The sound of Christmas with the RSO

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas. The Regina Symphony Orchestra is coming to town, playing a selection of classic Christmas songs as part of A Candlelight Christmas. They will be on Yorkton on Dec. 13 as part of the Yorkton Arts Council’s Stars for Saskatchewan Series.

Gordon Gerrard, music director for the RSO, said that this is a traditional, family-oriented Christmas show, featuring Christmas carols, sing-alongs and holiday music everyone will recognize.

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The program is a tradition in Regina already, and Gerrard thought it was the perfect opportunity take the show on the road and be part of people’s Christmas celebration outside of Regina.

“For an orchestra, when it comes to a holiday time, we’re pretty uniquely positioned to help people get into a holiday mood.”

The Christmas performance is also a great opportunity for people who have never gone to the symphony before, because it is built around songs people know.

“This program is very much designed to be for the whole family. We are hoping to see a number of people there for whom this will be their first symphonic concert experience,” Gerrard said.

Doing Christmas music also allows for a rare opportunity, the chance for people to sing along with the symphony.

“While sometimes Christmas carols can feel overdone, especially when you go out for your Christmas shopping and that’s all you hear, the sing-a-long aspect of the carols in this concert, where I turn around and face the audience and ask them to join us, it’s a pretty special feeling. People don’t get that opportunity all that often anymore, and I’m happy to do that with this program,” said Gerrard.

It won’t just be the RSO, they will also be joined by the Campbell Collegiate choir out of Regina.

Beyond performing in the city, Gerrard also plans on visiting students in the area. He wants to share with them the potential for music in their future.

“I make it a priority to  not just reach out to the adults in our community, but also the students. I’m hoping to spend some quality time with students in town, and talk to them about music and why music’s important.”

The other priority is to get out and visit people so they can see the potential for careers in making music, whether it’s something involving a symphony or something else entirely.

“One of the things I think is important is to expand people’s horizons to the possibilities that are out there.”

The RSO was most recently in Yorkton in 2016, and making trips out to communities surrounding Regina is a priority for the symphony.

“Our mandate is to serve people in Regina, but also people across southern Saskatchewan. Making a connection to people outside of Regina was a priority and something I maintain as a priority... The response that we got from the audience in Yorkton was very enthusiastic and immediately following I was talking about how we can get the RSO to come back. I’m very thrilled to come back,” said Gerrard.

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