DuPage Symphony Orchestra presents Holiday Family Concerts Dec. 18

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear," said American actor John William Ferrell. Music unites us, especially during holidays. It lifts us up from worries, fear, and stress. It gives us fresh energy and joy.

DuPage Symphony Orchestra prepared a wonderful present for its audience. The orchestra's two Holiday Family Concerts will take place at 2 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18, at Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville.

Every year local music lovers can't wait to attend the DuPage Symphony Orchestra's holidays concerts. They know exactly what waits for them at these traditional family events: a friendly environment, a great atmosphere, beautiful music, and Santa checking to see if the musicians are naughty or nice. This year, Santa will again conduct the orchestra, but most of the time the podium will belong to beloved DSO music director and conductor, Maestra Barbara Schubert.

"Selections of treasured holiday music will bring a twinkle to your eye, and our jazzy rendition of 'The Nutcracker Suite' will put a sparkle in your step," says the orchestra's email announcement of these concerts. The holiday program prepared by the orchestra is particularly exciting this year.

The DuPage Symphony Orchestra partnered with the Spectrum Youth Singers, who will sing holiday carols in the lobby prior to each show and will join the DuPage Symphony Orchestra for a stirring rendition of "Carol of the Bells" by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych.

Spectrum Youth Singers will sing this song to the original Ukrainian lyrics. Don't be surprised if you hear Shchaslyvykh Svyat! (Happy Holidays!) in the lobby! Also, I am sure that "Carol of the Bells" performed in its original version in the Ukrainian language will bring you warm feelings and create nice memories.

Spectrum Youth Singers is a community children's choir that is based in Plainfield and provides top-notch vocal instruction and an excellent musicianship curriculum. Boys and girls who attend this vocal group learn to discover their true voice in a stimulating and nurturing environment where every singer can grow musically, intellectually, and personally.

The DuPage Symphony Orchestra will also feature a fresh take on a holiday favorite, "Nutcracker Suite" written originally by Tchaikovsky. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn created a jazz-inspired version of this piece, a fresh and exuberant take on this perennial favorite. Some even call their version a "melting pot of musical styles past and present."

Duke Ellington was an American jazz pianist, composer, and leader of his eponymous jazz orchestra from 1923 through the rest of his life. Billy Strayhorn was an American jazz composer, pianist, lyricist, and arranger, who collaborated with Duke Ellington for nearly three decades. In 1960, Ellington and Strayhorn composed jazz interpretations of pieces from Tchaikovsky's score, and now the DuPage Symphony Orchestra's audience will have a great opportunity to hear their unique jazz-inspired version of this immortal classical favorite.

To complement this, the orchestra will perform original music written by Tchaikovsky by presenting Finale from "The Nutcracker" ballet. The program also includes the holiday hit "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This piece will feature two electric guitarists who are normally found in the orchestra's String Bass section. Also, a colorful setting of treasured seasonal fare by the Boston Pops "A Christmas Scherzo" arranged by Don Sebesky will make this concert program especially festive and merry.

Besides that, the audience will have a chance to enjoy other classic American holiday melodies, such as "American Christmas Folk Suite" arranged by Bill Holcombe, music from "FROZEN" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and arranged by Krogstad, "Miracle on 34th Street Overture" by Bruce Broughton and arranged by Vinson, and "Jingle Bells Forever" arranged by Robert W. Smith.

The DuPage Symphony Orchestra will end its wonderful Holiday Family concert program on a high note with Leroy Anderson's timeless classic "Sleigh Ride." Its iconic trumpet call and wooden blocks representing the horses neighing and clip-clopping along will bring joy and happiness to everyone who chooses to attend this concert program.

An Instrument Petting Zoo with the orchestra's sponsors Quinlan & Fabish Music Co will welcome guests to toot the horns, pluck some strings, and see if they can make a sound on wind and brass instruments.

Another important thing that needs to be highlighted is that the DuPage Symphony Orchestra partnered with the Girl Scouts (local Troop 50443, elementary ages) for a donation drive benefiting the Loaves & Fishes Community Services food pantry. Patrons may drop off nonperishable food items and personal care items at Wentz on Dec. 18 between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Don't miss the most festive performance in DuPage County!

The DuPage Symphony Orchestra's Family Holiday Concerts are the perfect seasonal celebration for your family, friends, and loved ones.

For tickets, go to

Single tickets also on sale through the DSO box office at (630) 778-1003 and through the North Central College box office at (630) 637-SHOW. Children's tickets are only $6-9. Seniors $15-18, and adults $18-21.

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