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Fox Valley Orchestra presents Christmas Fantasia

Master Guest conductor, Jon Warfel.
Master Guest conductor, Jon Warfel.

Celebrate the holidays with the Fox Valley Orchestra’s Christmas Fantasia concerts on Saturday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 15, at 3:00 p.m. at Aurora University’s Crimi Auditorium in Aurora.   Under the direction of Dr. Colin Holman, and guest choral master Jon Warfel, the Fox Valley Orchestra Chorus joins the orchestra for a splendid array of holiday music.


Some of the music warms the heart with its familiarity: Christmas Day by Holst, and Suite of Carols by Leroy Anderson: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella, and Away in a Manger.  Also featured on the program are lesser-known holiday works such as Sleigh Ride by Delius.  This is not the familiar Sleigh Ride, but if you close your eyes, the unique blend of harmonies, melodies, and sleigh bells create a musical sleigh ride.  Also on the program are the Scherzo from Winter Daydreams by Tchaikovsky and The Polonaise from Christmas Eve by Rimsky Korsakov.


Nothing says holiday spirit like a combined orchestra and chorus. Master Guest conductor Jon Warfel joins the orchestra and Fox Valley Chorus to conduct the combined group in a number of works including Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Many Moods of Christmas, Suite II by Shaw/Bennett.


The featured soloist for the evening, Paul Grizzell, has an amazing bass baritone sound that has been heard in many of the major music capitals of the world. He has performed under the baton of several of today’s foremost conductors, including Carnegie Hall with Daniel Barenboim conducting and at the Berlin Philharmonic with Pierre Boulez.  Grizzell performed Strauss’s Elektra in New York and the world premiere of Anthony Davis’ Amistad with Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as a production of Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron in Germany. Grizzell’s performances are not limited to opera.  He loves Broadway music and has appeared in pops concerts including a staged version of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra.  


Don’t miss the Fox Valley Orchestra’s wonderful holiday concert, Christmas Fantasia, on Saturday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 15, at 3:00 p.m. at Aurora University’s Crimi Auditorium, 407 S. Calumet in Aurora.  Complimentary valet parking will be available at both concerts. Tickets are $13 adults, $11 for students and seniors. Advanced tickets are $12 or $10 for students and seniors.  Tickets can be purchased online at: www.foxvalleyorchestra.org or by calling 630-891-2526.


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