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Charlotte Symphony's SPX Magic of Christmas and Handel’s Messiah

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A hectic holiday calendar can make it hard to slow the pace and enjoy the spirit of the season, but the Charlotte Symphony will do their best to drown out the bahhumbugs, making the most of this wonderful time of year with music! The Symphony will ring in the festivities December 5-8 at Belk Theater with SPX Magic of Christmas.

Conductor Albert-George Schram, a long-loved audience favorite, will return to the podium to lead the orchestra, Oratorio Singers of Charlotte and Charlotte Children's Choir at the annual, family-friendly program, generously sponsored this year by SPX Corporation. Together they will fill the hall with classics of the Christmas canon, religious and secular, instrumental and vocal, popular and classic — from “Jingle Bells” to Strauss' Overture to Die Fledermaus and everything in between.

Among this year's highlights are two local performing groups, both new to the Symphony's holiday program. Loch Norman Pipe Band will play an authentic “Highland Cathedral,” while Caroline Calouche & Co. will thrill on aerial silks and trapeze choreographed to “Silent Night” and “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

Solo talent from the orchestra will also be featured, but not in the most expected ways: while Principal Tubist Aubrey Foard will deliver a special rendition of “Wassail, Wassail All Over the Tuba,” the CSO's Frank Portone (principal horn) and Emily Chatham (violin) will step away from their instruments. Portone will sing tenor to the variation of “God Bless Us Everyone” popularized by Andrea Bocelli in Disney's recent A Christmas Carol, and Chatham will narrate the ever-classic poem “'Twas the Night Before Christmas” to an orchestral arrangement.

Finally, as always, the audience won't leave SPX Magic of Christmas without a few favorite sing-alongs!

SPX Magic of Christmas show times (all five performances of this program are at Belk Theater):

7:30 pm Thurs, Dec 5

8:00 pm Fri, Dec 6

2:30 pm Sat, Dec 7

8:00 pm Sat, Dec 7

2:30 pm Sun, Dec 8

Later in December, Director of Choruses and Assistant Conductor Scott Allen Jarrett will lead the orchestra and the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte through a staple of seasonal repertoire, the time honored Handel's Messiah.

For centuries, Handel's masterpiece has moved thousands of people all over the world with its joy, sorrow, exaltation and serenity, the thrill of the Hallelujah Chorus; audiences can experience the Charlotte Symphony's performance of Messiah at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, December 18 at Belk Theater. This is the only known full performance of Messiah in Charlotte.

Tickets to the Charlotte Symphony's performances of SPX Magic of Christmas and Handel’s Messiah can be purchased at their website or by calling 704-972-2000.

The Charlotte Holidays Examiner is your local resource for all things holiday going on in the Queen city. Do you want to read more? Click the ‘Subscribe’ button under my name to receive e-mail alerts when I publish new articles. You can also follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/laurendomm or e-mail me at lauren.domm@gmail.com.

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