The Cleveland Orchestras Holiday Festival holds a revered place in our towns hearts. The season just isnt complete without it, according to Robert Porco, director of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and conductor of the shows. It really is a cross between entertainment for the family and a spiritual experience, he says. Its not a standard concert at all. It occupies this niche all by itself.
This years program includes perennial favorites like Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Deck the Halls, and selections from The Nutcracker. Four local choirs -- the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, the Youth Chorus, the Childrens Chorus, and the Cleveland State University Chorale -- join in. Theres nothing more communicative than seeing 120 people singing directly to you, says Porco. Its an inspirational thing. He spends the months leading up to the holidays putting together a repertoire that balances new pieces and the standards audiences expect to hear. Its a juggling act.
Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 & 7 p.m. Starts: Dec. 15. Continues through Dec. 24