Manchester University
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December 7, 2018

symphony pops

Photo provided

MSO Performs Holiday at the Pops Concert with Wabash Valley Dance Team

Allyson Fogerty


Following a quick turnaround from their Oct. 29 space-themed concert, the Manchester Symphonic Orchestra (MSO) will be executing an hour-long holiday themed concert with a 15-minute intermission on Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium.

With only six rehearsals before the concert, MSO will be hard at work making this holiday experience one for the ages. The orchestra is celebrating its 80th anniversary, and director Scott Humphries knew that this season needed that little something extra.

“I wanted something special for the holiday concert,” Humphries said. “I wanted something that would be both artistic and entertaining.” With this in mind, Humphries contacted the Wabash Valley Dance Team to see if they would perform with the MSO for their Holiday Pops concert. The two together will be performing Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite.”

MSO will not be rehearsing with the dance team until the Saturday preceding the concert. “The Nutcracker is definitely not a fluff piece,” Humphries said. “Working with them the day before the concert adds an added sense of urgency. What we, and they, have prepared isn’t necessarily what will happen. That’s what makes live performances exciting. That’s what makes them unique. They are never done the same way twice, and you never know what may happen.”

Along with “The Nutcracker Suite,” other pieces being played are selections from the acclaimed Disney film “Frozen,” a high-energy, explosive rendition of the holiday classic “We Three Kings,” which features principal violinist Elizabeth Smith, and other holiday favorites.

Admission to the concert is free for Manchester University students, faculty and staff as well as any student 18 or under. Tickets will be sent to the elementary schools that offer free admission for one adult if they come with their child. The price for the public is $15.

This is an all-ages, family friendly concert designed to bring some holiday cheer to those who come and watch. “The MSO is a unique mixture of MU college students, faculty, community members and professional musicians,” Humphries said. “There are few college orchestras in the country like ours.”