Sunday, December 20, 2009

REVIEW: DSO "Home for the Holidays!" Concert

This evening, my son and I attended the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's yearly "Home for the Holidays!" concert. I received the tickets courtesy of the DSO.

For this "Home for the Holidays!" concert series, the DSO was joined by the local Andover High School Choir and the Grosse Pointe South High School Pointe Singers. These teenage singers were marvelous and sang holiday classics like "O Christmas Tree", "Deck the Halls" and "The First Noel" just beautifully. But then again, what singers would not sound great when they are being backed up by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra!

The DSO was also joined by soprano opera talent and native Detroiter Kisma Jordan. Ms. Jordan was wonderful and showed her diverse range from singing the easy listening Christmas favorite "Chestnuts Roasting on a Open Fire" to her powerful rendition of "O Holy Night".

This concert series marked the return of former DSO conductor Thomas Wilkins. I love Mr. Wilkins' elegant and personable style. He always interacts with the audience and tells a little history on the music that is being played so that everyone has a greater appreciation of the songs. One of his explanations was for the song "Christmas Eve Waltz" where he informed us that the song was an interpretation of a set of photos showing the solitude of the home on Christmas eve after all the kids have gone to bed and it is now the parents turn to have some fun. What parent can't identify with that? I also loved Mr. Wilkins fun explanation of a series of Hanukkah tunes, calling them "rock and roll dreidel songs".

Since it is the Christmas season, the DSO played selections from The Nutcracker. I had just taken my son to the DSO to see The Nutcracker a few weeks ago, but it shocked me when he turned to me and told me that he remembered the music. You never know if things are actually penetrating your kid's brain and I was proud that he is starting to appreciate all kinds of music, including classical.

But my son's real appreciation of the night came when Santa made an appearance. My son's eyes lit up and he started chatting Santa's name and everyone around us in the audience got real enjoyment in seeing his excitement! But that excitement was nothing compared to his smile when the Grosse Pointe South Santa Tappers came on stage tap dancing in full Santa costumes to the tune "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". Everyone in the audience was laughing at that unexpected treat, especially when they ended the routine with Rockette chorus line high kicks!

This was a wonderful evening and a great concert. My son told me he wants to do it again. Now when a 9 year old has fun, you know it must have been good!


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