at 3 p.m. Saturday in Cecilian Auditorium at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

St. Nicholas, considered by some to be the original Santa Claus, was a bishop in the third century known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need and his love for children. He will make his concert appearance at intermission to dispense small gifts and meet the audience. The free refreshments will continue to be part of the tradition at this concert as will a special musical interlude during the intermission.  

Sheron Dailey, Indiana State University communications professor emerita, will emcee the concert, including the narration for the “Triumphal March” from Sergei Prokofiev’s children’s symphony “Peter and the Wolf.” Dailey has performed the narration for the Terre Haute Symphony’s presentation of “Peter and the Wolf” as well as commentary and reading for the Columbia Missouri Symphony Orchestra’s production of “Shakespeare and Music.”

The trombone section of Bill Heinrich, Duane Caperton and Kevin Forbes will be featured in the lighthearted “Holiday for Trombones” composed by David Rose. Rose was a popular composer winning four Emmys for his television composition work and was also the music director for Red Skelton for more than 20 years.

“Babes in Toyland” is an operetta composed by Victor Herbert that weaves together characters from Mother Goose nursery rhymes into a Christmas-themed musical. The most famous piece is the “March of the Toys,” which still shows up on compilations of Christmas music.

“Hansel and Gretel” has become a popular opera at Christmas time. The audience can enjoy the wonder and magic of the story of Hansel and Gretel as the orchestra performs the Sandman’s Song, Evening Song and Dream Pantomime. An ancient Russian Christmas carol derived from the liturgical music of the Eastern Orthodox Church forms the basis for “Russian Christmas Music” by Alfred Reed.  

Tickets are available at the door. Admission for adults is $10, students $5 and children under 10 are free. The Sinfonietta appreciates the grant support from Arts Illiana, Indiana Arts Commission, City of Terre Haute, and Wabash Valley Community Foundation.

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