Er-Gene Kahng soloist at Fort Smith Symphony Christmas concert

“We are required by law to perform Sly Ride every Christmas,” John Jeter, music director of the Fort Smith Symphony, which will perform the “Joy of Christmas” concert Dec. 3, jokes.

But more importantly, he adds, “Choosing music for Christmas is actually quite a challenge. One would think that there are millions of pieces of holiday music out there, but they are surprisingly limited. So the challenge is to combine traditional favorites with exciting new arrangements.” Luckily, we have some great resources, so we’re able to offer a program that’s exciting and different while still feeling traditional.”

This year Jeter has picked out “Great Arrangements of ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’,” “Greensleeves” i/rss/rd/articles/ “We Three Kings,” “Carol of the Bells,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” and “No You hear what I hear.’ Audiences will remember our collaboration with arranger Matt Riley,” he adds, “and we’re thrilled to be featuring his music again, including some fantastic new arrangements.” We also perform the complete Nutcracker set and “Christmas Festival”.

Fort Smith Symphony violinist and violinist, Er-Gene Kahng has three solo works this year - “Carol of the Bells / God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” articles/ “Hyfrydol” (Come and Wait Long Jesus) and “We Are Three Kings”.

“It’s hard to pick a favourite,” she admits. “Matt Riley’s arrangement of the familiar pieces are all delightful, inventive, and hugely enjoyable for the performers; these three are no exception!”

“Our holiday party is always very well attended,” Jeter adds. “Yes, we see many younger children and families; however, we see that as a general trend across all of our concerts, and it’s very exciting. These concerts are really for everyone.”

Jeter says his family’s personal tradition “is to try to stay relaxed and not be rushed around the holidays.”

“There seemed to be a lot of frantic, crazy energy, so we learned to spend time with family and friends, and just relax,” he says. “This is especially useful for musicians because it’s a crazy time of year for performers.”

Kahng says her family tradition isn’t “unique,” but “I look forward to it every year: gift-giving, gathering, cooking, and of course, eating! The violinist usually takes a vacation too, but only after all the holiday parties pass, of course!” “

As usual, the party at 8:30 p.m. in the bakery area follows the December 3 performance.

“Audiences and musicians alike love this opportunity to hang out and party after the concert,” says Jeter. Both the audience and the orchestra are invited. Concert tickets can be used for a free drink at the event, [and] There is always excellent live music for everyone to enjoy. After-Party music throughout this season will feature the Fort Smith Symphony String Quartet, Kool Cats Jazz Quartet, Fort Smith Symphony Brass Quintet, The Crumbs, and more. This time, he says, a quintet will play traditional holiday music.

As an added gift to the community, the Fort Smith Symphony is also offering a series of free performances titled “Sacred Voices in Mercy” that began November 15th. The collaboration continues with Mercy Fort Smith on November 29 with Laken Emerson, Fantastic Flute; Resonating Strings on December 1; Laurie Fay, virtuoso violin, on December 6; and Gary Hutchinson, Glorious Guitar, on December 8. Shows take place at 10 a.m. in the Mercy Medical Building, which faces Rogers Street. Enter from 70th Street.

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Photo Fort Smith Symphony violinist and concertmaster, Er-Gene Kahng, has three solo works in the orchestra’s Christmas concert this year - “Carol of the Bells / Good Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”, “Hefridol” (Come Thou Expected Jesus) long) and “We Are Three Kings”. (image courtesy)