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Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale Return to the Stage for “Eternal Light”
3/1/2017 12:49:02 PM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale Return to the Stage for “Eternal Light”

(MISSOULA) The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale return to the stage for a combined concert, “Eternal Light,” on March 11 and 12 for the penultimate show of the season. The concerts feature performances by soloists Christina Pier, Kimberly Gratland James, David Cody and Seth Keeton.

The “crown jewel” of the concert is Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor, with both orchestra and chorale performing. Chorale Music Director, Dean Peterson, describes certain movements within the piece as “choral acrobatics.” “This piece has never been performed in Missoula and one reason for that is due to its difficulty and complexity,” he says. “It’s a major commitment. It’s so complex and in essence requires two full choirs, but the result is magnificent.” According to Peterson, the Chorale has been working on the Mass since last September, adding practices with the Orchestra this month. “This piece really showcases Mozart’s genius. It’s exciting, gorgeous and really quintessential Mozart,” he says.

Two of the soloists featured, mezzo soprano Kimberly Gratland James and tenor David Cody, are no strangers to the Dennison Theatre stage, as both teach voice in the University of Montana School of Music. “We’re lucky to have such phenomenal talent so close to home,” says Orchestra Music Director Darko Butorac. “Both Kimberly and David have performed with us on numerous occasions, and we’re thrilled to have them back,” he says. Joining the two are soprano Christina Pier, who returns to Missoula after what Butorac describes as a “stunning” performance in the Brahms Requiem last fall, and bass Seth Keeton, both internationally acclaimed.

The concert also starts with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture, which Butorac describes as “one of the most colorful works of the Russian Romantics.” “It was written in the late 19th century, and it really exemplifies the evocative melodies and sparkling orchestration for which Rimsky was known,” he says.

Butorac will also be presenting a pre-concert talk an hour prior to each show in the Gallagher Business Building, Room 106. Talks are free and open to the public.

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale perform on Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre on UM Campus. Tickets are available at www.missoulasymphony.org, 406-721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 E. Main St.

Press Release: February 28, 2017
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Rumble in the Jungle! Annual Family Concert to Feature “Really Inventive Stuff”
1/12/2017 12:02:36 PM

Rumble in the Jungle!
—Annual Family Concert to Feature “Really Inventive Stuff” —

(January 10, 2017) The Missoula Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage on Friday, January 27, at 7 p.m. for its annual Family Concert. The show, now in its eleventh year, provides an opportunity for kids to learn about music and the orchestra in a fun and entertaining setting.

The show this year features two guest actors, Michael Boudewyns (BOH-doh-wihn) and Kimberly Schroeder, both members of the production company “Really Inventive Stuff.” Based out of Portland, Maine, the touring company performs family and education concerts with orchestras, conductors and musicians all around the world. The company is comprised of classically-trained performers and their productions are created with a “core commitment to imaginative, playful, and entertaining storytelling which combine vaudeville and classic theatre, while keeping music in the spotlight.”

“We’re really excited to be working with this team,” said Missoula Symphony Orchestra executive director, John Driscoll. “They’re charming, clever and entertaining, and this is their specialty: musical programs for young people that educate in a fun and funny fashion. Partnering with a production company like this is new for us, and we’re confident it’s going to be a huge success.”

The concerts, which take place at the Dennison Theatre, run about an hour – perfect for young attention spans. This year’s repertoire includes excerpts from two well-known pieces, Francis Poulenc’s The Story of Babar and George Kleinsinger’s Tubby the Tuba.

Joining Boudewyns and Schroeder will be guest conductor Steven Jarvi. Hailing most recently from St. Louis, Jarvi has guest-conducted worldwide and has performed with artists such as Lyle Lovett, Art Garfunkel, Kenny G, and Chris Botti. “And now Tubby the Tuba!” quips Driscoll.

The show is also performed earlier in the day as part of the Symphony’s ongoing community outreach to about 2,000 fourth-graders representing more than 40 schools from Missoula and the region. “Kids bus in from as far as St. Regis and Philipsburg. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to do outreach to kids who might not have the exposure to classical music in their community,” says Driscoll. The focus on fourth-graders is intentional, he adds, as the fall semester of fifth-grade year is when children in the Missoula school district select an instrument to play. “For some kids this concert is the first time they’ve ever even heard certain instruments—if we can inspire a future classical music lover or tuba player, we’ve done our job,” he says.

