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Choir, Sault Symphony ready for Christmas performances

First Christmas performances for Algoma Festival Choir, Sault Symphony Orchestra since 2019 coming up at Bushplane Museum, Machine Shop

Sault song and classical music lovers have two Christmas events to look forward to.

The Algoma Festival Choir will present We Need a Little Christmas at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.

Before COVID, the choir presented a Christmas performance annually since 1999.

“It’s a real part of music and culture in Sault Ste. Marie at the beginning of December every year,” said Stephen Mallinger, the Sault Symphony Orchestra’s artistic director, speaking to SooToday.

The Sault Symphony Orchestra will then present its Christmas Concerto at The Machine Shop at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11.

That event comes after the orchestra opened its first full post-COVID season - also its Golden Jubilee season - on Oct. 30 with Autumn Reflections at The Machine Shop.

“It was fantastic,” Mallinger said.

“It was a great concert. We had a really great turnout and the orchestra played really well plus it was a beautiful day, which is very providential.”

“This is our first Christmas concert ever at The Machine Shop. The orchestra has often done The Messiah by Handel or the full Tchaikovsky Nutcracker but this year we’re doing just a straight up Christmas concert.”

“I guess the one thing about this program that you’d notice is that these are suites, collections of pieces,” Mallinger said.

Part of the Christmas concert includes The Christmas Suite, put together by Mallinger. 

It includes:

  • Maria durch ein Dornwald ging
  • Herefordshire Carol
  • Noël Bretagne
  • Greensleeves
  • Two Yorkshire Carols
  • Entre le bœuf et lâne gris
  • Sussex Carol

“All the pieces in that collection are medieval Christmas carols. They’re several hundred years old and they’re melodies I’ve known my whole life,” Mallinger said.

Mallinger said the audience will enjoy having Karen Beacom, SSO harpist and vocalist, leading Christmas sing along numbers, along with performances by Anya Mallinger on violin, Erica Mancuso on violin and Rebekkah Fry on cello.

The Christmas Concerto - including 40 musicians - will be the SSO’s first Christmas concert since 2019.

500 tickets have been printed for the event.

“We, the choir and the orchestra, are really looking forward to being able to perform again and we’re sounding really good,” Mallinger said.

“We’re probably going to sell that out. Tickets are really moving fast for that one,” said Mallinger of the Christmas Concerto.

Tickets for We Need a Little Christmas are $25 plus a $4 box office fee for adults, $10 for children 12 and under and are available at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre or online.

Tickets for the Christmas Concerto are $40 for adults, $25 for students with free admission for children 12 and under and are available at the Sault Community Theatre Box Office in Station Mall or online.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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