November 22, 2013
Billings Symphony’s Holiday Tour of Homes showcases local homes dressed their best for the holiday season
Billings, MT – The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale (BSO&C) celebrates the spirit of the holiday season with its Ninth Annual Holiday Tour of Homes on Saturday, December 7 from 12 noon to 4pm throughout Billings. Local families will open their beautifully decorated homes to ticket holders. The self-guided tour features five festively-decorated homes that will feature music by BSO&C musicians, as well as the Billings Youth Orchestra. Homes will also have light holiday refreshments. The event raises funds for the Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale.
Billings Symphony board members Shelley Van Atta and Robin Hanel will chair Holiday Tour of Homes this year. “The Billings Symphony’s Holiday Tour of Homes has become a tradition that many people in the greater-Billings area look forward to as a festive prelude to the holiday season. In addition to being able to see some of Billings’ most beautiful homes at their holiday best, supporting the Holiday Tour of Homes shows support for the Billings Symphony and its mission of entertaining, inspiring, educating and changing lives through symphonic music for residents of Yellowstone County and beyond,” said Van Atta.
New to the event this year is a holiday wreath raffle. Gainan’s Flowers and Garden Center has graciously donated five wreaths to be raffled off at each home. Tickets for the raffle are $5 each.
Featured on the tour this year are homes owned by:
- Donna Yeargain – 5332 Green Teal Drive
- This spacious five-bedroom, six-bath home has glimpses of seasonal spirit sprinkled in every room! Donna has been collecting gold ornaments for as long as she can remember and those ornaments, along with the crystal chandeliers in the home, are what give the house its holiday sparkle. Along with greenery and Santas, this home is full of seasonal spirit!
- Stephen & Mandie Casher – 3918 Summerwood Drive
- The home boasts a grand entrance with fresh garland draping the nine-foot mahogany door. The Casher’s have decorated their home with a traditional feel for the holidays. The Christmas Village theme in the lower level adds cheer and coziness and the true feeling of family.
- Terry & Jan Wattles – 1807 Lost Creek Road
The Crossings Bed & Breakfast
- As the owners dress their new home for the first time with holiday wear, their desire is to honor the Yellowstone River on which they live. The theme is ‘Christmas on the Yellowstone’. The decor is simple and natural with a nod to earlier times. Guests to the Bed & Breakfast this season will enjoy the quiet peace.
- Dewey Algaard – 3397 Lucky Penny Lane
- The home is lavishly decorated by Gainan’s to reflect the warmth and spirit of the Holiday Season. There also is a beautiful gas fireplace with marble trim and a stunning view of the Rimrocks from the back porch.
- Dean & Jessica Smith – 2938 Rimrock Road
- This beautiful log home came to life in the 1940s. The Smiths bought the home in 1980 and have given the home its second life. Every nook and corner of this log home – from the antique foghorn to the handmade Santa, to the button decorated Christmas tree – has a story to tell.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the tour. Tickets may be purchased at the Billings Symphony Office, 2721 2nd Ave. North, Suite 350, or by calling (406) 252-3610, or online at www.billingssymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at all three Gainan’s Flowers and Garden Centers located in Billings. Gainan’s is located downtown at 502 N 30th St.; in the Heights at 810 Bench Blvd.; and in West Billings at 1211 24th St. West.
The Ninth Annual Holiday Tour of Homes is generously sponsored by First Montana Title, Gainan’s Flowers and Garden Center, Tom & Robin Hanel: Montana Real Estate Brokers; Phillips 66: Billings Refinery; Larry Van Atta: RBC Wealth Management; and Wetzel’s Cleaners. Linda and Denny Menholt proudly sponsor the Billings Symphony’s 2013-14 season, Expect the Unexpected.
A map of the tour may be found on the Symphony website. Proceeds from this event help fulfill our mission of bringing live quality symphonic music to as many people as possible in our region whether they attend a concert or experience the Symphony through one of our 15 music education and community engagement programs, which comprise Explore Music!.
November 19, 2013
Local singers and dancers join the Billings Symphony and San Diego Ballet for the annual performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker
Billings, MT –The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale (BSO&C) will present The Nutcracker, performed with the San Diego Ballet, under the artistic direction of Robin Sherertz Morgan, and the Billings Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Anne Harrigan. More than 100 local children will join as singers and dancers for two performances on Saturday, November 30 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, December 1 at 2 p.m., at the Alberta Bair Theater. The dress rehearsal on Saturday, November 30 at 1:30 pm will also be open to ticket buyers for a discounted rate. The dress rehearsal is at the Alberta Bair Theater and is general admission only; no group discounts apply for this performance.
With its signature theatrics and beloved choreography, the San Diego Ballet delivers a light-hearted interpretation of this holiday classic that is expressive and dramatic. Principal dancers are seasoned professionals who bring strong brilliant technique, expressive artistry and high energy to this well-loved ballet. Audiences easily connect with their inspired performances set to Peter Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed live by the Billings Symphony Orchestra in the pit below the stage.
Roles such as the Sugar Babes, Candy Canes, Gingersnaps, and the Boys & Girls Party Scene will be filled by local dancers, under the direction of Betty Loos and Julia Marble of The Classical School of Ballet. Kayla Sutton, Billings, will dance the role of Clara and Harper Howe, Billings, will dance the role of Fritz.
In addition to local dancers cast in the ballet, vibrant young vocalists with the Billings School District 2 Honor Choir, under the direction of Wendy Goodheart, will sing during the snow scene.
