Alabama Symphony Orchestra performs festive concert at Thompson

Published 4:19 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Locals recently enjoyed a series of festive tunes as the Alabama Symphony Orchestra performed a holiday concert at Thompson High School.

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra performed a Holiday Concert in the school’s Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m.

“We had a great turnout,” said Jamie Cole, Alabaster Arts Council vice president and Alabaster councilmember. ”We had pre-sold three-fourths of the house and had a lot of people who walked up as well. It was impressive to the ASO organization and that kind of support allows us to continue to have events like this.”

This year’s edition of the concert is featured a diverse program for its holiday concert in Alabaster, with some familiar pieces and some that are new, including J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 6,” Arcangelo Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto, Op. 6, No. 8;” Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel & Gretel Suite” for Christmas Brass and “Brassabama Christmas,” arranged by Carlos Izcaray.

“We had several different configurations of musicians, which allowed the orchestra to feature different sections and styles,” Cole said. “Strings were accompanied by a harpsichord that the orchestra brought in, and brass was accompanied by our piano. It sounded wonderful and festive.”

The final piece of music for the concert was specially arranged by ASO Music Director Maestro Carlos Izcaray for the Performing Arts Center’s Bösendorfer piano.

“We had some great feedback, and we listen to all of it,” Cole said. “I saw some great comments on social media, including folks who want to hear the piano more. I do, too. We are going to figure out how we can get it front and center.”

According to Michael Giddens, technical director at the Performing Arts Center, the Bösendorfer Imperial Grand Piano is one of the most incredible piano instruments available.

“Musicians value the Bösendorfer for its sound which many describe as darker and richer than your average piano,” he said.

Cole expressed his gratitude to those who helped make this year’s edition of the concert possible.

“Our key sponsors—Central State Bank, Coca Cola, the City of Alabaster and Discover Shelby—are invaluable in the ability to have these events and others here,” Cole said. “The Alabaster Arts Council’s work, which also includes CityFest, Jubilee and arts scholarships and grants, simply couldn’t happen without our sponsors, along with Alabaster City Schools hosting and our volunteers giving of their time to work.”

Cole shared that discussions are already in the works for next year‘s edition of the holiday concert.

“What I can say is there are great opportunities on the horizon for creative arts in our city,” Cole said.