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Sold out. Traditionally, that’s what happens at the Racine Symphony Orchestra’s annual Holiday Pops concert.

With a multitude of local guest talent performing holiday songs alongside the orchestra, it’s easy to understand why we have to turn people away at the door. This year we welcome back audience favorite Bob Benson, who will sing some favorite holiday tunes. Racine County high school choirs will join their voices together as the All-County Holiday Chorus, leading the audience in a sing-along.

This concert, “Holiday Serenade,” will take place on Friday, Dec. 4, at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. With the concert beginning at 7 p.m., doors to Festival Hall will open at 5:30 p.m. Tables of eight and 10 are available for $260 and $325, respectively. Individual reserved table seats are $32.50 each.

General admission tickets are $23 in advance and $25 at the door. Students ages 20 and younger will be admitted free of charge to this and every other Racine Symphony Orchestra concert. Quantities of both table and general admission seats are limited, so we urge you to purchase tickets well in advance.

We bring music education to the classroom and beyond

Yes, a Symphony Orchestra is defined by its instrumental composition and performance repertoire. However, the Racine Symphony Orchestra continues to break down the misconception that symphonies perform only classical music in a concert hall. Our seven music education programs, a large part of our budget and efforts, are designed to reach and engage with music students of all ages in venues throughout the community.

We continue to offer our concert for fifth-grade students, drawing eager learners of all ages from throughout Racine County. Attendees learn about the orchestra, its instruments, instrument families and basic music composition at this highly interactive concert. Our Artist-in-Residence, violist Dominic Johnson, visited a variety of community facilities this fall, including daycares, churches, schools and elderly care facilities, each time bringing an interactive and age-appropriate performance to the audience.

With this school year underway, we are thrilled to announce the second year, and expansion, of the Middle School Mentorship Program. This Program brings musician-mentors and middle school students studying instrumental music together for regular sessions that expound upon classroom instruction. Goals of the Middle School Mentorship Program include skill development, increased confidence in abilities and the motivation to continue instrumental music study.

For high school students, we offer the All-County Holiday Chorus, described above, as well as the Young Artists’ Competition and Side-by-Side Youth Invitational. At the Young Artists’ Competition, high school instrumental music students from throughout southeastern Wisconsin compete for scholarship cash and the soloist position at our April Masterworks Concert.

As part of the Side-by-Side Youth Invitational, selected students are matched one-on-one with orchestra musicians in preparation for the April Masterworks Concert. Together, these musicians rehearse during the week leading up to the concert and then perform together at the concert itself. Last, PreConcert Conversations, delivered by a community expert prior to masterworks concerts, educates concert-goers with background on that evening’s musical repertoire.

For more information on the Racine Symphony Orchestra’s concerts and educational programs, and to order concert tickets, visit www.racinesymphony.org or call 262-636-9285. Email bonnie@racinesymphony.org for Young Artists’ Competition application information.

The Racine Symphony Orchestra’s programming is made possible by generous support from The Racine Community Foundation, SC Johnson, Runzheimer Foundation, The United Performing Arts Fund, Johnson Bank, Educators Credit Union and our patrons and donors.

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