Get carried away this Christmas!

Mesabi Symphony Orchestra to present holiday concerts


The rock rhythm section of the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra. Pictured (l. to r.) are Sheila Wilcox, electric fiddle; Luke Morgan, guitar; Larry Baker, drums; and Brandon Rauthage, electric bass. Submitted photo.

The rock rhythm section of the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra. Pictured (l. to r.) are Sheila Wilcox, electric fiddle; Luke Morgan, guitar; Larry Baker, drums; and Brandon Rauthage, electric bass. Submitted photo.

ELY – Your very own orchestra, the Mesabi Symphony, invites you to board the musical conveyance of your choice. One-horse open sleigh, Mannheim Steamroller, or Polar Express, they’re all available to you for fantastical trips to see grandma, grandkid, Santa, Krampus, or whoever you like. We won’t be playing “Winter Wonderland,” though, because we’ll be playing in one! Razzle-dazzle lights, giant paper lanterns, gleaming silver birch trees; even the musicians will be decorated (well, a little bit).

Semi-seriously, we’re presenting our Christmas Pops & Classics Concerts on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. in Virginia’s Goodman Auditorium, and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2:30 p.m. at the Moose Lake School. Moose Lake tickets are available at the door; buy Virginia tickets at the door or online at the MSO website, www.mesabisymphonyorchestra.org.

The first half is all musical warm fuzzies and bright, shiny things. We’ll take you on a sleigh ride, play some favorite old hymn/carols, roast some chestnuts, and then we’ll all board the Polar Express. This train is a lot faster than Ol’ Dobbin, for sure, but it has plenty of time for beautiful melodies, too.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas concert without a little Nutcracker, would it? Tchaikovsky’s magic kitchen implement will have you marching with the tin soldiers, waltzing (endlessly) with flowers, twirling and stamping a Russian trepak, and tiptoeing with the Chinese mirlitons.

After intermission, you’ll get to see a new and probably unexpected side of the orchestra. If you like your Christmas with a certain amount of pepper, you’re going to love this. We’ve recruited some of our friends, and our concertmaster, to be a rock rhythm section plus electric fiddle. Throw in some shenanigans with the stage lights, and you get Mannheim Steamroller, decking the halls and resting some merry gentlemen.

But there’s still more! The Trans-Siberian Orchestra section of the program should have you dancing in the aisles. You might see and hear fireflies, wizards, mad Russians, and who knows what else? It’s hard to tell who’s having more fun, the rockers or the orchestra. Who cares? It’s all great, and it’s all for you!

After the show, please hang around and enjoy homebakes—assorted pastries and other yummies from the kitchens of your very own orchestra members. We love making music for you, we love meeting you, and a lot of us like cooking for you. You are the reason we are here; we are your orchestra. Let’s get this Christmas season started!

Lynn Evenson lives in Ely, MN. She is president of the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra board and plays percussion and string bass in the orchestra.

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