Columbia Theatre sets holiday mood with LPO concert
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
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HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts will celebrate the holiday season when the university’s historic downtown theater hosts the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual holiday concert Dec. 12.
Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for the popular 7:30 p.m. concert, traditionally a sell-out.
Tickets are $43, Orchestra 1 and Loge; $37, Orchestra 2 and Balcony 1; and $33, Balcony 2. Tickets can be purchased online at www.columbiatheatre.org or at the Columbia Theatre box office, 220 E. Thomas St., (985) 543-4371. Box office hours are noon-5 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Concert guests will be treated to a special “guest conductor,” selected from among area students who created ornaments for the holiday tree in the Columbia’s lobby. Kylar Dorsa, a first grade student at the Southeastern Laboratory School, was selected in a drawing at the theater’s annual tree-trimming party on Nov. 30.
A budding artist and Thomas the Train fan, Dorsa, son of Kristen Lobell and Brian Dorsa, will wield the baton for the LPO’s rendition of “Sleigh Ride.” He is the grandson of Larry and Rhonda Lobell and John and Antoinette Dorsa, and great-grandson of Kathron Keen.
Resident Conductor Rebecca Miller, the first woman conductor on the LPO staff, will lead the orchestra in a program full of classical and popular holiday favorites.
The concert’s first half will be devoted to classics – selections from Anderson’s “Christmas Festival,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Snow Maiden: Dance of the Skomorokhi,” Tchaikovsky’s “Snow Maiden -- Tumblers,” Waldteufel’s “Les Patineurs (The Skaters Waltz),” Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons: Concerto No. 4 in F minor” and “L’inverno (Winter),” Delius’ “Sleigh Ride,” and Davis’ “Christmas Carol Suite.”
Following intermission, the orchestra will play selections from the Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” and favorites such as “Simple Gifts,” “Let it Snow,” and “Winter Wonderland.” The audience will be invited to join in a “Christmas Singalong” with “Jingle Bells,” “Joy to the World,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Silent Night,” “Away in a Manger,” “Deck the Hall,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
Cited as one of “Four at the Forefront” in an article on women conductors in the United Kingdom’s “The Guardian,” Miller has been acclaimed for her engaging podium manner, energetic presentation skills, innovative programming, and new insights into familiar works.
From 2005-2007 she was a conducting fellow at the Houston Symphony, where she conducted more than 70 education, family and classical performances and made her debut on the symphony’s Classical Subscription series. Her recent guest conducting engagements have included the Bard Music Festival, Canterbury’s “Sounds New” Festival, a BBC Proms Composer Portrait for live broadcast, the New Asiana Ensemble at the Seoul Arts Centre in Korea, and a subscription concert with the Jerusalem Symphony.
Since 1999 Miller has been music director of London’s New Professionals. From 2001-2003, she was the junior fellow in conducting at the Royal College of Music in London, where she also served as assistant conductor at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School. She was a prize-winner at the eighth Leeds International Conducting Competition.
Born in California, Miller studied piano at Oberlin Conservatory and conducting at Northwestern University and the Aspen Music Festival.