Muskegon, Michigan, November 30, 2023—It’s a Wonderful Life. Home Alone. Elf. Babes in Toyland. Polar Express. Meet Me in St. Louis. A Christmas Carol. It’s all on the bill when Music Director Scott Speck leads the West Michigan Symphony and guest vocalist Holly Payne in the beloved annual Home for the Holidays concert at 7:30pm Friday, December 15. “Timeless Movie Memories” is the theme, and Speck and Co. promise to deliver just that—along with plenty of classic Holiday fare and a rousing carol sing-along. It’s all in the name of putting a fresh twist on a beloved local tradition of joyful, heartwarming family fun. Joining Speck, Payne and the Orchestra will be the West Michigan Symphony Children’s Choir and the Mona Shores High School Choir. Sponsored by Warner Norcross Judd, Webb Chemical and Mike & Kay Olthoff, the performance will be held in the Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon. For tickets, starting at $19 for adults, $10 for students, call 231.727.8001, visit the Frauenthal box office or purchase online at www.westmichigansymphony.org.
Selections will include orchestral suites drawn from the soundtracks of Polar Express and Elf, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from Meet Me in St. Louis, “March of the Toys” from Babes in Toyland, “When Christmas Comes to Town” from Polar Express, “Somewhere in My Memory” from Home Alone, and “God Bless Us, Every One” from A Christmas Carol, to name a few.
“Everyone who knows me knows how much I love movie music,” said Scott Speck; “so for this year’s concert we’ve created an entire evening filled with scores from the most treasured holiday movies. We hope to brighten everyone’s life, embrace their souls and send them soaring into the Holiday season!”
Holly Payne was acclaimed as “a knockout” and hailed for “a voice that is incredibly pure, strong and beautiful” by Talking Broadway. Her WMS appearance comes on the heels of recent starring roles in both Meet Me in St Louis and A Christmas Carol at the Phoenix Hale Centre Theatre. Under the direction of Shawn Lawton, the Mona Shores High School Choir enjoys a rich tradition of excellence and a reputation for diverse and unique musical opportunities for young choristers. The choir presents a Broadway musical and popular music concert, Pop Go the Sailors, each year; travels to New York City and internationally; and is known far and wide for presenting “America’s Tallest Singing Christmas Tree” every year at the Frauenthal. Now in its 11th season, WMS Children’s Choir brings together young singers ages 8 to 13 under the direction of Beth Slimko for high quality vocal training through preparation for annual independent concerts, performances in collaboration with WMS Debut Strings, and appearances on the WMS concert season.
An anchor cultural organization headquartered in Muskegon, West Michigan Symphony is a resident performing group at the Frauenthal Center, where its eight-concert season is the most visible part of a larger artistic enterprise of far-reaching community benefit. At its live listening room, The Block, just down the street, it mounts 15 performance events annually featuring jazz, classical, folk, ambient and other offerings. WMS concerts and education events bring 16,500 people—more than 30% of whom are children and students—downtown annually, making it the largest performing arts organization on the West Shore. ###