A live orchestra comprised of 65 professional musicians playing traditional and original holiday pieces will ring in the holiday season Thursday in Lincolnton, as the North Carolina Symphony will perform for its 80th anniversary season — a truly magical experience, said Rob Maddrey, senior director of statewide development for N.C. Symphony.
The Raleigh-based group will perform a show, conducted by Al Sturgis, that Lincoln County residents have been experiencing for decades. Holiday Pops performers will play tunes they hope audience members will recognize and sing along with, even if they don’t know the words.
Music sheets with lyrics for those who may be unsure of all the words to a favorite Christmas-themed song, will rest at ease, as the sheets will be available for those wishing to participate from their seats.
With classic carols like “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “The First Noel,” pieces from the Nutcracker ballet and Babes in Toyland will also be performed for patrons this week. Adding a youthful element to the evening, 50 students from North Brook and Rock Springs elementary schools will lead participants in a sing-along — a section of the night Maddrey promises will have the audience remembering what Christmas is all about.
Crediting the efforts of area volunteers to fund both the larger, evening concert and the daytime education concert, Maddrey is confident the enthusiasm and involvement of those who worked on bringing Holiday Pops to life won’t disappoint attendees.
During the day, and also at the Citizens Center, fifth-graders in the county will have the chance to see a smaller show of their own — a more personal and educational showing of what will come later that night. In addition to meeting with area students, the symphony also performed live instrumental sessions in other N.C. counties this week as part of the Ensembles in Schools program.
Though unsure where the name Holiday Pops originated, Maddrey thinks it accurately describes the kind of musical styles and the selections the orchestra will play Thursday evening.
Tickets are available for advanced purchase at First Federal Savings Bank locations in Boger City, Denver and Lincolnton, or at the Lincoln Cultural Center, for $24 for adults, $21 for seniors and $6 for students 18 and under, or with a college identification card. More information is also available by calling (877) 627-6724, or by going online, at www.ncsymphony.org.
“A live orchestra concert is unlike any other concert experience anywhere,” Maddrey told the Times-News on Tuesday. “You’ll hear an incredibly full sound that can’t be replicated by even the best stereo. What better way to get into the spirit of the season than by listening to a full orchestra perform live holiday music?”
The instruments will sound at 8 p.m., Thursday, at the Citizens Center.