MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s not even Thanksgiving, but the musicians at the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra are already busy rehearsing for the upcoming holiday concert.

“Let’s Sing With Santa” is about gathering family and friends, old and new, to experience the power of music.

Local 5 News Anchor Michele McCormack serves as emcee for the matinee on December 10th at 3 p.m. at the Capitol Civic Theatre.

She got to sit in recently on the string section as it prepared for the program.

Musical Director Dylan Chmura-Moore says the playlist is like a box of decorations.

“I don’t want just one type of ornament I want them throughout our lifetime,” explained Chmura-Moore. “From the broken ornaments we had when we were six to the something special, we just got last year. It is something for everybody. We’re coming at you from all angles.”

While some of the musicians are paid most of the home-grown artists are volunteering their time and talent and told Michele they are serving the community in the way they know and love best.

“I just really love ensemble playing,” Ripon College Student Rori Beatty said. “I enjoy being part of a group and creating one beautiful mass sound that can be shared and enjoyed by people.” The cellist said it is an experience like none other.

Two Rivers Violinist Jim VanLanen has been with the symphony since 1998.

“We’ve been doing a lot of concerts that for the person who wants to experience concerts for the first time an opportunity,” VanLanen shared. “This is good music. Stuff you’ll be able to recognize and be able to sing along with too.”

John Rutter’s timeless carols form the centerpiece. Joining the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra on stage will be the CCC Community Chorale and the Lincoln High School Chamber Choir. Music by Robert Shaw, Haydn, and a story by Hans Christian Andersen will round out the holiday program.

Chmura-Moore is also incorporating a “Nutcracker-like” number.

“Instead of an hour and a half nutcracker, it’s a ten-minute wham bam. Gets you in and out. Same themes. But in a little tiny box.”

Ticket prices range based on age and if you take the after-concert dinner option.

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