Families will delight in the classic version of this “must-experience” holiday event. (“Must-see” simply doesn’t capture the LIVE music, high energy of such a talented cast, and special stage effects.) And it makes a fabulous date-night to kick off the holiday season!
This annual event would not be possible without the generous support of Stockman Bank and the Billings YWCA for the donated use of their space for auditions and rehearsals. The Nutcracker is also supported with funds from the Montana Cultural Trust, the Montana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Linda and Denny Menholt proudly sponsor the 2013-14 season, Expect the Unexpected.
Tickets are on sale now at the Alberta Bair Theater Box Office, 256-6052, or online at www.albertabairtheater.org. Discounted rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Prices range from $21 to $46 for adult tickets. Tickets for children 12 and younger range from $11 to $46; there is no discount for loge seating. Tickets for the dress rehearsal on Saturday, Nov. 30 are $31 and $16 for children 12 and under. There are NO DISCOUNTS for the dress rehearsal performance.
About the San Diego Ballet: San Diego Ballet (SDB) was founded in 1991 with a well-trained corps of dancers, in close association with Director Robin Sherertz Morgan’s San Diego School of Ballet, featuring strong contemporary ballets created by award winning, resident choreographer and Co-Director, Javier Velasco. San Diego Ballet has collaborated with the SD Symphony, SD Opera, SD Chamber Orchestra, SD Camarada, Grossmont Symphony, SD Culture Shock, SD Dance Theater, as well as other music, theater and dance organizations. SDB is a touring company and includes yearly tours to the Midwest and Southwest states. SDB has been voted #1 dance troupe by the reader’s poll of the SD Union/Tribune, Signonsandiego.com, BestOf San Diego.com., and the only Nutcracker in San Diego included in CBS-Los Angeles top picks of “So Cal’s Best Nutcrackers!”
Robin Sherertz Morgan | Co-director, San Diego Ballet
Ms. Morgan began her dancing career with the original San Diego Ballet Company. She was awarded a full Ford Foundation Scholarship to the School of American Ballet. Later she danced with the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine and toured with Suki Schorer’s New York Lecture Ensemble. Returning to San Diego she developed her reputation as a teacher in local studios before opening the San Diego School of Ballet in 1989. She has choreographed for various theatre groups including a network TV movie. Ms. Morgan founded the new San Diego Ballet in 1990 which has received rave reviews for their performances and artistic excellence.
Javier Velasco | Co-director, San Diego Ballet
Mr. Velasco has supplied dances for productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, and has a long-standing relationship with the San Diego Repertory Theatre. Mr. Velasco currently serves as artistic director of the San Diego Ballet, having created over 70 original pieces for the company since its inception, including 10 pieces in collaboration with composer David Burge to commissioned scores.
About the School of Classical Ballet
Betty Loos | Co-director
Ms. Loos directed her own school for six years before co-founding the School of Classical Ballet with former business partner Jana Stockton. Betty received her early training from June Austin and Hungarian teachers Ildiko Perjessy and Angela Mc Alpin. She continued her training at the University of Utah under the direction of William Christiansen, and at the Teachers’ Training Program through the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Former students have danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theater, Smuin Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, David Taylor, and apprenticed with the National Ballet of Canada.
Julia Marble | Co-director
Ms. Marble attended the National Academy of the Arts in Champaign-Urbana, IL., a performing arts high school, and then attended Cornish Institute of the Allied Arts in Seattle, WA. She later continued her dance studies and performing in New York City. Marble danced professionally with Matthews- Masters Dance Company, Bernhardt and Dancers, and many other NY modern dance companies. Marble served as the Artistic Director of Dance Arts Los Alamos in NM., a non profit performing arts school, prior to teaching in Billings.
About the Billings Honor Choirs: The Girls and Boys Honor Choirs encompass the Billings Public Elementary School,4th-6th graders. Singers audition, rehearse weekly, and perform two major concerts and one tour each year. The Heights Girls are directed by Patti Waddell, accompanied by Amanda Olson. The West End Girls are directed by Amber McQuillan, accompanied by Lynette Tedlund. The Boys Honor Choir is directed by Wendy Goodheart and accompanied by Scott Corey.
November 12, 2013
Billings Symphony musicians will play three performances with Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Billings, MT…Nine Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale (BSO&C) musicians will perform with Mannheim Steamroller for their popular Christmas show on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Heritage Center Theater in Gillette, Wyo., and at the Rimrock Auto Arena on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. in Billings.
Billings Symphony Orchestra musicians performing with Mannheim Steamroller are: Randy Tracy, violin; Maurine Akin, violin; Bark Kirk, violin; Kristi Kazmierski, violin; Amy Letson, viola; Mary McCullough, cello; John Dutton, horn; Sue Logan, oboe; and Mark Fenderson, trumpet.
Darren Rich, BSO&C executive director, says the Symphony is excited and proud for its musicians to perform with world-famous performers like Mannheim Steamroller. “When Mannheim Steamroller was seeking the best musicians to perform for their local concerts, they contacted us. Performing on a national tour validates how talented the musicians of the Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale are,” said Rich.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas was created by Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis and has been America’s favorite holiday celebration for over 28 years. Davis created a show that features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting.
Mannheim Steamroller is the #1-selling Christmas artist of all time. With over 40 million total records sold, 28 million have been Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums. The group’s annual Christmas tour has consistently ranked among top national tours.
For more information or to order tickets for the performances visit www.mannheimsteamroller.com.