Season of the symphony


By Jonathan E. Coleman
[email protected]
There are any number of ways to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season — food, family and long-standing traditions to name a few.

Music is another popular way, and the North Carolina Symphony will share good tidings through a Holiday Pops concert Friday at the Kannapolis Performing Arts Center.

“It’s a crowd favorite, a family favorite,” said Robert Maddrey, a spokesman for the symphony. “We typically draw on some classical pieces that might have holiday themes to it. The second half is more popular pieces that people might have in their collections.”

The symphony is partnering with the Cabarrus County Arts Council for the event.

“It’s been a nice plus to share in that,” Maddrey said. “We’ve been able to tap into their knowledge and their volunteer base. It’s an opportunity we hope to tap into more in the future.”

It isn’t the first time the two have joined forces to bring the art of music to the community.

“We’ve brought the symphony in to do our free Pops in the Park concert at Frank Liske,” said Arts Council Director Noelle Rhodes Scott. “This will be the first time we’ve had them for the indoor concert.”

Having the concert indoors adds an additional element of elegance, Scott said, giving guests an opportunity to dress up, enjoy a nice dinner and a night of entertainment.

“You go to Pops in the Park and you’re outdoors,” Scott said. “You bring your picnic and everybody can run around. When you bring it indoors, it’s just a little different atmosphere.”

But, the difference with the holiday concert and most other symphony performances is that elegant doesn’t mean it’s not family friendly.

The holiday concert will include a sing-a-long portion where audience participation is strongly encouraged as the symphony plays a selection of holiday favorites.

“It’s a holiday theme,” Scott said. “It’s a Pops concert, which means it’s not all heavy, classical music. There will be holiday tunes and even a sing-a-long. Literally, the children enjoy it as much as the adults. You don’t have to be a symphony aficionado to enjoy it.”

The event is a win-win for both the symphony and the Arts Council.

“We’re hoping to help the Arts Council to enrich the arts in the Cabarrus community and it’s an opportunity for us to reach a new audience in the future,” Maddrey said.

The North Carolina Symphony Holiday Pops Tour began Nov. 20 in Kinston, N.C. and will perform 17 concerts from Wilkesboro to Wilmington until its final performance in Chapel Hill on Dec. 13.

The symphony is a fully professional, 68-member group that performs about 180 concerts during a 41-week season each year.

Tickets for the show are available through the Cabarrus Arts Council or online at

• Contact Jonathan E. Coleman at [email protected] or 704-789-9105.

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