'Home for the Holidays' a holiday tradition

Photo submitted Troy Quinn conducts the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra in Cannon Hall in the RiverPark Center.

The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra's annual December concert has become a holiday tradition for many families in the area, said Gwyn Payne, deputy CEO for the symphony.

The concert, dubbed "Home for the Holidays" this year, will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday in the RiverPark City's Cannon Hall. It will feature a lot of new things that Payne said she didn't want to release before the show, but will excite the audience.

"We are adding to the technical aspects of our concerts, and I know people have noticed over the past two to three years," Payne said. "We have really ramped that up a lot. We have a lot of cool offerings for this concert as well. It will be very interactive."

Payne said for several people in the area, this concert is a staple because it is something they enjoy doing as a family for the holiday season. She said it "really kicks off the holidays officially for a lot of people."

Troy Quinn, the symphony's conductor and music director, echoed Payne's statements, adding that this show will be a mix of new pieces and classic Christmas favorites, some of which are presented in new arrangements so they will be fresh for audience members.

Some pieces are returning favorites, like "Sleigh Ride." Others, including one from the 1990 film "Edward Scissorhands," have a "very wintry feel," Quinn said.

"There will also be stuff from 'The Nutcracker,' " Quinn said. "I'm looking forward to it."

A new element to the concert is an addition of the celesta instrument, which will be played by the symphony's principal pianist Diane Earle, who is also the music director and a professor of music at Kentucky Wesleyan College. The celesta, which was purchased for the symphony through a recent grant, will be used on a lot of the Christmas pieces.

The celesta, which is a keyboard-type of instrument, will be a familiar sound to those who know the theme music from the "Harry Potter" movies, Quinn said.

This concert also will feature the 80-person Symphony Chorus, as well as the Owensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Quinn also said there will be a few surprises in the show that he does not want to spoil for concert-goers, but said it will be an enjoyable experience.

"For so many people, if they come to a concert, this is the one they come to every year," Quinn said. "We will be nearly sold out, I hope. It's a wonderful tradition to bring family."

Tickets for this performance range in price from $46.50 to $55.50, including handling fees. Student tickets are $15 each. They can be purchased at the RPC Box Office, at 101 Daviess St., or by calling the RPC at 270-687-2770. They are also available at owensborotickets.com.

For more information about this concert or others in the symphony's season, visit theoso.com.

Event sponsors are Aleris, German American Bank, Hafer, and Riley and John Hess.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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