Altoona Symphony Orchestra presents “Home for the Holidays” concert

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The Altoona Symphony Orchestra presents “Home for the Holidays” on Saturday, December 4, 2021, 7:30 pm.

The Altoona Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Artistic Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor, Nick Palmer, continues its 93rd season on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at the Altoona Area High School Auditorium.

“We are so excited to bring this warm and highly entertaining Holiday concert to our great community!” says Rick Vanevenhoven, Executive Director. “We are planning so many new and exceptional experiences to share with our audience at this concert, and we will be getting everyone into the holiday spirit, guaranteed!”

This year’s holiday concert, Home for the Holidays, will be held at the new Altoona Area High School Auditorium. The AAHS Auditorium seats 1,200 audience members which will be the biggest holiday audience in recent memory for the Symphony.

This year’s program will include such beautiful holiday classic works as Christmas Festival, Chanukah Overture, Wizards in Winter, a collection of selections from the highly popular holiday movie, Polar Express. More titles include Carol of the Bells, and Tchaikovsky’ s masterpiece, Journey Through Snow from the Nutcracker.

The Altoona High School Chorus, under the direction of Kelly Sipes, will be featured performers singing the holiday favorites Jingle Bells and Sleigh Ride. “It’s a great pleasure to collaborate with such a superb chorus. The AAHS chorus has such an amazing reputation for excellence,” according to Maestro Palmer.

The Orchestra will be performing Highland Cathedral which will feature bagpipe players from the local groups Jaffa Highlanders and the Rail City Pipes and Drums. Vanevenhoven says, “We so enjoy each time we get the opportunity to join with our many great local musical talents, and the result is always so overwhelmingly beautiful. These collaborations are so well received by our audiences that we plan on continuing this tradition with many of our future concerts.”

Also, local entertainers Dave Villani and Paula Glunt, who performed together starting in the ’80s, will be reuniting to perform the warm hearting song Thankful, arranged by our very own Dave Villani. “Dave and Paula’s Pops performance with the ASO two decades ago was one of the all-time most popular events we’ve ever had,” according to Maestro Palmer.

A highlight of the evening will be the ASO’s performance of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with professional actor, Oliver Palmer, providing the narration to this famed and beloved holiday classic. Oliver Palmer is an accomplished actor with such theatre credits as American Buffalo, Two Gentleman of Verona, and Much Ado About Nothing. His many television credits include Blue Bloods, Daredevil and the highly acclaimed Orange is the New Black. It is no coincidence that Oliver and Maestro Palmer share the same last name as Oliver is one of Nick’s four sons. We are so privileged to have Oliver lend his talents to the evening. “It’s always a pleasure to work together with Oliver. He started coming to Altoona to attend concerts at the age of two,” said Maestro Palmer.

Of course, the evening will include an audience sing-along with the Orchestra and the Altoona Area High School Chorus.

“The holidays are so very important to all of us–music, family, and friends all come together to celebrate the joyous holiday season, and the Altoona Symphony Orchestra is very pleased to start off the season with a great evening of talent and classic holiday music,” concludes Vanevenhoven.

Tickets for this concert and all concerts in the 2021-2022 season can be purchased by visiting or calling the Mishler Box Office at 814-944-9434 or online at mishlertheatre.org.

The Altoona Symphony Orchestra is currently in its 93rd year of providing Blair County and the surrounding region with the highest level in music entertainment and educational opportunities. The ASO also places a large focus on education and community outreach all while remaining fiscally aware and responsible.

For further information on these concerts and other programs, please visit www.altoonasymphony.org.

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