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Spartanburg Philharmonic Presents A Magical Family Concert

December 03, 2019 | Press Releases


Contact: Courtney Oliver 
Spartanburg Philharmonic 

Spartanburg, SC (December 2, 2019) - The holiday season is truly upon Spartanburg – from ice skating in Morgan Square, to the festivities of Dickens of a Christmas, and more – December is a time for fun and family. And this is exactly what the Spartanburg Philharmonic had in mind when planning its newest family concert, The Snowman and Other Holiday Favorites this December 14th and 15th at the Chapman Cultural Center.

“The magic of this season is best seen through the eyes of a child,” says Philharmonic Music Director Stefan Sanders. “I always think of my own childhood this time of year: spending quality time with family and friends, cooking and eating together, giving and receiving gifts, reminding ourselves of the many blessings we have in this life, and of course Santa Claus.”

Written as a wordless picture book, and later turned into a short, animated film, The Snowman relies on vivid illustrations and the reader’s imagination to tell its magical tale, one that Sanders recalls fondly. “One of my favorite Christmas stories is Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, about a young boy who builds a snowman that comes to life. Briggs’ beautiful story, with captivating music by Howard Blake, invites audiences of any age to be a kid again and, if only for a brief moment, to believe in the magic of Christmas.”

While the film plays, the Spartanburg Philharmonic ensemble will bring Blake’s music to life with an inspiring and uplifting performance of the original score. “Walking In The Air,” perhaps the most memorable piece will feature a solo by soprano Charlotte Ward.

First Violinist and Interim Concert Master, Callie Brennan, is delighted to lead the Philharmonic ensemble in the upcoming concert. “I remember watching The Snowman as a child and being enchanted by the animation and storyline; however, the part of the film that has remained in my heart ever since is undoubtedly the soundtrack. What may have been the first ‘silent’ film I had seen; I was in awe of how the music was able to tell the story almost better than any spoken word. It was my first exposure to how effectively music can tell a story without the aid of language and this particular soundtrack has remained one of bmy favorites ever since. Being played by a small ensemble, this concert will undoubtedly be as intimate and heartwarming as it would be to watch the film from your own living room. It is so exciting to be presenting this program to the Spartanburg community, what a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!”

The Snowman and Other Holiday Favorites is part of the Philharmonic’s “Locally Sourced” season – a yearlong celebration of Spartanburg. “For this concert, we have invited celebrated speakers Betsy Neely Sikma and Kirk H. Neely to narrate the story alongside our musicians,” says Executive Director Katherine Boucher. “We love that we can bring members of the community onto the stage to share in such a unique concert experience.” In order to spend time with their own families throughout the weekend, the duo are splitting their duties, with Betsy narrating on Saturday and Kirk on Sunday.

After the film and audiences will enjoy a selection of well-known holiday songs, including a singalong of Christmas favorites to truly put everyone in the spirit of the season. “The Philharmonic and I are really looking forward to bringing the inner child out in all of you this season with this fun, heartfelt family-friendly program,” says Sanders.

Tickets are on sale at or by calling the Chapman Cultural Center Box Office at 542-2787. Families are invited to join the Philharmonic in the lobby an hour before each performance for games and activities for all ages.

###About Spartanburg Philharmonic

The Spartanburg Philharmonic’s mission is to enrich, inspire and educate through live performances of high-quality music. Founded in 1928, the Spartanburg Philharmonic is comprised of professional musicians from diverse backgrounds who form an ensemble capable of performing a variety of musical styles and repertoire.

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