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Tuesday, November 28, 2000

"Symphony Holiday Performance December 2"

SALISBURY, MD---The halls will be decked and spirits will be merry and bright Saturday, December 2, as the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra at Salisbury State University rings in the holiday season with an evening of timeless and charming tunes.

For more than 10 years, the symphony's December concert has been a cherished holiday event, with its sparkling soloists and skilled players on stage, festive decorations and an audience ready to join in the closing medley of favorite Christmas carols. Conductor and music director Dr. Thomas G. Elliot promises the same fun and fine music this year.

"The December concert is not only a favorite, it's expected by the community," Elliot said. "It gets people into the holiday spirit and with it the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra serves as a real connection between the University and the community. We're very pleased this year to have two outstanding soloists who are students of the University."

The evening begins at 8 p.m. with the "Die Fledermaus Overture, Op. 362" by Johann Strauss. Violin soloist Alissa Beth Hearne then takes center stage with "Tzigane" by Maurice Ravel, a rhapsody for violin and orchestra, and Jules Massenet's "Meditation from Thais," likely to be a familiar tune

if not a familiar title. Rudolph Goehr's "La Perichole" (Paraphrase on Offenbach's Operetta) closes the first half of the concert.

Hearne, a native of Tennessee, began her musical interests at the age of 4. In 1995, after moving to the Eastern Shore, she began studying violin under the tutelage of Carlton Herrett, a retired violinist of the National Symphony Orchestra who now resides in Whitehaven, MD. She has been active in both the Salisbury Symphony Affiliated Youth Orchestra (since 1995) and the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra (since 1996).

She served as concertmistress to the Youth Orchestra in her junior and senior years in high school and was featured twice as a soloist with that ensemble. Hearne is currently studying music at SSU and will graduate, with honors, later this month. She will begin studies toward a Master of Music in Performance degree at the University of Alabama in January 2001 in preparation for a college-level teaching career.

No one will fail to recognize the evocative tune that starts the concert's second half: "Greensleeves" is a holiday staple. Soprano Beth Holder will then be featured on three famous arias: "Ach, ich fuhl's" from Mozart's "The Magic Flute"; "Je dis, que rien" from Bizet's "Carmen"; and "Se, Mi Chiamano Mimi" from Puccini's classic "La Boheme."

Holder is a senior at Salisbury State with a focus on vocal studies, and is working toward a dual degree. She will receive a B.A. in music as well as a B.S. in physical education (exercise science concentration).

While attending SSU, Holder studied voice under the direction of Kathleen Turner-Barlow and is currently studying with Sandra Jarrett. She is a member of the SSU Chamber Choir, as well as the University Chorale, and a member of the National Dean's List and Mu Phi Epsilon. Within the community, Holder is a member of the Bethesda United Methodist Church Choir in Salisbury, and the lead soprano soloist for the Easton Choral Arts Society. In the past, she has also performed solo works with the Salisbury Choral Society.

The evening concludes with Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and the customary sing-along of Christmas tunes led by Dr. Charles F. Smith Jr., choral director. If recalled to the stage as usual by an enthusiastic audience, the SSO will cap off the night with a rousing rendition of "Sleigh Ride." Concertgoers are welcome to join the SSO members and soloists after the concert for a reception in the Social Room.

SSO Gold Pass patrons receive free admission to this concert, as they do with the other three concerts in the 2000-2001 season. Holiday concert tickets are $15 adults, $8 for ages 60 and up and children 18 and under.

Tickets will be available at the door, or in advance at Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council ticket outlets (Peninsula Bank and Bank of Delmarva branches).

For information, please call 410-548-5587.


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