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Local ensembles set to provide musical Christmas cheer, by the stageload


With Christmas ad campaigns starting earlier and earlier each year, most of us are just about "ho ho ho-ed" out before the big day even arrives. You know the symptoms the eggnog gets passed around with more and more bourbon in it and so on.

So before this bug bites, you many consider giving it one last hurrah at the Pikes Peak Center with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic as it joins forces with the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale and the Colorado Springs Chorale to bring you Christmas Classics and Carols.

Yes, it will involve classical music, but to you cultural holdouts: This shouldn't have you running for the door.

"As soon as someone mentions classical music, people get scared," says Don Jenkins, conductor and artistic director of the Colorado Springs Chorale. "And they need not be."

Reason being? Well, in this show, anyway, there's audience interaction, and stuff that the kids might actually enjoy.

"We've gone to extra lengths this year to give it a family appeal," says Susan Greene, executive director of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

The Philharmonic is prepped to perform original brass quintet pieces and solos along with songs from such Christmas hits as Home Alone. The kicker comes during the family sing-along, during which the audience can belt out its favorite holiday tunes alongside the professionals. The Chorale will also be performing works such as the Many Moods of Christmas by noted holiday melody composers like Robert Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett.

And what holiday event would be complete without Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus"?

Come on, this is brain candy.

But as you can imagine, with three complete musical outfits sharing the stage, things could get interesting. At one point, according to Jenkins, there could be as many as 160 people on stage at once, with the Children's Chorale sharing space with the Philharmonic for the first half of the program, and the Colorado Springs Chorale joining in for the latter half.

For the convenience of entertaining family and out-of-town guests, the program has been cleverly situated later on the holiday events calendar, when most other productions are wrapping up their holiday runs.

"For a family concert, the purpose here is to entertain and present the music," Jenkins says. "All while staying in the holiday mood."


Christmas Classics and Carols, presented by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Children's Chorale and Colorado Springs Chorale

Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.

Saturday, Dec. 22, 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 23, 2:30 p.m.

Tickets: $12-$45; call 520-7469 or visit

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