Symphony of the Mountains will ring in the Christmas season on a high note Saturday, Dec. 3, with its annual Wellmont Holiday Concert.
The concert, set for 3 p.m. at the Toy F. Reid Employee Center in Kingsport, will feature performances by Voices of the Mountains and the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy along with special guests Rabbi Brent Fiedler, Sandee Woolley and tenor soloist Andrew Skoog.
Skoog, who will perform “Missa Criolla” with Voices of the Mountains, is an assistant professor of voice at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the director of music at Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church.
He holds a master of arts degree in voice performance from Stephen F.Austin State University and a bachelor of music education degree from Arkansas State University. He has held positions on the faculties at the University of Texas at Tyler and Tyler Junior College.
Skoog performed Orff’s “Carmina Burana” with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and in 2006, reprised the work in his international debut with the Bergen Philharmonic in Bergen, Norway.
He made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall in Handel’s “Messiah” with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and has also performed with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall. His other recent orchestral credits include the Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Shreveport Symphony, Tulsa Symphony and Baton Rouge Symphony.
Skoog made his operatic debut with the Lyric Opera of San Antonio as Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly.” A regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and the Dallas Opera Career Development Grant Auditions, his operatic credits include such roles as Sam Polk in “Susannah,” Alfred in “Die Fledermaus,” Pong in “Turandot” and Camille in “The Merry Widow,” as well as roles in “Carmen,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” “Rita,” “Werther,” “Savitri,” “L’Enfant et Les Sortileges” and “The Love for Three.”
SOTM will entertain its audience with both traditional and contemporary musical selections, from “Winter Wonderland” and pieces from the “Nutcracker” suite to “Mid-Winter” and “Sabbath Prayer” from “Fiddler on the Roof.” A Chanukah candle blessing and an indoor snow flurry will round out the festive event.
Pre-program music will be provided by students from the Suzuki Talent Education of Appalachia.
A very special guest with a long white beard is also expected to make an appearance, and will stick around for a cookie social and pictures after the show.
“There’s definitely something for everyone in this concert,” said Cornelia Laemmli Orth, the symphony’s conductor. “Every year we try to make this bigger and better. Coming to the Symphony is a Christmas tradition.”
Tickets are $28 and can be purchased by calling SOTM’s box office at (423) 392-8423 or online at SymphonyOfTheMountains.org.