North Carolina Symphony’s Holiday Concert Season Offers Everything from Circus Acrobatics to a Choral Masterpiece
RALEIGH, N.C. – There are so many wonderful traditions at the holidays, but perhaps more than any other, music is what truly signals the start of the season and makes it so special. Each year, the North Carolina Symphony shares holiday spirit statewide, with opportunities to enjoy seasonal favorites from Thanksgiving to New Year.
The holiday concert season begins Thanksgiving weekend when the circus meets the symphony at Cirque de Noel! Stunning aerial feats flying high above the orchestra, mind-boggling contortions, and jaw-dropping juggling acts will be choreographed to favorite holiday music. At these family-friendly shows, audiences can meet and take pictures with Santa, and cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa in the concert hall. Continuing its longtime partnership with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, NCS will collect soup-to-go donations to support the Backpack Buddies program—which provides healthy weekend meals to children in need in the Triangle.
Four performances of Cirque de Noel take place Thanksgiving weekend—Wednesday through Sat., Nov. 27 to 30.
On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, NCS and the North Carolina Master Chorale will share music’s most powerful message of faith—Handel’s Messiah. The performances will be led by NCS Music Director Grant Llewellyn, who is a Baroque music expert and considers the Messiah one of the works that has been most significant throughout his career. Featuring the famous “Hallelujah” chorus, this glorious work has been a beloved holiday tradition for centuries. Tickets are selling quickly for this popular concert.
The holiday songs everyone knows and loves will fill Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14. Holiday Pops features songs like “White Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “12 Days of Christmas,” and more! With falling snow, hot chocolate, carolers, and an audience sing-along, this festive concert is the perfect holiday tradition. Audiences are invited to come early to meet Santa!
As always, NCS will also take its Holiday Pops program of favorite traditional and popular music all around the state, with performances in Goldsboro, New Bern, Chapel Hill, Tarboro, Jacksonville, Wilmington, and Southern Pines. The statewide performances include classics such as “Sleigh Ride” as well as selections from The Polar Express, The Nutcracker, and more. This concert concludes by bringing the voices of each community together to spread holiday cheer in the Symphony’s traditional sing-along.
This holiday season, Vienna with a Twist will put the swing in New Year’s Eve with Gershwin’s ever-popular Rhapsody in Blue performed by pianist Jeffrey Biegel, plus jazzy Big Band classics and the time-honored tradition of Viennese waltzes. This will be an evening to be remembered well into 2020!
The North Carolina Symphony expresses its appreciation to the following Concert Sponsors for their generous support: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Overture Crabtree, Southern Bank Foundation, Eastern Dermatology & Pathology, Ward and Smith, P.A., Brightmore of Wilmington, Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall, Penick Village, Grubb Ventures
About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina’s cultural life. Each year, the North Carolina Symphony’s 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement events are enjoyed by adults and schoolchildren in more than 90 North Carolina counties—in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. The Symphony’s full-time professional musicians perform under the artistic leadership of Music Director Grant Llewellyn.
NCS’s state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The Symphony’s service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines, and Wilmington, as well as the Summerfest series at its summer home, the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. NCS brings some of the world’s greatest talents to North Carolina and embraces home-state artists from classical musicians to bluegrass bands, creating live music experiences distinctive to North Carolina.
Committed to engaging students of all ages across North Carolina, NCS leads the most extensive education program of any symphony orchestra—serving nearly 70,000 students each year. In alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Symphony provides training and resources for teachers, sends small ensembles into classrooms, and presents full-orchestra Education Concerts that bring the fundamentals of music to life. Music Discovery for preschoolers combines music with storytelling, and at the middle and high school levels, students have opportunities to work directly with NCS artists and perform for NCS audiences.
NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art, and has presented more than 50 U.S. or world premieres in its history. In 2017, NCS appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as one of four orchestras chosen for the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras—an honor that recognized the Symphony’s creative programming and innovative community partnerships.
The first state-supported symphony in the country, NCS performs under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. To learn more, visit ncsymphony.org.