To get kids excited about the concert, the Symphony is also sponsoring a “Rumble in the Jungle” coloring contest, with the winners to be announced at the concert. Artwork can be viewed the month of January at Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, 420 N. Higgins Ave. Ste. D. Young artists can find the picture to color on the Symphony website, at the Symphony Office or at Sweet Peaks.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. Family Concert can be purchased online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street. All tickets $8.

Press Release: January 10, 2017
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Welcomes Back Pianist Lisa Smirnova
10/31/2016 1:11:36 PM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Welcomes Back Pianist Lisa Smirnova 

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Welcomes Back Pianist Lisa Smirnova

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra takes to the stage on October 29 and 30 with the second concert of the season, “Autumn Glow.” Joining Music Director Darko Butorac and the Orchestra will be Austrian-Russian pianist Lisa Smirnova, who first wowed Missoula audiences in 2013.

“I love playing in Missoula,” said Smirnova. “The enthusiasm of the audience is incredible. The symphony concerts are such a highlight in town, literally everybody whom I meet is excited and looking forward [to the concerts]. Only in an intimate place like Missoula is something like that possible.” She adds that the audience can expect a “wonderful variety of styles” at the show. “It’s as if we change clothes every time we go out for a new piece.”

Smirnova will be performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 and Schumann’s “Concert Allegro and Introduction.” “The Mozart Concerto has a wonderful counterpoint style in its last movement which makes it stand out from his other concertos,” she says. “And indeed particularly challenging is the Schumann´s “Concert Allegro and Introduction.” It’s a great discovery, one of his last works and a real masterpiece. The goal is to find a perfect balance between the piano and the orchestra, because they are really like one body in this piece.”

In addition to Schumann and Mozart, the concert will feature Brahms Symphony No.4, which music director Darko Butorac describes as Brahms most important work and crowning achievement. “The piece was completed in 1885, at a time when symphonic music was changing quickly to styles that would lead to modernism and impressionism. The work is reflective of the feeling of watching everything you know and love irrevocably change. Brahms uses his entire creative might to create a work that is yearning, grand, melancholic, lighthearted, but ultimately tragic on a Shakespearian scale,” he said. Come hear for yourself.

Press Release: October 19, 2016
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Season Opener Concert, ‘Fast Machine’
9/15/2016 3:25:30 PM

Missoula Symphony Chorale Returns to the Stage - “Heaven and Nature Sing” 

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Season Opener Concert, 'Fast Machine'

Following the hugely popular Symphony in the Park, the Missoula Symphony Orchestra opens the season with two shows on September 24 at 7:30 p.m. and September 25 at 3 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre.

The concert, titled “Fast Machine,” is aptly named as the first two pieces, John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 are very fast moving. “We’re starting the season like a race horse out of the gates!” says Music Director, Darko Butorac. “Adams infuses this piece with a sense of drama and ends in a thrilling climax. His music is incredibly energetic—the audience is going to love it.”

Next up is Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 1, which will feature American violinist Jennifer Frautschi as soloist. According to Butorac, this piece is a chance for the violinist to demonstrate the rich colors of the instrument. “Jennifer Frautschi is a perfect fit for this,” he says. “Prokofiev’s concerto is the embodiment of sheer romantic beauty.”

The second half of the concert in contrast to machines, is that of nature, specifically water. It begins with the moody romantic musical description of a Scottish Isle by Felix Mendelssohn, Fingal’s Cave. The landscape of this area is battered by water and wind and surrounded by legend, which is reflected in the piece. “A haunting, resonant melody slowly rises from the quiet depths of the orchestra, and dramatic flourishes echo the sound of waves crashing ashore while also building musical tension. Finally the tides begin to recede, and the piece leaves you with a sense of calm,” says Butorac.

