The Longview Symphony’s “Home for the Holidays” concert Dec. 6 will be packed with guest performers and a theme director Jerry Steichen likes to fulfill with every concert — there’s something for everyone.
“The most important thing to me for the holidays is that it celebrates memories,” he said. “So, as I program a holiday concert, it’s a very personal journey through what I love about the holidays.”
That means secular and non-secular music, beginning with Steichen’s own traditional start to a Christmas concert, LeRoy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival.” The themes of various traditional Christmas songs are passed around the symphony’s instruments.
“It’s just the most delightful way to kick off the season,” Steichen said.
He also loves how “inclusive” the concert is, with outside performers and groups joining the symphony and some surprises.
“There’s a reason we call it home for the holidays,” Steichen said.
Soprano Dana Pundt, a Liberty City native who now lives in Cincinnati , will perform with the symphony, along with Jon Starling. Starling is the Henderson High School choir director and has “one of the most spectacular voices I’ve ever heard.”
“And he’s in our backyard....” Steichen said. “We have the guy who still lives local, and we have Dana, who is a local but is now having a big career as an opera singer coming back to be a part of this.”
The symphony also continues to collaborate with local arts groups.
ArtsView Children’s Theatre and the Longview Civic Chorus will join in the concert.
A performance of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” will feature a surprise narrator, and a special guest from the North Pole is expected to make an appearance as well.
“My intent is to balance holiday favorites like ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Do You Hear What I hear,’ with classics like ‘O Holy Night,’ so you have something for everyone,” Steichen said. “This is my theme as music director.”
And, in the end, everyone gets to be a part of the concert, with a “big carol sing-along” with the audience.
“What better way to kick off the holidays,” Steichen said.