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Maestro Ponti Previews Paducah Symphony's 'A Christmas Celebration'

Paducah Symphony Orchestra

The Paducah Symphony Orchestra and Choruses presents its annual Christmas Celebration on December 8th. WKMS classical host and producer George Eldred speaks with conductor Raffaele Ponti on Sounds Good about the popular concert.

"It was 2010 when I arrived here and I'm happy to say we've sold out this performance every year," said Ponti.

This is always a fun concert for the community and doesn't require an extensive knowledge of classical music. "It's a beautiful concert because you don't have to be a symphonist, or a Wagnerian lover to enjoy this kind of concert. Something for the kids, for the family, and for the grandparents, and it just brings everybody together," he said.

The Symphony is joined by the choruses: Children, Youth, Adult PSO choirs, the Murray State chorus, and visiting choruses. Ponti explained, "Along with the 70-piece professional orchestra, it's like 300 people on that stage and it really is like the community coming together... I'm looking around and thinking, 'these are our neighbors.  These are our community friends that I see at Kroger and at church.'"

There will be two settings of the 'Gloria in Excelsis" (Glory to God in the Highest).  One by Antonio Vivaldi and a setting by Randol Bass. Ponti said, "So even though the text is the same, it's going to be a totally different setting. And I put them both on this program, one on the first half, one on the second half, to show how composers can take similar material and make it something completely different."

The concert is Saturday, December 8th at 7:30 at the Carson Center in downtown Paducah.

Listen to this concert on WKMS beginning Sunday, December 16th.

George Eldred has lived most of his life in Princeton, Kentucky except for a 15 year stint of studying music in Sewanee, Tennessee and Lawrence, Kansas and working in camera and photo finishing shops in the Washington, DC area. George first went on the air around the 4th grade when the local station in Princeton used to get elementary school students to read children's books from the library on the air.
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