The concert ends with another water themed piece, the most famous musical ode to the sea, Claude Debussy’s La Mer. According to Butorac, the piece is not merely a depiction of an ocean in music, but a peek into Debussy’s turbulent spirit. He also says this is one of the most challenging orchestral composition he’s ever worked on. “It’s complex, without a doubt. But we have some of the finest musicians around in our orchestra, and we are definitely up to the challenge.” Added bonus? La Mer is rumored to be the inspiration for John Williams’ score for the movie Jaws—see if you can hear it in the third movement.

Tickets are available online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office, 320 E. Main Street. For more information on Fast Machine and the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, visit missoulasymphony.org.

Press Release: September 13, 2016
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Season Finale Concert, "Pictures of Power"
4/14/2016 12:25:56 PM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Season Finale Concert, “Pictures of Power” 

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Season Finale Concert, “Pictures of Power”

(Missoula, Mont.) With a repertoire fit for a finale, the Missoula Symphony Orchestra will close the 61st season with a grand concert full of life and color as they perform two pieces by Maurice Ravel, “Concerto in G Major” for piano and “Pictures at an Exhibition.” The concerts take place on Saturday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre on the University of Montana campus.

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Darko Butorac, describes “Pictures at an Exhibition,” as ‘a fantastic piece to end the season.’ It was originally written by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky as a ten-movement piece for piano. His inspiration was the artwork of his friend Viktor Hartmann, an influential artist who died at the young age of 39, leaving behind a legacy of over 400 paintings. The music depicts an imaginary tour of this art collection. “Each of the movements is a tone painting of the actual image,” says Butorac. “For example, the painting ‘The Catacombs’ is depicted by stark chords in the brass, representing the shock of entering deep into the cold burial site transformed into sound; and ‘The Gnome,’ a painting of a little gnome running clumsily with crooked legs, is represented by lurching music with frequent stops and starts. When you read the title of the movement and then hear it, it’s easy to visualize the inspiration,” he says. Maurice Ravel arranged the piece for a full orchestra a few years after Mussorgsky’s composition, and this arrangement is the most commonly performed for orchestras, according to Butorac.

The first half of the concert presents Ravel's masterpiece concerto in G major for piano. “It’s directly influenced by Gershwin's Concerto in F, so the audience can expect a French twist on 1930's Jazz, and some serious pianistic pyrotechnics,” says Butorac. “It’s a Brazilian work, super rhythmic, very world music—the audience is in for a treat.” World-renowned pianist, Katherine Chi, will be joining the orchestra for this piece.

In recognition of the season finale and the featured repertoire, the MSO is also collaborating with the 1st and 5th graders at Lowell School in a community outreach connecting classrooms with music. This outreach program was facilitated by the Spark! Arts Ignite Learning initiative. “The kids will be creating their own ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ which will be on display in the Dennison Theatre lobby over the concert weekend,” said Driscoll. “Darko will be going into their classes to introduce the kids to the music, and their art teacher, Norel Swanson, will be working with them on creating pieces of art. We’re excited to see what the come up with!” he says. According to Driscoll, this is an example of numerous community outreach events the MSO organizes with local schools throughout the year, and a fun way to end the season.

Tickets to “Pictures of Power” are available online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street.

Press Release: April 13, 2016
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Chorale Returns to the Stage - "Heaven and Nature Sing" to be Performed at New, More Intimate Setting
10/16/2015 8:19:42 AM

Missoula Symphony Chorale Returns to the Stage - “Heaven and Nature Sing” 

Missoula Symphony Chorale Returns to the Stage
—“Heaven and Nature Sing” to be Performed at New, More Intimate Setting—

(Missoula, Montana) The Missoula Symphony Chorale, sans orchestra, performs its stand-alone concert on Sunday, October 25 at 3 p.m. at St. Anthony Parish. The concert, which is the second show in the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale’s 61st season, is in a new location this year.

According to Chorale Director Dean Peterson, the change in venue was a decision based on a number of factors. “The Chorale has performed in the Dennison Theatre for years,” he says, “which is a great spot to perform, but felt a bit vacuous for our needs.” In contrast to the Dennison Theatre’s 1200-seat capacity, St. Anthony Parish, which is a popular venue for hosting choirs during the International Choral Festival, holds approximately six hundred audience members. “We look forward to performing in a more intimate setting in a location that is really a wonderful place acoustically to hear choral music,” he says.

