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Symphony Of The Hills To Play Its Annual Holiday Concert

Kerrville's Symphony of the Hills puts on its annual Holiday Concert Thursday night.  Artistic Director Gene Dowdy says this one is not one to miss.

"All kinds of holiday music--with a twist."

When he says with a twist he's talking about the addition of a piece of recently composed music.

"Yes, we have a world premiere coming up that night. Joe Steussy's A Texas State of Mind. And that kind of fits in with the theme of the concert. The whole concert is about Home for Christmas. Our state song is in there. He's got The Yellow Rose in there. It's very clever. It's a lot of fun and the orchestra's really enjoying it," he says.

The concert is almost entirely holiday-themed, with this exception.

"We're going to open not with a Christmas piece. We're opening it with Morton Gould's American Salute, which is a cool orchestral piece that's based on the tune When Johnny Comes Marching Home."   

It's a gesture honoring those who can't be home for the holidays.

"Also, we're going to be collaborating with our Grand Symphony Chorus on two well-known works for orchestra and chorus. First one is John Williams Music From Home Alone. That is just such charming music. We're going to follow that with The Many Moods of Christmas.  The Many Moods is going to bring out  any Carol that people know and love with orchestra and chorus," Dowdy says.

They will be playing I'll Be Home For Christmas, with this reminder.

"That famous Bing Crosby recording in 1943 was done in honor of men and women serving overseas. You're going to hear Jingle Bell Rock, but also Fantasia on Greensleeves. Of course, we'll have a Hannukah piece on the program. Candles and Dreidels--that is actually a fun and rip-roaring piece. People might actually be getting up and dancing in the aisle," Dowdy says.

There is also an audience sing-along portion at the end of the concert.

"Yes, we've got a Christmas sing-along for everybody" he said. He grinned and said, "What do they call it? A joyful noise?"

Hear that joyful noise Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

Find more on this event here.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii