High school musicians, youth choir perform seasonal concert

Conductor Gary Langford, in center with cap, leads area high school choirs and the Alachua County Youth Orchestra in the 2011 Holiday Traditions concert at the Phillips Center. (Courtesy of Mitchell Martin)

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 1:09 p.m.

The Alachua County Youth Orchestra and high school choirs from around the area will again take the stage at the Phillips Center for the 16th annual performance of Holiday Traditions: A Musical Celebration.


Holiday Traditions: A Musical Celebration

What: Annual concert by the Alachua County Youth Orchestra and area high school singers to benefit Stop Children's Cancer.
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Phillips Center, 315 Hull Road
Tickets: $12, $6 children under 12; $30 VIP tickets include reception
Info: 377-2622, www.stopchildrenscancer.org

Alachua County Youth Orchestra
What: Ensemble featuring high school musicians from around the county performs Winter Concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Phillips Center, 315 Hull Road
Admission: Free

The concert, which begins at 4 p.m. Sunday, has become a seasonal tradition presented by Stop Children's Cancer, an organization that raises awareness and funds for children's cancer research. Proceeds from the show will be used by the organization to benefit research.

Gary Langford, retired director of the University of Florida Marching Band, will again lead the orchestra and the combined choir in the hourlong performance. He has conducted the holiday concert since its inception.

“I get to work with so many talented kids,” Langford says. “I think one of the most amazing things about the performance is that the

orchestra and choir only rehearse once together, the morning of the show.”

Choirs from The Villages High School, Santa Fe High School and the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School will share the stage with the Alachua County Youth Orchestra. The Gainesville Youth Chorus and Concertina Choir also will participate. The students onstage span from the sixth grade to the 12th grade.

Last year, more than a thousand people attended the performance, Langford says, packing the Phillips Center. Those who attend Sunday's performance, will recognize such as songs like “Sleigh Ride,” and “Polar Express.”

New songs have slid into the program, too, including “Jingle Bells Forever.”

After Holiday Traditions: A Musical Celebration, the Alachua County Youth Orchestra will return to the Phillips Center stage for its own performance, starting at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature both holiday songs and classical pieces, including Johannes Brahams' First Symphony and Richard Strauss' “Allerseelen,” Langford says.

Tickets for Holiday Traditions are $12 for adults and $6 for children 11 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the Phillips Center box office by calling 392-2787 or online at Stopchildrenscancer.org.

Admission to the Alachua County Youth Orchestra's 7:30 p.m. performance is free and donations are welcome.

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