IVSO to host Celebrate Joy! program Dec. 11 at La Salle-Peru High School auditorium

Performance will feature Roger Amm as vocal soloist

The narrator for this program will be Roger Amm, who is a retired music teacher of 32 years from Ottawa High School.

The Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra will present a holiday concert, Celebrate Joy! at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, in the Matthiessen Auditorium of La Salle-Peru High School, 541 Chartres St., La Salle.

The performance features Roger Amm as the vocal soloist. Amm will be singing selections from George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” In addition, Amm will narrate composer Bill Holcombe’s exciting arrangement of “T’was The Night Before Christmas.”

Amm is a retired music educator who taught vocal music at Ottawa High School for 32 years. He directed the Westminster Choir at Ottawa First Presbyterian Church for 20 years. He serves on the Ottawa High School Board.

Since his retirement in 2013, he has also performed leading roles in the musicals, “Les Miserables” and “Bright Star” at Engle Lane Theater in Streator. In addition, Amm has helped produce three Emmy Award-winning documentaries by Kanestar Productions.

Amm received his bachelor of music education degree from Illinois State University, and his master of music degree from Northern Illinois University. Amm resides in Ottawa with his wife, Carol.

The varied program will include a performance of Peter Ilyich Tschaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” The suite consists of eight selections, grouped in three movements: Ouverture Miniature, Danses Caracteristiques and Valse Des Fleurs. Tschaikovsky compiled his Suite from the popular ballet, The Nutcracker.

Three movements from Sergei Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kije Symphonique Suite” will also be presented: The Birth of Kije, Kije’s Wedding and Troika. This music was originally written to accompany a film, and was Prokofiev’s first attempt at writing film music.

The IVSO will perform music from the movie, “The Polar Express.” The movie tells the story of a young hero boy who boards on a powerful magical train that’s headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus’ home on Christmas Eve night. Selection included in the medley are: “Believe,” “The Polar Express,” “When Christmas Comes to Town,” and “Spirit of the Season.”

In addition, composer Steven Amundson’s “Angels’ Dance” will be performed. Set in 7/8 meter, “Angels’ Dance” is rhythmic and colorful, lilting and joyful, and quotes the hymn tune, “Angels We Have Heard on High.” The program concludes with Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”

Admission is by season subscription or individual ticket available online at ivso.org or at the door. Adults are $20, students kindergarten through 12th grade are free, and college students with an ID are $5. La Salle-Peru High School is ADA accessible.

The IVSO season sponsor is WCMY/WRKX Radio in Ottawa. Additional sponsors include Spring Valley City Bank, Eureka Savings Bank and a grant from The Illinois Arts Council Agency.