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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

The symphony presents "A Down Home Christmas"

Cornelia Laemmli Orth tells Santa what she wants for Christmas.
Cornelia Laemmli Orth tells Santa what she wants for Christmas.

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | November 26, 2014

The Symphony of the Mountains rings in the holiday season with "A Down Home Christmas."

"It's one of my favorite concerts, because you turn around and people are happy," Cornelia Laemmli Orth, music director, says. "And you come out to the lobby and everybody's laughing and happy. We always do it the first weekend in December. When I first came here I asked, "Why so early?' Now I'm so glad we're doing it early, because it puts people in such a happy mood for the rest of their, maybe, stressful holidays."

The symphony is joined by the several organizations with which they have partnerships.

"These are some of our favorite concerts because it involves the big orchestra, it involves the Voices of the Mountains and the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy. For the third time, the Mountain Mission School Choir joins us. This is a very special choir. The school has children from all over the world, a lot of African countries, and these children are not orphans, but they come from terrible, terrible places. And they live there; some of them come as toddlers and stay until they graduate. The faculty members actually live with them. They have a spectacular chorus that has sung all over the U.S. and all over the world. It's just a wonderful experience. This year we're also going to have the hand bell choir from the First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Tenn.," Orth says.

The concert features traditional and newer Christmas music, from "Silent Night" to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." There also will be a world anthem, "because it's not just Christmas, but it's all holidays," she says. "We'll also perform some of Vivaldi's "Goria.' It's going to be a mixture of different types of music."

After the concert, it's going to snow in the hall during a cookie reception for children and "adult children," and Santa Claus joins the festivities.

The symphony has three Christmas concerts this year. The first is at J.W. Adams Combined School, Pound, Va., Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. The second is Dec. 6, at 3 p.m., in the Toy F. Reid Auditorium in the Eastman Employee Center, Kingsport, Tenn., and again Dec. 7, at 3 p.m., at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Abingdon, Va.

Tickets for the Kingsport and Abingdon concert are $30 for adults. Children and students are admitted free to all Symphony of the Mountains concerts. For ticket information about the Pound, Va., concert, call the Pro-Art Association at 276-376-4520.

>> About Cornelia Laemmli Orth

Topics: Music