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Home for the Holidays

December 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Join the Akron Symphony Orchestra on December 13 as we welcome some special guests for an evening of traditional carols, inspiring songs and holiday cheer.

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Home for the Holidays


December 13, 2019
7:30 pm
$4 – $60
Event Category:


E.J. Thomas Hall
198 Hill Street
Akron, OH 44325 United States
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Join the Akron Symphony Orchestra as we welcome some special guests for an evening of traditional carols, inspiring songs and holiday cheer. There will even be a special visitor from the North Pole!

The performance will include numerous holiday favorites, including O Come, O Come Emmanuel, selections from The Nutcracker, Sleigh Ride, Here Comes Santa Claus and a holiday Sing-along. The Orchestra will be joined on stage by the Akron Symphony Chorus, the Akron Youth Symphony and the CVCA Royal Ringers.

Come early for the Winter Carnival in the lobby, with children’s activities, music from the CVCA Royal Ringers and the Firestone Madrigal Singers, and photo opportunities with Santa Claus. The Winter Carnival is from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and is included with your ticket to the concert.

Kick off the holiday season with a concert that has become a popular family tradition in Akron.

Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Akron Symphony Chorus
Chris Albanese, conductor
Tony Paparella, guest conductor
Daniel Doty, tenor
Akron Youth Symphony
Eric Benjamin, 
CVCA Royal Ringers

Please note: Tickets purchased after December 9 will be available for pickup on the night of the concert at the E.J. Thomas Hall Box Office. Vouchers may not be redeemed for this performance. All ticket sales are final.

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Did You Know?

Leroy Anderson wrote the music for Sleigh Ride during a heatwave in July of 1946, at his summer home in Woodbury, Conn., where he was vacationing with his family. Words for Sleigh Ride were added in 1950 by Mitchell Parish, and while the song does not make any specific reference to Christmas, it has since become a Christmas classic. (Source: songfacts.com)

The uniquely twinkling instrument you hear in The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is a celesta. Tchaikovsky smuggled this relative of the piano into Russia from Paris to add a unique sound to accompany the character of the Sugar Plum Fairy. (Source: takelessons.com)

Gene Autry came up with the idea for Here Comes Santa Claus in 1946 while participating in the annual Hollywood Santa Claus Lane parade. Astride Champion Jr., ahead of St. Nick on his sleigh, Autry heard a child on the sidewalk shout, “Here comes Santa Claus!” Oakley Haldeman, the composer who operated Autry’s music publishing division, came up with the melody. (Source: geneautry.com)

Mel Tormé’s The Christmas Song, cowritten with Robert Wells and better known by its opening line, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” was made famous by Nat King Cole in 1946 and subsequently recorded in more than 1,700 versions. (Source: britannica.com)

About the Musicians


Tony Paparella, Guest Conductor

Tony Paparella was born and raised in the Akron area where he currently lives with his wife, Susan. He currently serves as Chairman of MediQuant, LLC, the medical software company he founded in 1999.

Tony earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. After college, he served in the Peace Corps as a math teacher in Sierra Leone.

Although he is not a classically trained musician, Tony has been a lifelong music lover, a member of church choirs, and local rock and roll bands. Tony plays guitar, harmonica and sings at local venues with his sons, Vince and Danny, and various musically inclined friends.

Dan Doty, Tenor

Daniel Doty is a tenor who is equally at home on the opera, theater or concert stage. As participant of the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Daniel spent six weeks in the Tuscan village of Lucca, Italy, singing operatic arias at various venues associated with Lucca’s most famous son, Giacomo Puccini. Daniel has appeared in Master Classes with such Metropolitan Opera stars as Martina Arroyo and Angela Brown.

Daniel holds a bachelor of music education degree from Bowling Green State University. He is also an ordained minister and holds a master of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.

Currently Daniel is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. He is the proud father of three children – Kristian, Sean and Kaetlyn. Daniel makes his home in Wadsworth with his wife, Amy, and their youngest daughter, Kaetlyn.


Concert Guide

Attending a Concert

Every Akron Symphony concert is a unique experience. Knowing what to expect will help provide the best experience possible.

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About the Orchestra

Everything from the instruments that compose the orchestra to the way an orchestra is conducted and operated.

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Seating Chart

Understand the seating arrangement of the E.J. Thomas Hall to pick the best seats to enjoy one of our concerts.

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About the Concert Hall

Akron Symphony Concerts take place at the E.J. Thomas Hall. Here’s what you need to know, from directions to parking.

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