MERRILLVILLE | As in past years, Santa took time out of his busy schedule to visit the Northwest Indiana Symphony Holiday Pops concert Thursday.
Santa told symphony conductor Kirk Muspratt that he is a Chicago Bears fan but that the way they are playing this season his favorite team might find themselves on Santa’s naughty list. Santa also said Mrs. Santa, a former Bears cheerleader, is a fan of the team. Muspratt reminded Santa that since the symphony was performing in Indiana many of the 3,000 audience members might be Indianapolis Colts fans, which brought some applause. Santa replied “What is a Colt?”
Crown Point’s Eisenhower Elementary School choir, directed by Cynthia Bradford, joined the symphony orchestra and chorus on stage during two selections. At intermission Alyssa, Emma, Gabriel and Nina Vivo, all students at St. Mary’s School in Crown Point, sang.
Selections included: Amazing Grace, Adeste Fideles, Jingle Bells, The First Noel, Somewhere in My Memory from “Home Alone,” Sleigh Ride and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Clips from the movie “Joyeux Noelle” and a bagpiper led into the symphony’s performance of I’m Dreaming of Home, which is featured in a touching scene in the movie, a 2005 French film about the World War I Christmas truce of 1914.
Audience members were asked to stand for a Christmas sing-along of many holiday favorites.
The next Northwest Symphony performance will be on Valentine’s Day at Bethel Church, 10202 Broadway in Crown Point. Tusca will feature soprano Helen Todd, tenor Dominic Armstrong, bass baritone Yohan Yi and the symphony chorus.
Muspratt also announced the scheduling of two “Symphony Goes to the Movies” concerts at Crown Point High School 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 22.