The program, which Peterson says is made up of a variety of songs both sacred and nature-based, begins with pieces by Bach, Haydn and Brahms, including How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place from Brahm’s Requiem. “We’ll be performing the full Requiem in February with the Orchestra, so this will be a sneak-preview of this lovely piece,” he says. The second half of the concert includes a number of pieces with nature-themes, and will feature the MSO’s Principal Flutist Margaret Lund Schuberg. “The flute of course lends itself to representing bird song, and it shines through in this case,” he says. “I really am pleased with this year’s theme, I think it speaks to the fact that music is not only for praise, but that music is life, and our program reflects that. This concert will be a celebration of life, love and the joys of heaven and earth.”

The Chorale, which performs three concerts a season, is made up of approximately 90 vocalists who audition to be in the group. “We have a very enthusiastic and passionate group of people, and this really shines through when they perform.” He adds that the chorale is a real representation of the Missoula community, with singers ranging in ages from 20 to 90, and everything in between. “Between the community and the university, we have some fine vocalists in our midst. Come and see for yourself!”

Tickets for the Missoula Symphony Chorale concert are $17, $11 for seniors and students, and available online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street, or at the door the day of the concert. St. Anthony Parish is located at 217 Tremont Street in Missoula.

Press Release: October 15, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Eleventh Annual “Symphony in the Park”
7/30/2015 11:13:53 AM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Eleventh Annual ’Symphony in the Park” 

—Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Eleventh Annual “Symphony in the Park”—

(Missoula, Montana) For the eleventh year in a row, the Missoula Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage in downtown Missoula for the ever-popular “Symphony in the Park.” Known for its “something for everyone” repertoire, music director Darko Butorac describes the concert as including movie scores, musicals, light classics, and romantic music. “Let’s just say this is our most hummable concert of the year,” he says. The concert takes place on Sunday, August 9 at 7 p.m. at Caras Park.

Butorac says he chooses music for this concert with appeal to young and old alike. “We buck every stereotype of a ‘stuffy symphony,’” he says. For kids? There’s “When You Wish Upon a Star” from the Disney movie Dumbo. Want classic Hollywood scores? How about Ben Hur with its famous brass fanfares, and Casablanca complete with “As Time Goes By.” The romantic in us all will appreciate excerpts from the Out of Africa score, and, for those of us whose youth involved the ‘70s, there’s music from the soundtrack to Grease. “Summer Lovin’? Just try not singing along to that one,” he says.

Although not ‘fessing up to anything this year, Butorac has in past years ended the show with a spectacular encore. In past years the audience has been wowed by Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” “You might want to consider staying until the very end,” he says. “I do love my encores.”

Executive Director John Driscoll has been involved with Symphony in the Park since the beginning, and shares Butorac’s enthusiasm for the event. “This concert is our ‘thank you’ to the community, which is incredibly supportive of the MSO. We started this free event back in 2005, hoping we’d get a thousand people to show up. And now, 11 years later, it’s one of Missoula’s most popular events—we couldn’t be more thrilled,” he says.

For those who have secret conductor aspirations, the symphony is offering a “Conductor Raffle.” The winner receives a one-hour conducting lesson with Butorac, and then will conduct “The Stars and Stripes Forever” at the concert. “Folks can buy raffle tickets for themselves if they want the chance to conduct the orchestra, or they can also buy raffle tickets in someone else’s name – a friend, a family member, whoever!” says Driscoll. “The only catch is, if the person you named is unwilling or unable to conduct – the purchaser is on the hook!” Conductor Raffle tickets are available through August 1.

As in previous years, concert-goers have the option of purchasing dinner, cocktails and treats from on-site vendors or, of course, bringing picnics. Regardless, Driscoll recommends getting to the concert early to get a good spot, and bringing a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

For more information on Symphony in the Park and the Missoula Symphony Orchestra or to purchase tickets for the conductor raffle, call 406-721-3194 or visit www.missoulasymphony.org.

