N.C. Symphony to perform at ECC

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David Glover conducts an N.C. Symphony concert.


From Staff Reports

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It'll be beginning to sound a lot like Christmas when the N.C. Symphony plays its annual holiday pops concert Dec. 8 at Keihin Auditorium.

This year will be the ensemble's 10th consecutive Christmas concert at the Tarboro venue at Edgecombe Community College, said Eric Greene's its cultural arts director.

"The holiday pops concert has become a tradition in Tarboro, featuring wonderful music from the holiday season, the beloved holiday singalong and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus," says a release announcing the event.

Among the works on the program are "A Christmas Festival" by Leroy Anderson and "March of the Toys" by Victor Herbert. There also will be suites from "The Polar Express" by Alan Silvestri and "It's a Wonderful Life" by Dmitri Tiomkin."

Sacred music on the program includes the traditional Christmas carols "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "We Three Kings of Orient Are" and "Angels We Have Heard On High." To mark Hannukah, the symphony will perform Terry Mizesko's "Song of Hope: Hatikvah."

From classical music, there will be selections from Prokofiev's "Lieutenant Kije" and Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker."

Having performed so regularly for so many years in Tarboro, the symphony thoughtfully chooses its program to maintain high audience interest.

"With the N.C. Symphony, it's kind of predictable in that you know it's holiday pops music," Greene said in an earlier interview. "But they try to make the program different from last year. There's a wealth of holiday music out there, and they try to draw from it."

The concert is a big draw for Keihin, which seats 1,020 people.

"We generally average between 850 and 900 folks," Greene said. "We've seen it spike up to 950. ... We're yet to fill every seat, but we're hoping to do that this year."

The performance isn't just by a traveling troupe of symphony members.

"This is the whole kit and caboodle," Greene said of the 64 symphony members who will be on stage.

The acoustic power of such a large ensemble is something he enjoys.

"I just love hearing a full orchestra play in Keihin Auditorium," Greene said. "The acoustics in our auditorium are as good as you'll find south of Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, east of Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh and north of Thalian Hall in Wilmington. ... You'd have to travel to one of those to find a place that will equal this one acoustically."

Leading the Tarboro concert will be Associate Conductor David Glover. Having come to the symphony in 2014 from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Glover conducts educational and evening concerts and pops and young people's performances, the release says

The first state-supported symphony in the country, the N.C. Symphony was founded in 1932. It annually performs 175 concerts statewide in venues ranging from outdoor amphitheaters to school gymnasiums to concert halls. Grant Llewellyn serves as music director.

Tickets for the Tarboro concert are $20 for adults and $10 for students through Wednesday and $20 and $15 respectively the day of the show. Discounts for groups of ten or more are available through the college's box office.

For information or tickets, call Greene at 823-5166, ext. 187.