Pops Concert brings holiday spirit to Florence
FLORENCE, S.C. — If you want to make your holiday season pop, the Florence Symphony Orchestra might have just the thing for you. This Saturday, the orchestra returns with its Holiday Pops Concert at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center (PAC).
Director Dr. Terry Roberts said the holiday concert typically appeals to a wider variety of people than traditional symphony shows.
“This is a more let-your-hair-down kind of thing,” Roberts said. “We start off playing traditional Christmas things but then the second half we start to get into more pop-sy stuff. We’ll do a Christmas sing-a-long.”
And former Miss South Carolina and Florence native Bree Boyce is being added to the bill this year, too.
“You don’t need to bring in big names around here,” Roberts said.
“Do the music that people want this time of year and bring in local people. Bree is still very connected to Florence and she is quite talented.”
Roberts said that among the set list for the night will be classics like “Sleigh Ride,” “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” While he enjoys all of the songs the symphony will be playing, there is one song that brings back fond memories for him.
As a younger man, Roberts lived in Germany where the story of “Hansel and Gretel” was a Christmas tradition, much like “The Nutcracker” is in the United States. Roberts recalls browsing outdoor markets and drinking Glühwein, a hot cider-like beverage, so playing “Dream Pantomime” from “Hansel and Gretel” is especially gratifying for him.
“I was playing the French horn in the (orchestra) pit in Germany and the children would come to the edge of the pit, looking up and looking down at us,” Roberts said. “I just love that music; it is very lush and melodic and sets the tone.”
Playing a holiday show in the middle of the holiday season puts a rush on the symphony’s practices and they will only practice the two days before the concert. Roberts is not worried, though.
“It makes a difference that we know most of the music pretty well,” Roberts said. “It is less stressful. Thursday night we’ll work on things that probably need more work, like ‘Sleigh Ride.’ I don’t think we’ve ever practiced ‘Sleigh Ride.’”
This year, the Symphony is also joining forces with Toys for Tots.
“I’ve always sort of wanted to do something to give back,” Roberts said. “We’re encouraging everyone who comes to bring a toy. It will be fun to contribute back to the community.”
The Florence Lions Club Toy Drive in the PAC lobby will collect new, unwrapped toy to donate to needy families this Christmas.
SUMMON THE HEROES!
CHAMBERLINK - November 2013
We are summoning you, our heroes of support, to come see our Fall Concert on Monday, November 11, 2013 at the FMU Performing Arts Center at 7:30 PM. It will be a fantastic night of music!
The night will begin with John Williams classic piece Summon the Heroes. Then later, the Florence Symphony Orchestra will feature guest mezzo soprano, Kirstin Chavez, as they perform Mahler's Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. The FSO will also be performing Gabriel Faure's dark romance Pelleas et Melisande: Suite, op. 80 and Georges Enesco's Rumanian Rhapsody no. 1, op. 11.
Kirstin Chavez is a renowned performer who is claimed to be "...easily one of the most riveting and significant young artists performing today..." Chavez has performed in opera houses all over the world and is just as comfortable on the concert stage. Her repertoire lists not only the role of Carmen, but Maddalena in Rigoletto with The Metropolitan Opera and with the Dallas Opera, Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, and Baba the Turk in the Rake's Progress with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Chávez has also performed regularly on the concert stage with works such as: Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Bach’s Magnificat, and Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and she added the Bach B Minor mass to her repertoire with performances in New Mexico in the spring of 2012.
From: THUMBS Column
MORNING NEWS | Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013
.....Thumbs up to the return of Florence Symphony Orchestra, which opens its season Monday with a performance at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center. Dr. Terry Roberts will be back for his 10th season conducting the state’s only all-volunteer orchestra, which has been delighting Pee Dee audiences since 1949. It’s quite an accomplished group, and one that deserves our support. …