5 THINGS TO KNOW: Tulsa Symphony Orchestra to perform free holiday concert in McAlester

John A. Ferrante Photography | Courtesy photo

McAlester Public Schools Fine Arts Director David Steidley details the upcoming holiday concert by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.

1. What was the inspiration behind the event?

I graduated from McAlester High School in the early 1980s and I remember Wanda Bass brought the Tulsa Symphony to play during the holidays and it was great. Everybody seemed to really enjoy it and it was a great family atmosphere. So I decided that was something I wanted to try to do and bring them back.

2. Is it a free concert?

Yes, the concert is free — but we’re selling programs that have art from McAlester students and those programs are $5 to benefit the McAlester Public Schools Fine Arts Department. We also have a reception after the concert at The Mansion to honor the Bass family. Tickets are $50 with limited seating already and are available in the lobby before the concert or by contacting Steidley at 918-429-9335. Proceeds go toward the fine arts department.

3. What songs will be played at the concert?

Songs to be played include Delvyn Case’s “Rocket Sleigh,” “Farandole” from Carmen, Johann Strauss, Jr.’s “Blue Danube Walts,” a narration and musical accompaniment of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “The Little Drummer Boy” by K.K. Davis, “Christmas at the Movies,” Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” selections from The Nutcracker, and more.

4. What is the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra?

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra started in October 2005 with a musician-led structure to promote musician investment and engagement with community service. TSO filled the void left by the Tulsa Philharmonic Symphony — which was founded in 1948 by H. Arthur Brown, but ceased operations on Sept. 12, 2002.

5. What do you hope people get out of this concert?

I hope they enjoy it. It’s at 2 o’clock so they can get a lunch and then come enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere and have a good time.

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