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Home for the Holidays
December 7 at 7:30 pm
Featuring traditional carols, inspiring songs and holiday cheer.
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 history of the 12 Days of Christmas is somewhat murky. The earliest known version first appeared in a 1780 children’s book called Mirth With-out Mischief. Some historians think the song could be French in origin, but most agree it was designed as a “memory and forfeits” game, in which singers tested their recall of the lyrics and had to award their opponents a “forfeit” — a kiss or a favor of some kind — if they made a mistake. (Source: vox.com)
Daniel Kantor’s Night of Silence is a piece embedded with a delightful surprise: it can be sung simultaneously with Silent Night. The effect of the two melodies coming together can, in the words of the publisher, “make a group of singers sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.” (Source: danielkantor.com)
Gustav Holst originally wrote Christmas Day: Choral Fantasy on Old Carols in 1910 for his students at Morley College. The work was for organ, orchestra, and chorus, and includes beautifully written and juxtaposed settings of Good Christian Men Rejoice, God Rest You Merry Gentlemen, Come Ye Lofty, Come Ye Lowly, and The First Nowell. (Source: drwardmiller.com)
About the Musicians
The concert will feature performances by the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Chorus and Akron Youth Symphony, along with special guests Matthew Lerner, Sarah Hutchins, Daniel Doty, Elena Flauto and Adam Holthaus.
Matthew Lerner, guest conductor
Matthew Lerner began taking piano lessons in kindergarten. In 12 years of piano study, he earned the Paderewski Medal, and the 10- and 15-piece Diplomas from the National Piano Guild, Superior ratings at OMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest, and Unanimous Superior ratings with Gold Cup Trophy from OFMC Junior Festival.
Matthew was a first-place winner in Scholastic and PTA Reflections Composer Contests, leading to Honorable Mention at the National Level. He also played trombone in the Akron Youth Symphony, Revere School Bands and the KSU All-Star Band.
Matthew graduated from Revere High School Summa Cum Laude last spring and is currently attending The Ohio State University, in the honors program. He is majoring in biomedical engineering and plans to continue studying piano and trombone to obtain a minor in music. Matthew is also a member of The Ohio State University Athletic Band.
Sarah Nicole Hutchins, Mezzo-Soprano
Sarah Nicole Hutchins is a native Texan who is local to the Akron area, where she has lived since studying for her master’s degree in voice performance at The University of Akron, studying with Dr. Laurie Lashbrook. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from Mount Union College where she studied with Amanda-Joyce Abbott and Rachel Eggers Shaffer.
Sarah has played such roles as Olga Olsen in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene in the inaugural performance for the Nightingale Opera Theatre in June, 2012, Birdie Martin in The Only Girl with the Canton Comic Opera Company, and Senora/Mezzo Music Hall Artiste in Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing for The University of Akron Opera Theatre and Children’s Concert Series.
She has also appeared in performances sponsored by Tuesday Musical Association, for whom she sang Katisha from The Mikado, Anna Murrant for The University of Akron’s Spring 2009 production of Street Scene, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi (UofA), Madame Pompous in the scenes from Too Many Sopranos (UofA), Nurse Lola in Gallantry (Mt. Union), Ruth in Pirates of Penzance (Mt. Union), and held lead and minor roles (Peep-bo in Mikado, Gaoler’s Daughter in The Wind in the Willows, Violetta in The Gondoliers, The Narrator in The Reluctant Dragon) with the Waco Civic Theatre and McLennan Community College Opera Theatre, both located in Waco, Texas, where she attended and studied with Lise Uhl.
Sarah recently placed third at the Great Lake NATS (Adult/Post-Graduate Category), first in the James Tannenbaum Memorial Scholarship, and was a finalist in the Concerto Competition through The University of Akron. She has also been a soloist with local ensembles, such as the Canton Symphony Chorus and the Alliance Symphony, where she was the Soprano Soloist for Handel’s Messiah.
Sarah is currently the Music Director for Bethany Lutheran Church, a soloist for Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron, and a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus.
Daniel 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 senior minister at Bath Church, United Church of Christ in Akron. 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.
Elena Flauto, soprano
Elena Flauto, a 16-year-old sophomore at Hathaway Brown School, sings in HB’s Women’s Chorus and Solo Voice, as well as studies Advanced Songwriting and AP Music Theory. This past summer, Elena was one of 40 youth ambassadors chosen from across the country to attend Michael Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Academy at The Palladium in Carmel, Ind. Other recent notable performances include performing original music at Nighttown in Cleveland and singing the National Anthem for professional sports teams at Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field, as well as contributing to events hosted by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
Adam Holthaus, tenor
Adam Holthaus, a 16-year-old junior at University School, sings in the school Glee Club and a capella group, and plays double bass in the school orchestra. He practices voice with Hannah Jencius Flower at The Aurora School of Music, where he perfects his young, bright, classical tone. Adam practices bass with Tracy Rowell through the Cleveland Institute of Music’s preparatory program. In the past he has sung with the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus and Youth Chorus, and recently starred as Ryan in High School Musical at Hathaway Brown.