Seasonal Warmth Awaits You at the DSO’s Annual “Home for the Holidays” Performances


Holiday Favorites and New Classics Will Be Celebrated with Music, Song and Dance!

DETROIT, (Dec. 4, 2009) – The DSO and conductor Thomas Wilkins welcome the Holiday Season with the annual Home for the Holidays Pops Concerts. Part of the DTE Energy Foundation Pops Series, these performances are family-friendly, heartwarming and capture the essence of the season by featuring familiar holiday tunes as well as engaging new melodies over the course of six celebratory and joyful performances. Joining Maestro Wilkins and the orchestra are guest soprano and Detroit native Kisma Jordan, the combined choral forces of the Andover High School Choir and the Grosse Pointe South High School Pointe Singers, the Andover High School “Jills” and the Grosse Pointe South Santa Tappers. Performances take place in Orchestra Hall on Thurs., Dec. 17 at 10:45 a.m. & 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 18 at 8:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; and Sun., Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. Other attractions include a holiday Lego display of landmark Detroit buildings along with holiday refreshments in The Music Box.

Musical selections featured in Home for the Holidays have been chosen to please even the most discriminating Holiday palate. Orchestral works range from Leroy Anderson’s classic Sleigh Ride to The First Noel, and a special arrangement of Holiday Fanfares by James Stephenson III. Returning for her second consecutive Home for the Holidays appearance is soprano Kisma Jordan, who will perform Mel Torme’s beloved “The Christmas Song,” as well as O Holy Night with the combined choirs. The talented voices from the two high school choirs merge in song to pay tribute to this wonderful time of the year with selections that include Donkey Carol and Star Carol by John Rutter, We Need a Little Christmas from Jerry Herman’s Broadway musical “Mame,” and the same composer’s The Best Christmas of All. An additional treat for eyes and ears is the inclusion of Grosse Pointe South High School’s Santa Tappers, who are featured in a Santa Tap Melody, and the Andover High School “Jills,” a bell and vocal choir who will chime in with their rendition of Carol of the Bells. Each concert will include a visit from the man of the season himself, Jolly Olde St. Nick.

Virginia born Thomas Wilkins is Music Director of the Omaha Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He served as Resident Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2000-2001 until the close of the 2008-2009 season. Guest conducting engagements have included appearances with such ensembles as the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the symphonies of Dallas, Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis and Oregon, the Louisville Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

A native of Detroit, soprano Kisma Jordan is emerging as one of the country’s most luminous talents, and is at home both on the opera stage as well as in concerts and recitals. Her communicative ability and “shimmering soprano voice” have been noted by music critic Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times. Her most recent appearance with the DSO took place this past summer at the orchestra’s annual Greenfield Village concerts.

Directed by Bruce Snyder, the Bloomfield Hills Andover High School Choir is an auditioned choir of men and women in 11th and 12th grades. They regularly perform at festivals, competitions, school and community events and tour Europe every other summer.

The Andover High School “Jills”, an honors vocal ensemble that sings and rings hand bells, were begun in 1955. They have performed in a wide variety of venues from educational conferences to country club ballrooms, from European cathedrals to recording studios, and from schools to hospitals to special television productions. They have recorded with Aretha Franklin, and made several trips to perform in Prague for an international children’s peace organization.

The nationally renowned and award-winning choirs of Grosse Pointe South High School have provided many students with a creative outlet for their growing and developing talent, as well as with a program that teaches commitment, discipline and confidence. The Pointe Singers and the Grosse Pointe Public Schools have achieved great acclaim over the past four years with their involvement in the Showstoppers show choir competitions. The Pointe Singers are under the direction of Ellen Bowen.

Tickets for Home for the Holidays on Dec. 17-19 range in price from $19 to $70 with a limited number of box seats available for $105.

Tickets for all December concerts may be purchased and/or reserved at the DSO Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit), by calling the DSO at (313) 576-5111 or by visiting


Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Kisma Jordan, soprano
Andover High School “Jills”
Andover High School Choir‡- Bruce Snyder, director
Grosse Pointe South High School Pointe Singers: Santa Tappers
Ellen Bowen, director

Thu., Dec. 17 at 10:45 a.m. & 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 18 at 8:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 19 at 3 p.m.

Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride
Robert Wendel: “An Evergreen Christmas”
John Rutter: “Donkey Carol”
Philip Lane : “Christmas Eve Waltz” from Three Christmas Pictures
Mel Tormé: “The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)*
James Stephenson III: Holiday Fanfare Medley No.2, “A Snowy Christmas”
Jerry Herman; orch. Larry Blank : “The Best Christmas of All”
David Culross: Christmas Fantasia
John Rutter: “Star Carol”
John Rutter: “Angels’ Carol”
Dana Friedman; orch. Robert Wendel: A Chanukah Overture
Dmytrovich Mykola Leontovich and Peter Wilhousky: “Carol of the Bells”
arr. Michael Gibson: Santa Tap Medley
arr. Carmen Dragon: “The First Noel”
Adolphe-Charles Adam; arr. David T. Clydesdale: “O Holy Night”*
Jerry Herman; arr. Robert Wendel: “We Need a Little Christmas”

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