Omaha Symphony’s Christmas Spectacular


December 17th, 2013

Omaha, NE – It’s not just Christmas with the Symphony – it’s something ‘Spectacular!’



The Omaha Symphony continues it’s traditional holiday concerts with the newly rebranded “Christmas Spectacular.” The Symphony’s Resident Conductor, Ernest Richardson, says the new name reflects the gradual shift in style for the production.

 “Several years ago we decided that we would really focus on the timing and the visual impact of Broadway.” Richardson said. “So we’ve really shifted the program to that kind of pace. We’ve gone to a number of Broadway shows and asked, ‘What about this essential experience can we bring to the Holland that will make this show Spectacular?’”

This also meant bringing in professional broadway directors, choreographers, dancers, and singers, which, he says, gives the orchestra great story-telling options. However, Richardson says this production takes the Broadway concept one step further.

“Now when you go to a Broadway show, it’s great, but you never hear a full orchestra. What they call a big orchestra at it’s biggest is 22, 32 people at the most, that’s just a drop in the bucket with the Omaha Symphony, that’s just the start.”

However, it also means that the standard repertoire just wouldn’t cut it.

“What we’ve realized is in order for us to do the kind of show we’re imagining, we just can’t use stock arrangements, they don’t exist for what we’re trying to do.”

The performance is, for the most part, setup into short vignettes and montages of the season. Richardson outlines one such story.

 “There’s a husband and wife. He’s got this great, romantic trip planned to Vermont to go skiing at Christmas. However, their mutual friend is without a date.”

Of course, because they like him, the husband and wife invite their friend along.

“They get there, it’s beautiful, it’s snowy, it’s a little romantic, except you have the third wheel, who they both love, but he’s the third wheel.”

Fortunately, fate has something good in store for all three of them.

“There’s a woman who’s watching them interact, and she recognizes this guy is alone. She comes after him, he goes after her…”

We won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say Bing Crosby fans will likely enjoy themselves. In addition to the new stories, the Christmas Spectacular will carry on several traditions from past years.

 “Theres a wonderful studio in Omaha led by Anne Nagosky, who is a violinist in the orchestra, and she an amazing cadre of young students, and they’ll all come out to play, from the smallest to the most advanced. We end with ‘O Holy Night’, and we’re pulling out all the stops on that, and we have a sing-a-long, because Omaha loves to sing.”

Of course, there will be dancing Santas.

“What Christmas more than a tap line of Santas? I don’t know, it’s the most Christmasy thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

The Omaha Symphony’s Christmas Spectacular includes six performances: one each on Thursday and Friday with a matinee and evening performances on both Saturday and Sunday. All performances are at the Holland Performing Arts Center, and more information is available at



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