Press Release: July 28, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s Season Finale: “Earth, Wind and Fire” Features Native American Flutist, Nakai and Pines of Rome
4/13/2015 4:48:11 PM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s Season Finale: “Earth, Wind and Fire” Features Native American Flutist, Nakai and Pines of Rome 

Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s Season Finale: “Earth, Wind and Fire” Features Native American Flutist, Nakai and Pines of Rome

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra takes the stage for their season finale on April 24 at 7:30 p.m. and April 25 at 3 p.m. “Earth, Wind and Fire” celebrates Earth Day with a nature-themed concert, and features Native American Flutist, R. Carlos Nakai.

Music Director Darko Butorac describes Nakai as the voice of contemporary Native American music. “This is the first time the Missoula Symphony Orchestra has ever worked with a Native American artist, so it’s long overdue,” he says. “Nakai is a virtuoso of his instrument, his performances are haunting—I’m very excited about this collaboration.” This ‘collaboration’ is also of note as it is a melding of the Native American flute with European classical music, an unprecedented combination before Nakai.

The composer and performer has had an incredibly successful career (he has released more than 50 albums, sold over five million records, earned two Gold records and a Platinum record, and received 11 Grammy nominations) and has a huge fan base. “I’m excited to consider the potential of this concert and the audience we will reach,” says Driscoll, “I think we will attract some first time concert-goers, but, more important, I hope we will connect with our audience in a meaningful and different way.”

In addition to Nakai, the concerts’ repertoire includes three other pieces with natural themes, Bedrich Smetana’s From Bohemia’s Forests and Meadows, Jean Sibelius’s The Swan of Tuonela, and Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome. “We’ve got forests, meadows, swans, trees—we’ve got Earth Day covered. But in all seriousness, it’s going to be a phenomenal concert,” Butorac says.

The concert, and season, concludes with Pines of Rome, which Butorac describes as one of the great, large orchestral pieces, and includes an additional 12 brass instruments. “This is definitely one of the ‘bucket list’ pieces of orchestral music,” he says. The highly evocative piece begins with a carefree, festive scene of children playing under the pines at a villa in Rome. The second movement, which Butorac describes as beautiful and haunting, takes the audience to the entrance of a catacomb and a Gregorian-chant style melody. The third, ‘The Pines of Janiculum,’ involves a ‘moonlit’ melody of hushed strings and woodwinds, which ends with a recording of an actual nightingale. And finally the fourth movement, which, according to Butorac starts with a markedly darker mood, but transforms from menacing to heroic and ultimately climaxes in a breathtaking fashion. “It seemed fitting that we would end a huge season, our 60th season, with a huge piece. This is it,” he says.

Tickets for “Earth, Wind and Fire” can be purchased online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street.

NOTE: In addition to the concerts, R. Carlos Nakai will be presenting a public talk and performance on Thursday, April 23, at 2 p.m. at the Payne Family Native American Center on the U of M campus. This event is free and open to the public and is a collaboration between the Kyi-Yo Native American Student Association and the Missoula Symphony Association.

Press Release: April 10, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Have No Fear, Fortissimo is Here! Ninth Annual Family Concert Engages Young and Old.
1/20/2015 3:37:33 PM

Have No Fear, Fortissimo is Here! Ninth Annual Family Concert Engages Young and Old. 

Have No Fear, Fortissimo is Here! —Ninth Annual Family Concert Engages Young and Old—

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage on January 30 at 7 p.m. for its annual Family Concert, this year helping superhero Fortissimo regain his superpowers. The show, now in its ninth year, provides a unique opportunity for kids to learn about dynamics, rhythm, harmony, and instruments. Don your superhero cape, and join the show!

This year Symphony Music Director Darko Butorac plays the role of musical superhero Fortissimo, whose superhero power is to rid the world of bad music. Unfortunately for him, (and the world in general), dastardly Dr. Dissonance has defeated him, the treble maker that he is, and Fortissimo needs the help of the audience. “The kids in the audience help by demonstrating their musical prowess while learning a little bit along the way,” Butorac explains. “This show is very interactive and fully engages kids, which really amps up their level of understanding.”

“And,” he adds, “it’s going to be hilarious.”

Sharing the stage again this year is singer and performer Creighton James, aka the devious Dr. Dissonance. James is no stranger to the family concert nor the audience, as he has starred in past shows as characters such as Detective Pinot Noir investigating a crime on the Symphony Express, the remote-control wielding “Spaceman,” and Pirate Captain Darkbeard’s double-crossing sidekick, Billy Five Toes. This year, according to Butorac, the audience can expect an equally entertaining performance. “Creighton’s energy and creativity adds to the show tremendously,” he says, “and kids love him. It’s going to be another fantastic evening.”

