The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 12, 2013

Symphony orchestra presents Italian Christmas concert

DANVILLE — Ring in the Christmas season this year with the Danville Symphony Orchestra and the vocal group Poperazzi, as they perform favorite melodies with an Italian accent.

The concert “An Italian Christmas,” led by DSO conductor Jeremy Swerling, is set for 3 p.m. Sunday in Dick Van Dyke auditorium at Danville High School.

Musical selections will include “William the Angel,” “Adeste Fidelis,” “Funiculi Funicula,” “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” “Libiamo,” “Silent Night” and many more.

Blurring the boundaries between classical and popular music, Poperazzi was created in 2009 by founder and tenor George DeMott. Including fellow tenor Cody Shawn Gay and soprano Janien Valentine, the three members of Poperazzi have performed in premiere opera houses in the United States and Europe, aboard Crystal Cruise luxury ships, and in top show venues of Las Vegas.

Swerling said the DSO chose Poperazzi because they bring a lively and fresh variation on the timeless Christmas melodies, and because they were pleased to combine their Italian repertoire with Christmas music. “The program includes many standards as well as some beautiful new arrangements,” he said.

Staci Disney-Walker, DSO executive director, said, “This promises to be a wonderful evening, and we’d love to have more people join us. We want to especially thank Presence United Samaritans Medical Center for loaning us the beautiful trees from their Festival of Trees, which definitely makes the auditorium more festive.”

Italian pastries by Jean's Upper Crust Bakery will be for sale during intermission.

DSO board member Mimi Reitemeir discovered these talented Poperazzi musicians at a concert in Indianapolis, and she felt they would have a good rapport with the Danville concert audience. In an earlier interview, Reitemeir said, “We liked the professional, accomplished and versatile program — a combination that should please everyone in the audience.”

Italian dinner

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