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Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 01:40 am

HOLIDAY SYMPHONY

Though Christmas music can be annoying when piped through the tinny speakers of every grocery store and shopping mall, it’s much more enjoyable when played in person by a talented group of local musicians. The Illinois Symphony Orchestra, led by maestra Karen Lynne Deal, is offering an elegant taste of the holidays with its upcoming Happy Holidays! Holiday Pops Spectacular.

It’s a coming-together of several area performance groups, including ISO,  Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony, Sangamon Valley Community Orchestra, The Four Sopranos, Springfield Youth Performance Group and St. Andrew’s Pipes and Drums. There will even be a special performance by Springfield resident Polly Roesch, who will sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” in celebration of her 100th birthday.

Selections for the concert include “Sleigh Ride,” “The Bells of Christmas,” “Around the World at Christmastime,” “O Holy Night,” “Evening Prayer” from Hansel and Gretel, “Stille Nacht,” “The Toy Trumpet,” and “Entrance of the Guests from Tannhauser.” There will be a reading of “The Christmas Story,” and the audience is invited to join in with a Holiday Singalong.

The performance is 8 p.m. Dec. 18 at Sangamon Auditorium. Ticket prices range from $10 for students to $42 for premium seating. Senior discounts are also available. To order or for more information, call 206-6160 or visit ilsymphony.org.