The show is also performed earlier in the day as part of the Symphony’s ongoing community outreach, to approximately 2,000 fourth graders representing over 40 schools from Missoula and the surrounding region. “Kids bus in from as far as St. Regis and Philipsburg. It’s a great opportunity for us to do outreach to kids who might not have the exposure to classical music in their community,” says Symphony Executive Director, John Driscoll. The focus on fourth graders is intentional, he adds, as the fall semester of fifth grade year is when children in Missoula County Public Schools select an instrument to play. “For some kids this concert is the first time they’ve ever even heard certain instruments—if we can inspire a future trumpet player, we’ve done our job,” he says.

The concerts, which take place at the Dennison Theatre, run about one hour. According to Butorac, this year’s repertoire includes recognizable and kid-friendly music including excerpts from well-known pieces such as the Beethoven's Ode to Joy, Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird and Jean Sibelius’s Finlandia. “You may not be able to pull the name of the piece out of your head,” he says, “but I guarantee it will be familiar to you.” To add to the super hero theme, music from Batman and Superman will also be featured, but that, he says, is a secret. (shhhhhhh!)

To get kids excited about the concert, the Symphony is also sponsoring a Fortissimo coloring contest, with the winners to be announced at the concert. Artwork can be viewed the month of January at Bernice’s Bakery, 190 South 3rd Street West, which will be selling Fortissimo-themed cookies in honor of the show. Young artists can find the picture to color on the Symphony website, the Symphony Office or at Bernice’s Bakery. Another local eatery is joining in on the fun, and Biga Pizza will be featuring a Fortissimo! pizza the last week of January.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. Family Concert can be purchased online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street. All tickets $8.

Press Release: January 14, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale to Perform Fifteenth Annual “Holiday Pops”
12/2/2014 10:47:41 AM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale to Perform Fifteenth Annual Holiday Pops 

Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale to Perform Fifteenth Annual “Holiday Pops”

(Missoula, Montana) The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale return to the stage for “Holiday Pops” on Saturday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 7, at 3 p.m. at the Dennison Theatre on the University of Montana campus.

Now in its fifteenth year, the “Holiday Pops” is one of Missoula’s most beloved holiday traditions and has grown to play for a sold out house every year. “I am thrilled this concert has become so popular,” Music Director Darko Butorac says. “I’m truly honored that the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale have become such an integral part of kicking off the holiday season for the community.”

According to Butorac, there’s a reason this concert continues to be so popular. “We get the best arrangements of holiday selections for orchestra and chorus, which keeps it fresh.” he says. “You will have heard many of these pieces before, but I guarantee you haven’t heard these particular arrangements – it’s going to be a fabulous show.” He adds that the program is great for the whole family. “Young or old, we truly have something for everyone.”

As is tradition, the 100 members of the Chorale join the Orchestra for the second half of the concert. Butorac promises both new and old, secular and sacred. “I’m going to apologize right now to all those who will have Let it Go from the movie “Frozen” in their heads the entire month of December,” he says. In addition to the instant Disney classic, the audience can expect music from the movie “Home Alone,” Carol of the Bells, selections from The Nutcracker, I’ll be Home for Christmas, and Jingle Bells, to name a few. Santa Claus will again make an appearance, handing out candy canes and spreading holiday cheer.

Another tradition, now in its fourth year, is the “Encore Auction.” Popular with symphonies nationwide, this fundraising technique allows the audience to put their money on their collective favorite holiday piece for an encore. “This year we’re bringing back the Halleluiah Chorus, which handily won the first two years, and pitting it against another perennial favorite, Sleigh Ride,” he says. Whichever piece raises the most through individual donations, small and large, will be performed as an encore. Butorac reminds people to bring their wallets, as only cash and checks are accepted.

“Holiday Pops” tickets, which sell out fast, are available online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street. For more information on “Holiday Pops” and the MSO, visit missoulasymphony.org.

Press Release: November 23, 2014
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193


320 East Main Street
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 721-3194