The Steamboat Springs Orchestra plays its annual holiday concert at 8 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday at Steamboat Christian Center. Here, music director Ernest Richardson leads the orchestra after a bow after its season-opening concert in the  fall at Strings Music Pavilion.

A. Moon and Joel Schulman/Courtesy

The Steamboat Springs Orchestra plays its annual holiday concert at 8 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday at Steamboat Christian Center. Here, music director Ernest Richardson leads the orchestra after a bow after its season-opening concert in the fall at Strings Music Pavilion.

Holiday singalong to follow symphony in weekend performances

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If you go

What: Steamboat Springs Orchestra holiday concert

When: 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Steamboat Christian Center, 821 Dougherty Road

Cost: Advance tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youths ages 10 to 15 and are available at All That Jazz, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and Vino by calling the orchestra office at 870-3223 or online here; tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $10 for youths; children younger than 10 get in free

Call: 870-3223

Fundraising dinners: Supporters of the orchestra host two fundraising dinners at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at homes in Steamboat Springs. Call the orchestra office for more information or to make a reservation.

Music director on TV18

Watch Steamboat Springs Orchestra Music Director Ernest Richardson discuss the ensemble’s holiday concert on the “Steamboat Today” morning show at 8:35 a.m. today on Steamboat TV18.

— In the second half of its annual holiday concert Saturday and Sunday, the Steamboat Springs Orchestra will ask the community to join it in song.

Marie Carmichael and her Mountain Madrigal Singers and Yampa Valley Singers will join the orchestra and the Steamboat Springs Youth Orchestra at the end of the concert for a Christmas carol singalong.

“It’s such a warm community time of the year event. Everybody has a wonderful time,” Carmichael said. “Of course, the orchestra is wonderful, but the young kids are up there playing, and singing is happening and the audience is included. … It’s probably their best feel-good concert for the whole community; everybody is involved.”

The concert program also features Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, two pieces by Steamboat Springs Orchestra Music Director Ernest Richardson and other holiday selections. Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday at Steamboat Christian Center. A performance at Moffat County High School in Craig is at 7 p.m. today.

Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets are $25 at the door for adults and $10 for students.

Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor starts the program. The four-movement piece is one of Mozart’s last statements about symphonic form and has a forward momentum provided by a dark mood sprinkled with hope, Richardson said.

“When he’s in G minor, it’s full of meaning for him, and the piece has a very dark feel to it until the end of the last movement. … It’s interesting to hear this music and understand Mozart is really looking forward to the future of what classical music could be,” Richardson said.

After an intermission, the Mountain Madrigal Singers will join the orchestra on one selection before teaming up with the Yampa Valley Singers for a singalong with the audience.

Willy Gunn, of the Steamboat Springs Youth Orchestra, will join the ensemble for a piece composed by Richardson and featuring orchestra members Teresa Steffen-Greenlee and Holly Fielding. A second Richardson composition is based on “Silent Night” and features young string players.

The community sing-along feeds into Richardson’s hope that Steamboat Springs becomes known as a place where professional musicians perform and people who love making music pursue their passion, he said. The concert is family-friendly and offers new challenges for the orchestra while it sets up the holiday season, he said.

“There are certain songs that are part of the Christmas experience that just take you back to when you were a child and will take you back to the spirit of the holiday season,” Richardson said.

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