‘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 “Earned” it.

The Omaha Symphony recently recognized longtime Resident Conductor Ernest Richardson for his contributions, and named him the Symphony’s Principal Pops Conductor. Richardson’s duties include creating new original content that engages current patrons, attracts new audiences, and showcases the unique sound of the Omaha Symphony:

ernest richardson

Ernest Richardson

“At the core of everything we do is this desire to present the sound of a full symphony orchestra,” Richardson said. “So, regardless of the style, we want the sound of our Omaha Symphony to be at the core. All the shows that we’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, ‘let’s really continue to invest resources in this way.’”

Maestro Richardson’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 program’s experience to a family coming together to open Christmas cards.

“The images on the cards were important to the senders,” he said. “Some 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 doesn’t exist except in people’s imagination. In the same way we put together our Christmas program so that our Christmas cards are visual and auditory and they’re moving – so they’re really super cool!”

Joining the familiar scenes and timeless stories, are new holiday tales, some directly from the conductor’s pen.

“So there’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 can’t see,” Richardson said. “Meanwhile, in the north pole, all the technology breaks down because nobody believes in what they can’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.”

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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