The sounds of the holiday season will fill the air Friday, December 12 as the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO) and the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus present a joint "Holiday Pops!" concert, under the baton of NFSO Maestro Jeffrey Rink. The event will be held at the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center at the Northwest Florida State College's Niceville campus at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22.50 for adults and $16 for youth age 18 and younger and are available from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office in-person, by phone at 729-6000, or online at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org. The night of the concert, doors will open at 6:00 pm for at-the-door ticket sales. NWF State College students may receive one free admission per currently valid student ID.
According to Rink, the "Holiday Pops!" concert will provide a "true evening for everyone with popular holiday fare, a carol sing-along with the audience and traditional Christmas music." The concert combines some of the most beautiful seasonal music ever written with familiar carols and instrumental works of the season. Among the composers featured are Bach, Torelli, Ives, Distler, Tchaikovsky, Irving Berlin and Leroy Anderson and will include holiday favorites such as "White Christmas", "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer", "Sleigh Ride" and excerpts from The Nutcracker.
The Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus, under the direction of Lois Van Dam, is a 70 member group comprised of talented vocalists from throughout the region who will join the orchestra for a variety of works including "Sister Mary Had But One Child" and a beautifully embellished medley of holiday carols. The concert also features the college's Belle Voci women's ensemble singing Bach's "Suscepit Israel". Belle Voci is a select 14-voice student women's ensemble, also under the direction of Van Dam.
Rink noted that in addition to the Holiday Pops concert, tickets are available now for all 2009 NFSO concerts including the "Symphonic Miniatures" concert on January 30, the "Stars of Tomorrow" concert on February 20 with prestigious Concerto Competition winners, the "NFSO Goes Pops: An Evening with Della Reese" event on March 14, and "The Creation" on May 9 featuring the Tokyo Oratorio Society from Japan. The Della Reese event is a fundraiser for the orchestra and tickets are $100 for front row seats, which include a post-concert reception with Reese, and $45 for reserved seats. The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra is the region's premiere professional symphony, now in its 22 performance season. The orchestra performs in residence at the college's Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center and a custom orchestra shell is utilized especially for NFSO concerts to provide an optimum acoustical experience. The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is easily accessible from Interstate 10 and Highways 85 and 285 on the Niceville campus of NWF State College, at 100 College Boulevard. For additional information about the NFSO visit the symphony website at www.nfsymphony.org.
Box office hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday and the box office opens on concert dates from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for at-the-door tickets, if available. At-the-door tickets are the same price as advance tickets.