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Holiday music, especially caroling or live performances, is my favorite part of the season. About this time last year, several women at the church I was attending treated me to a performance by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. From our seats in the third row, I could see the musicians’ expressions as they concentrated on their music sheets and played their instruments. Director Philip Mann exuberantly launched and guided them through a delightful repertoire of beautifully familiar music that left the audience refreshed yet invigorated.
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra has been drawing audiences for decades in order to meet a goal now formalized in the mission statement, “to connect, enrich, inspire and advance Arkansas through the power of music.” The ASO actively pursues this goal year-round through dozens of concerts and youth programs, but during the holiday season the achievement of this goal becomes poignant as families seek to spend time together creating and celebrating traditions. Holiday performances include the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s accompaniment of Ballet Arkansas’s Nutcracker December 9-11 at the Robinson Center with tickets beginning at $25, and the Home for the Holidays concert December 16-18 at the Robinson Center with tickets starting at $14. Attending a Christmas concert with family or friends will prove an essential seasonal highlight and an unforgettable memory for all involved.
Besides attending a performance during the holidays, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra may make a thoughtful and remarkable gift for someone on your list—that is, consider making a donation in a friend’s name or giving tickets or season passes (referred to as a subscription). The recipient of tickets essentially benefits from cultural enrichment and musical entertainment, an experience of live music performed by dazzlingly talented performers which is invaluable—just ask the hundreds of people who recently drove from all corners of the state to wait in line for free tickets to a concert that sold out in 39 minutes!
Concerts styles and venues are varied—a subscription to the Masterworks series, which includes classical pieces, begins at $57 for six concerts, while a subscription to the ASO’s Pops! Live concerts featuring popular hits (including their Home for the Holidays set and later this year a John Lennon concert and movie scores) costs as little as $38 for four concerts. Those performances occur at the beautiful newly renovated Robinson Center. Additionally, the ASO performs a chamber concert series called River Rhapsodies at the Clinton Presidential Center ($35 for a six-concert subscription) while also finding intimate spaces for their neighborhood concerts ($49 for a four-concert subscription), such as at Little Rock’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral for Haydn by Candlelight.
Begin or continue a Christmas tradition with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, whether by gifting tickets, making a donation or enjoying a concert. Personally, I look forward to The Nutcracker each year and I appreciated receiving a ticket to a concert, so I now consider an ASO performance integral to my holiday festivities.
Photos courtesy of ASO.
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