UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.
Classical music is an important part of my family’s holiday traditions. Over Thanksgiving weekend, my family and I went to see Ballet San Antonio‘s The Nutcracker with the San Antonio Symphony at the Tobin Center. Soon, over the weekend of December 19-21, 2014, we will going back to the Tobin to hear the San Antonio Symphony’s Holiday Pops. The Symphony has offered my family a set of four free tickets, plus another four tickets to the Friday, December 19 concert to give away to my readers. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post, no later than Sunday, December 14, 2014, sharing your favorite holiday music tradition. I will randomly choose a winner on December 15 and notify him or her by email; your tickets will be under your name at the Tobin Center box office.
One of the joys of taking my kids to see Nutcracker again was experiencing it at the Tobin Center for the first time. Read more: “Our family tradition: Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker”, Inga Cotton, Alamo City Moms Blog, November 20, 2014; “F.T. and G.N. review Ballet San Antonio’s Nutcracker with the San Antonio Symphony”, Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, November 30, 2014.
The Tobin Center’s H-E-B Performance Hall has rich acoustics that allow you to hear more of the amazing sound of the orchestra: the highs and lows, the loud and soft, the sustained notes and the jittery ones. My friends and I toured the Tobin Center earlier this season with OPERA San Antonio; read more in this earlier post.
Likewise, Holiday Pops will be at the Tobin Center for the first time this year. Last year, as described in this earlier post, the Sunday afternoon family concert was at Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium, while the Friday and Saturday evening concerts were at the Majestic Theatre. This year, the program will be the same for all three concerts: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.; there is no separate program for the Sunday afternoon concert, but families are still welcome. Once the music starts, you might be surprised by how your children stop fidgeting and get swept up by the beauty of it.
I learned about these details from Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto. The Symphony is keeping many traditions from past Holiday Pops concerts, while adding to the program to keep it fresh.
These traditions will continue:
- Orchestra members wearing festive costumes. (Fujimoto says it can be distracting for the conductor, especially some of the more creative Halloween costumes, but it’s worth it.)
- There might be a visit from Santa Claus.
- A multicultural, multi-holiday program.
This year’s Holiday Pops has some differences from last year’s concerts.
Last year, the Symphony partnered with the Mastersingers. This year, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio will join the Symphony on stage. Like the Symphony, the Children’s Chorus is a resident company at the Tobin Center. For this year, the Children’s Chorus is being led by Doreen Rao, an interim leader with a distinguished career, while they search for a new Artistic Director.
This year, the Symphony will have a special guest solist: Sebastien de la Cruz, El Charro de Oro. He will participate in the medley of Latin American Christmas carols, an ongoing Holiday Pops tradition; Fujimoto noted that this year’s program includes two more carols from the same arranger. De la Cruz will also sing Feliz Navidad—sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Feliz Navidad is part of a jazzy block that also includes an arrangement of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. (If you’re a White Christmas fan, you can also catch the musical at the Woodlawn Theatre through December 28, and screenings of the 1954 film at the McNay on December 18 and Villa Finale on December 19.)
I am looking forward to hearing the Children’s Chorus perform a cappella, and also joining in the audience sing-along.
Read more about Holiday Pops:
- “The Gift of Music with the San Antonio Symphony Pops”, Lilliana Gonzalez, My Tots Travel, December 8, 2014 (ticket giveaway)
- “GIVEAWAY: San Antonio Symphony Holiday Pops”, Heather Hernandez, Geekette Bits, November 24, 2014 (ticket giveaway)
The easiest way to buy tickets is online, through the Tobin Center website. To buy tickets by phone, call the Tobin Center Box Office at 210-223-8624; the phone lines are open Monday-Saturday from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. To buy tickets in person, go downtown to 100 Auditorium Circle (map); the box office is open Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and for one hour prior to curtain.
For more enrichment ideas, see “Holidays in San Antonio: Arts and Cultural Activities for Families”, Inga Cotton, Alamo City Moms Blog, October 27, 2014.
If you would you like to enter the giveaway for a four-pack of tickets to the San Antonio Symphony’s Holiday Pops concert on Friday, December 19, 2014, please leave a comment: What is your favorite holiday music tradition? The winner will get an email on December 15. Good luck!
Disclosure: The San Antonio Symphony gave me tickets for my family to use, and four tickets to give away.