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Symphony makes stop in town

The North Carolina Symphony comes to town on Dec. 9 bringing with it classical music and holiday favorites. The audience even gets a chance to join in on the music.
“You sing, and you’re in a crowd that’s celebrating,” said Adair Cantwell, co-president of the Lincoln County chapter of the North Carolina Symphony. “I think it’s just great.”
This year, local students from S. Ray Lowder Elementary School and Catawba Springs Elementary School will participate in the Holiday Pops Concert.
“They are dressed up in the most delightful little outfits, and they sing like angels,” said Adair Cantwell. “When people that you know are participating, it just makes it special.”
Parents will receive a reduced rate. The performance, which begins at 8 p.m. at the James W. Warren Citizens Center, costs $20 for adults and $8 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the Citizens Center.
Lincoln County fifth graders will have a chance to see the symphony for free Thursday afternoon. The students will be bussed to the Citizens Center and will even get an opportunity to play their recorders with the professional musicians.
The symphony will visit Lincoln County twice this year, and Lincolnton is the smallest town to boast that honor.
“Lincoln County has a cultural heritage that is considerably richer than many other counties our size,” said Bob Cantwell, co-president of the Lincoln County chapter of the North Carolina Symphony.
Ever since the symphony first started making a stop in the county in the early ’70s, the concerts have been packed.
“The symphony did not choose Lincoln County, Lincoln County chose the symphony,” said Adair Cantwell.
It is only in recent years that the Cantwells were able to schedule performances for December, a much more competitive time to book the orchestra.
A December concert brings out more residents, and the Cantwells believe the performance is an excellent way to welcome the holiday season.
“It feels like Christmas is in the air,” said Bob Cantwell of the performance.
Resident Conductor William Henry Curry will lead the concert, which features traditional favorites like “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are” and “Sleigh Ride.”
Classical works will include Wendel’s “Overture to a Merry Christmas,” Vaughan William’s Fantasia on “Greensleeves” and Dances from “A Chanukah Celebration,” composed by North Carolina Symphony Bass Trombonist, Terry Mizesko.
Words to Christmas carols performed by the symphony will be included in the audience’s programs, and participation in singing is encouraged.
The Holiday Pops Concert will travel to 13 cities before Christmas. For more information call 704-735-7418.

by Sarah Grano

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