Cape Ann Symphony

The Cape Ann Symphony launches its 70th season with its Holiday Pops concerts, which features its more than 70-member orchestra and the 75-member Cape Ann Symphony Chorus. Performances are on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 2 p.m. at Ipswich High School; and Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 28, at 2 p.m. at Manchester Essex Regional High School auditorium.

Kicking off its 70th season, the Cape Ann Symphony will come roaring back to life with its Holiday Pops concerts this weekend.

After an 18-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the symphony will put on its Pops concerts in both Manchester-by-the-Sea and Ipswich.

In addition to the orchestra made up of more than 70 musicians from New England, this holiday musical celebration features the 75-member Cape Ann Symphony Chorus, under the direction of Rockport’s Wendy Betts.

The performances are on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 2 p.m. at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School; and Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 28, at 2 p.m. at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium on 36 Lincoln St.

Conductor and Music Director Yoichi Udagawa said he planned a joyful program of music. The program includes: Tchaikovsky’s selections from “The Nutcracker, Anderson’s “Christmas Festival,” Courtney’s “Musicological Journey Through the 12 Days of Christmas,” Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel Prelude,” Hayman’s “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” Davis/Hayes’ “Little Drummer Boy,” Rutter’s “Joy To The World” and “Candlelight Carol,” Hayes’ “Believe” from the film “Polar Express,” Leavitt’s Bashana Haba’ah, and Holcomb’s “Festive Sounds of Hanukkah.”

Cape Ann Symphony Board President Fran White said this weekend marks a milestone year for Cape Ann Symphony’s 70th anniversary of making music.

“We stayed strong during the pandemic due to the diligence and Herculean efforts of our board, music director, and musicians and most importantly, the incredible support from our patrons,” she said. “We are back and ready to make music for you for the next 70 years.”

Udagawa said the musicians are eager to return to the stage with a full orchestra.

“It will be a joyous celebration of the holiday season. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we all feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to the outpouring of support from our audiences and supporters, and we can’t wait to be together again with our audiences to make music and celebrate,” he said.

Single ticket prices are $45 for adults, $40 for senior citizens age 65 and above, $20 for students of any age, $5 for youth 12 years old and under.

In accordance with COVID safety protocols, concert-goers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present documentation of a negative test within 72 hours prior to the event. Concern has been expressed that, while audience members will be required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination or negative tests, no assurance has been given regarding the musicians and choristers on stage.

However, White noted that all musicians and chorus members have been fully vaccinated. Also, all will be wearing masks, except for those playing wind instruments. While at this time it is unrealistic to require that young people be vaccinated, masks will be required.

For tickets and information, call 978-281-0543 or visit www.capeannsymphony.org.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2706, or at gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com.

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