Monday, February 26, 2024

Release: HPO Rings in the Holidays with a Musical Hockey Sweater

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) is delighted to present their annual tradition full of festive favourites!

This season’s HPO holiday concert will take place at 3pm on Saturday, December 9 at FirstOntario Concert Hall: Holidays & The Hockey Sweater! The HPO is thrilled to have the Hamilton Children’s Choir members and Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra musicians joining the Orchestra onstage once again this year as guest artists to perform joyful classics and touching choral gems. The HPO is also excited to present The Hockey Sweater by HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte, based on the beloved children’s book by Roch Carrier. Carrier’s text will be narrated by CBC Broadcaster Tom Allen and brought to life on stage by the original illustrations by Sheldon Cohen. 

“As many of you know, I love telling stories!” says Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte. “In this work, I attempt to turn the concert hall into a hockey rink through my own music with The Hockey Sweater. The orchestra always does such a fabulous job of bringing this work to life and I can’t wait to hear CBC broadcaster Tom Allen take on the role of the narrator.” 

HPO musicians sharing the stage with members of the Hamilton Children’s Choir (HCC) and Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (HPYO) warms the hearts of holiday concert audiences year after year. The HCC will perform pieces including Jingle Bell Swing!, Canadian Christmas by Suresh Singaratnam, Snow Angel by Sarah Quartel, and John Williams’ Somewhere in my Memory from Home Alone. The HPYO plays alongside the HPO in festive favourites like Sleigh Ride, Selections from The Nutcracker and more. The HCC, the HPYO and the audience will all participate in the concert’s grand finale, A Holly and Jolly Sing-Along! 

The HPO will welcome guest conductor Kalena Bovell as this concert’s guest conductor. Having recently led the Chineke! Orchestra in her BBC Proms debut, Bovell’s twin focus on musical excellence and community engagement led to Connecticut’s Channel 3 News praising her as “one of the brightest stars in the world of classical music.” Now with the MSO full time as its Assistant Conductor, Bovell also leads the Memphis Youth Symphony. Among other accolades, she was previously named a finalist for the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, a recognition given to talented female leaders in the conducting field. 

Audience members are invited to bring a non-perishable food item to contribute to Core Entertainment’s food drive in the FirstOntario Concert Hall lobby. Adult tickets start at $35, senior tickets start at $30 and youth tickets are just $20 (all prices indicated do not include taxes and fees). Visit hpo.org for tickets and information. 

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