When it comes to programming his annual holiday concert, Troy Webdell, maestro of the South Shore Orchestra, seeks to balance longtime staples with new additions each year.
“There are, of course, pieces that we'll do the same from year to year so that the audience can expect a tradition from that,” he said. “But there's also new things that we like to add.”
The annual Holiday Pops concert at Valparaiso’s Memorial Opera House will be presented Dec. 15. Webdell and South Shore Orchestra members have crafted a Christmas show that should appeal to a variety of musical tastes.
Kicking off with Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival,” which has become a tradition for the orchestra, this year’s show will include sing-a-longs and holiday-time favorites such as “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Deck the Halls.” Newer favorites, such as selections from Disney’s 2013 smash “Frozen,” will also be brought to the stage.
New to the orchestra’s annual end-of-year show is a performance of “The Fantastic Toyshop Ballet,” which was penned by early 20th century Italian composer and violinist Ottorino Respighi.
South Shore Orchestra will also perform selections to coincide with its upcoming trip to China. Webdell and the orchestra are scheduled to leave for China Dec. 26 and perform more than a half dozen shows before returning home Jan. 8.
South Shore Orchestra’s 2017-18 China excursion marks its sixth in the organization’s 12-plus year history.
“I think the biggest highlight is interacting with Chinese musicians and the audience members, and proving that music is a universal language that everybody understands,” Webdell said of the upcoming trip. “It's a cultural exchange.”
This year marks the third Holiday Pops concert South Shore Orchestra has performed at Memorial Opera House, which is its new home base.
“Being at the opera house, I think, adds nostalgia to the holidays (for some audience members),” Webdell said. “Adding orchestral music to it makes it special, I think.”