The Cascade Symphony Orchestra’s holiday pops concerts on Sunday and Monday provide a musical ride through holiday favorites including “Polar Express” and “Sleigh Ride.”
The concerts also will include a Northwest premiere — “Santa’s Reindeer Team, A Christmas Story” — and an opportunity to hear principal trumpeter George Stewart display his musical chops with Rafael Mendez’s “La Virgen de la Macarena.”
“Santa’s Reindeer Team, A Christmas Story,” is a narrated symphonic work that describes the special talents of the reindeer that guide Santa’s sleigh. The composition and narration, written by two Miami University alumni, was first performed three years ago.
Steward, who has been with the symphony 12 years, will perform in a total of four pieces, said Heidi McBride, who plays cello in the orchestra. In addition to Mendez’s composition, they are: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” “Deck the Halls,” “Trumpeter’s Lullaby.”
But it is “La Virgen de la Macarena,” a traditional bullfighting song with demanding passages that will showcase his musical skills.
Nine students from Meadowdale, Mountlake Terrace and Edmonds-Woodway high schools will join symphony members in performing at the concerts.
The concerts will conclude with a sing-along medley and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”
With the symphony performing on Sunday on Monday, that leaves Saturday open for the Sno-King Community Chorale’s annual two holiday concerts.“Holiday Magic: Joys and Dreams” are at 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $15 for children 12 and younger.
In additional to seasonal songs, the concerts include a performance of “Dreamweaver,” with soloist Jennifer Bromagen.
The contemporary work was written by Ola Gjeilo, a Norwegian composer now living in New York.
The text is derived from Norwegian folklore, a story similar to Dante’s inferno, said Dustin Willetts, the chorale’s conductor.
The group’s 100 singers will be accompanied by a 20-piece string orchestra.
“Dreamweaver” is the story of a man’s retelling of his dream. “The text takes you all the way through his dream, including the terrors, reconciliation and the redemption at the end,” Willetts said. “It’s a spiritual redemption story.”
The concerts will begin with a performance by the group’s newly formed vocal lab, a group of about 28 singers who will perform three Christmas favorites and contemporary song.
“Come get lost for a little bit in some really great music,” Willetts said. “It’s not just a choir concert. It’s a really augmented experience with staging and lighting.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: Cascade Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and Dec. 10
Where: Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds
Tickets: $27 adults, $22 seniors, $15 students and $10 youths
More: 425-275-9595 or cascadesymphony.org