‘Tis the Season for Celebration at Omaha Symphony
December 10th, 2015
Omaha, NE — An Omaha conductor just received a promotion. Ben Rasmussen says he truly â€œEarnedâ€ it.
The Omaha Symphony recently recognized longtime Resident Conductor Ernest Richardson for his contributions, and named him the Symphonyâ€™s Principal Pops Conductor. Richardsonâ€™s duties include creating new original content that engages current patrons, attracts new audiences, and showcases the unique sound of the Omaha Symphony:
â€œAt the core of everything we do is this desire to present the sound of a full symphony orchestra,â€ Richardson said. â€œSo, regardless of the style, we want the sound of our Omaha Symphony to be at the core. All the shows that weâ€™ve been creating in the past three to five years, and particularly the success of the Christmas program, I think all of that comes together and says, â€˜letâ€™s really continue to invest resources in this way.â€™â€
Maestro Richardsonâ€™s skilled hand created the Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration, a hybrid performance fusing the sound of the orchestra with broadway singers and dancers to create a montage of the season. He likens the programâ€™s experience to a family coming together to open Christmas cards.
â€œThe images on the cards were important to the senders,â€ he said. â€œSome people send pictures of the family, so obviously family is important to them. Some people send starry night pictures, some people send silly pictures, some people send folks gathered around the dinner table or the little church in the woods that doesnâ€™t exist except in peopleâ€™s imagination. In the same way we put together our Christmas program so that our Christmas cards are visual and auditory and theyâ€™re moving – so theyâ€™re really super cool!â€
Joining the familiar scenes and timeless stories, are new holiday tales, some directly from the conductorâ€™s pen.
â€œSo thereâ€™s a young boy who is searching for Santa, searching for the meaning of Christmas, searching for something he can believe in in his heart but canâ€™t see,â€ Richardson said. â€œMeanwhile, in the north pole, all the technology breaks down because nobody believes in what they canâ€™t see any more, the Belief-o-meter drops and Santa sends his fellowship of Christmas Zing on a search to find the one child who still believes in Christmas so we can power the north pole.â€
The Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration runs December 12-20 at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Tickets and more information are available at omahasymphony.org.
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