The annual National Chamber Ensemble Holiday Concert will return to the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre this Saturday for a tradition almost as old as the musical group itself.
This year’s concert is scheduled for this Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are available online and cost $17 for students, $33 for adults.
The ensemble was founded nine years ago by Leo Sushansky, who is also the group’s artistic director. The holiday concert has been a part of the performance schedule for eight of those nine years.
“I think it’s one of the most fun events of the season in Rosslyn,” Sushansky said. “It brings together classical masterpieces and holiday favorites in one program, for kids, for families, for everyone.”
This year’s program includes classical music from Beethoven and Chopin, as well as a piece from the overture of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, a special performance of “Oh, Holy Night,” a Hanukkah medley and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”
Per tradition, the concert will end with a sing-a-long, led by performer and Washington Life Magazine performing arts columnist Patrick D. McCoy.
During the show, the chamber will also present the first ever Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award to Avery Gagliano, a 13-year-old pianist and violinist from the metro area. She’ll be featured in a solo and will also play one song with the entire ensemble.
“She’s a prodigy and the winner of many competitions around the world,” Sushansky said about the young artist. “She’s very deserving of this award.”
Sushansky also said audiences can prepare themselves for more engaging experience than they might expect from a holiday concert.
“All our concerts are very interactive,” he said. “Musicians tell stories, jokes, and talk about personal experiences. Yes, you’ll get to hear some great music, but you’ll also get to know the artists.”
Audience members will have another opportunity to interact with the artists after the concert, as they’ll join a reception with wine, cheese and snacks following the show.
“We’re a society of internationally acclaimed musicians from the capital area, and we come together for chamber music,” Sushansky added. “We’re very excited to share this with the Arlington community again this year.”
Photo by Robert W. Jansen