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RSO virtual Christmas Classics

Christina Stock Photo The Roswell Symphony Orchestra had joined with the Roswell Jazz Festival for the first time in February for a concert. Maestro John Farrer is pictured next to the podium at the concert's finale. The upcoming virtual concert includes the musicians of the festival again, as well as the Pecos Brass Ensemble and local artists.

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The Roswell Symphony Orchestra joins with Roswell Jazz Festival and other artists to present a virtual concert

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

The annual Christmas concert of the Roswell Symphony Orchestra (RSO) — under guidance of Maestro John Farrer — is a beloved tradition ever since its founding in 1959. This year, despite or even because of the pandemic, fans and supporters of RSO will find that this tradition continues, though in a safe environment as a virtual concert.

Last year, RSO had joined with actors of the Roswell Community Little Theatre to enrich their program. This year, local talent and musicians of the Roswell Jazz Festival will join the orchestra to bring good cheer and merriment into the homes of Roswell and beyond. These include local soprano singers Devon Bullock and Shari Perman, pianist Wataru Niimori, the Pecos Brass Ensemble with Rick England (trumpet), Sandra Weikel (trumpet), Cheryl Martinez (French horn), Bill Lamb (trombone), Ron Fabec (tuba) and Brion Johnston (percussion). The members of the Roswell Jazz Festival performing are Charles Gordon (trumpet and flugelhorn), Erik Unsworth (bass), Ricky Malichi (percussion) and Michael Francis on the piano.

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The concert program begins with the song “Believe” from the animated movie, “The Polar Express,” followed by “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “O Christmas Tree,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” and “Huron Carol,” to name a few.

The finale will be the performance of the traditional song, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” a favorite song that has its roots all the way back to the 16th century, where “figgy pudding” in the second verse of the song comes from.

Today’s popularity of the song is due to British composer Arthur Warrell. He arranged the tune for his University of Bristol Madrigal Singers to perform with him on Dec. 6, 1935. According to old interviews, he said that he had been inspired by a traditional song that originated in the west countryside of England. The demand of “figgy pudding,” is based on the English tradition to feed Christmas carolers as a thank-you.

According to the RSO, the link for the concert goes active at 2 p.m. on Dec. 13, ticket holders will receive the link to the concert by email. The concert will be available through the end of December.

For more information, visit roswellsymphony.org.