Omaha Symphony hits a high note during the holidays - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 1:00 am / Updated at 7:04 am
arts
Omaha Symphony hits a high note during the holidays
If you go:
What: Christmas with the Symphony with holiday musical performances by the Omaha Symphony led by resident conductor Ernest Richardson, guest artists and performers

When: Tonight at 7; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Tickets: $15 to $78

Information: Call the Holland box office at 402-345-0606 or visit ticketomaha.com to purchase tickets

The chance to work in December leads some young New York performers to spend Christmas with the Omaha Symphony. And the chance to repeat that experience leads some of them back the following year.

When the symphony opens its Christmas with the Symphony tonight at the Holland Performing Arts Center, concertgoers will see several singers and dancers who eagerly agreed to return to Omaha after having performed here last year — and, in some cases, the year before as well.

“Just from an artistic standpoint, there are no corners cut here,” said featured female vocalist Kelly McCormick, who also filled that role in 2011.

When she thinks of the symphony's musicians and staff members, “I don't think you could get a collection of kinder, more generous people together. We're treated like gold; we're supported as artists and musicians.”

“It's always great to come back (to) the first rehearsal and see that they know you,” added dancer Tyler Foy, who is appearing in his third “Christmas With the Symphony.” “It's a warm family here.”

Ernest Richardson, the symphony's resident conductor, will lead his ensemble and guest performers through more than two dozen Christmas and winter favorites in just over two hours. The Voices of Omaha choir, the River City Ringers handbell choir, students of symphony violinist Anne Nagosky and the “dancing Santas” also will once again be part of the festivities.

In addition to McCormick and Foy, dancers Melissa Steadman, Kyle Vaughn and Tiffany Ocvirk have previously joined the symphony for the holiday concerts. Directors Vince Pesce and Stephen Bourneuf also are returning members of the visiting New York company, which began rehearsals there before Thanksgiving and arrived in Omaha Dec. 4.

“If you're not in a Broadway show or on tour, you're not employed at this time during the holidays,” said Steadman, a third-year guest performer like Foy. “We come here for 12 days and still can be home to spend the holiday with our families.”

Vaughn agreed, but he added that returning to Omaha for a second Christmas lets him again connect with Nebraska relatives during the holidays.

The San Diego native is the nephew of Mike and Susan Williams of Funk, Neb., and his cousins, Mike Vaughn and Kate Vaughn Williams, both live in Omaha.

McCormick said it was a “no-brainer” to return to Omaha after her experience last year, which began when she auditioned for Richardson in New York in August 2011.

The Detroit-area native, who made her professional debut in 2004, has appeared off-Broadway in “Her Song” and “The Extraordinary Ordinary” and had roles in national tours of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Les Miserables.”

Though she has enjoyed steady work nationwide, she said, she considers Omaha's commitment to its symphony orchestra something that performers should cherish.

“First and foremost, as a singer, there's no greater joy than to sing with a full symphony,” McCormick said. “The opportunities (to do so) are getting fewer and farther between. You look at Broadway, and theaters are always looking to downsize” — including replacing pit orchestras with synthesizers.

Of all the songs on the program, McCormick enjoys singing Mel Torme's “The Christmas Song” the most.

“It's just so simple and beautiful and ingrained in all of us as one of those quintessential Christmas moments.”

Is this Omaha's most incredible Easter egg tree?
Omaha, Lincoln both set record lows; some fruit trees may have been damaged
Grand Island body shop owner models car after Coney dog
Archives: So many wonderful old Omaha photos
What to Watch: 'Fargo,' 'New Girl'
Aw, geez. 'Fargo' has a new psycho
'Last Supper' quilt makes its way to Nebraska
Caravan’s steampunk ‘Fantasticks’ to pitch its tent in Iowa
Cleveland Evans: Emma blossomed from medieval roots
Annie, I'm worried my fiancée will go back to her group sex ways
Number of stay-at-home moms on the rise, it’s not who you think
Assemble the minions! How to make weird but cool Easter crafts
Changes on World-Herald comics page
Annie, my 26-year-old son has no interest in getting a job
Kaneko-designed production to close Opera Omaha's 2014-15 season
Jazz composer, 20, dreams big after rediscovering music
Gay Men's Chorus bringing musical about bullying to Lincoln
Alegent Creighton Health gives churches the tools they need to develop healthy congregations
Pilgrimage to Italy meaningful to visitors
Former Grand Island church now home to Buddhist temple
School of Faith gives faculty a boost of religion
Project Interfaith’s interactive kits will get people talking
Kroc Center egg hunt adds splash of color to overcast Sunday
How an Omahan, like-minded pod people preserve corn diversity
Omaha Symphony: 'Vivaldi sound' familiar yet enthralling
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Cleveland Evans: From a moody nickname to the Ninja Turtles’ bestie
In honor of April 1, this column’s about Murgatroyd and Amphelisia.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Schweser's
$25 for a $50 gift card to use at Schweser's!
Buy Now
FROM THE BLOGS »
Jump to a blog:
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
We Love Weddings blog
W.E. Love Weddings is about everything Omaha and everything weddings by the editors of Wedding Essentials Magazine.
Weddings and engagements
Share your exciting news with your community by placing an announcement today.
Inspired Home Omaha magazine
Sign up today to get the latest edition of Omaha's best magazine for local living, home entertainment, fashion and travel!
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »