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MSO 'Home for the Holidays' concert canceled

December 17, 2009|By KATE COLEMAN

Editor's note: The Maryland Symphony Orchestra announced that its annual Home for the Holidays concert, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre, has been canceled due to inclement weather.

Ticket holders will be contacted at the beginning of next week by MSO staff members to discuss options.

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In his 1954 hit, "(There's No Place Like) Home For the Holidays," crooner Perry Como sang "for the holidays you can't beat home, sweet home."

The Maryland Symphony agrees.

The orchestra - joined by many local voices - will present its "Home for the Holidays" concerts this weekend at The Maryland Theatre.

"I'm so happy that this has become an annual tradition for our audience," said MSO Music Director Elizabeth Schulze. "And the chance to feature some of the best performers in our community each year makes it all the more meaningful for us," she added.

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As they have several times in the past, members of Hagerstown Choral Arts will lend their talents to the celebration. Schulze said it's always a joy to work with them.

The 65-voice ensemble offered its own Christmas concert last Saturday (Dec. 12) at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, where HCA musical and artistic director Gregory Shook is minister of music. It's a busy time of year, he conceded, but said he thrives on the activity.

The choral group will be joined in singing "O Come, All Ye Faithful" by the young voices of the St. Mary Catholic School Choir. Ten third-graders - "phenomenal little singers," said Pam Miller, St. Mary's choir director and music teacher - will be on stage with three dozen fourth- through eighth-grade schoolmates. They also will perform "Somewhere in My Memory" from the 1990 film "Home Alone."

"Everyone's very excited. The parents are excited. The kids are just beside themselves," Miller added.

"I think it's going to be really fun," said Phillip DiMercurio, a seventh-grade member of the choir.

His sister, Kristen DiMercurio, a St. Maria Goretti High School senior, earned her own slot in the MSO program with her winning audition in the orchestra's September vocal competition.

She "knocked our socks off," Schulze said.

Kristen has been performing in Hagerstown Children's Theater productions since eighth grade and in every Goretti Players show since her freshman year. She also has been a guest soloist with the Hagerstown Municipal Band for both summer and Christmas concerts the past two years.

Kristen said she never expected to have an opportunity to perform with a symphony orchestra, particularly at her age. "Oh my gosh - amazing!" she said.

Mezzo-soprano Tami Dahbura will be coming home to her native Hagerstown to sing at the MSO's holiday concerts. She also will be returning to The Maryland Theatre stage, where she performed in a 1978 production of "H.M.S. Pinafore."

Dahbura studied theater arts with an emphasis in musical theater at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She traces her love of musicals to the Broadway cast albums played by her mother, Hagerstown resident Mary Dahbura.

Her career has taken her from New York's Off-Broadway stages to regional performing arts venues throughout the United States. She has soloed with several symphony orchestras.

In the MSO concert finale, audience members will have a chance to get into the act. Santa Claus arrives to lead a singalong.

Schulze said she looks forward to seeing the results of the "good-natured rivalry" among the different sections of the orchestra.

"Their holiday costumes and decorations get more and more ambitious every year," she said.




If you go ...



WHAT: Maryland Symphony Orchestra presents "Home for the Holidays"

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20

COST: Tickets for the concert cost $22 for adults, $18 for students and $12 for ages 12 and younger. Group rates are available.

CONTACT: Tickets may be purchased online at www.marylandsymphony.org or by phone at 301-797-4000.

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