SMSO Presents “Glad Tidings” Holiday Concert

Saturday, 8 December 2018 - 7:30pm

Bells, Carols, Waltzes and Divas

SMSO Presents “Glad Tidings” Holiday Concert

Mendel Center Mainstage, Benton Harbor, MI

Saturday, December 8, 2018, 7:30pm


The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert, Glad Tidings, on Saturday, December 8th at 7:30pm on the Mendel Center Mainstage, 2755 East Napier Ave, Benton Harbor, MI, will encapsulate a multitude of seasonal traditions in one musically packed evening.  Carols, sing-alongs, and storytelling will be presented by the SMSO in conjunction with local choruses and community members.


Joining the musicians of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra will be choir teachers Katie Rohwer of Lakeshore High School, Rebecca Derbas-Selvidge of Coloma High School and Carrie VanDenburgh of Berrien Springs High School performing under their professional moniker, “The Three Divas of Southwest Michigan.” The concert will also include performances from the Lakeshore, Coloma and Berrien Springs high school choirs.


AEP Communications Representative and SMSO Executive Board member, Bill Downey, will narrate the holiday classic, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. About his upcoming role, he states, “I’ve read, seen and heard a lot of different versions of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas in my lifetime, but reciting it with an entire symphony orchestra behind me setting the mood will certainly be a first for me. And I. Can’t. Wait!”


Event activities include a special visit by Mrs. Claus, a post-concert reception in the Mendel Center North Lobby, and Small Business of Note guest Chartreuse, of St. Joseph.


Tickets range from $5 - $35 and are available online at, by calling 269-982-4030 or in person at 513 Ship Street, St. Joseph M-F 10am to 5pm.


Event details are as follows:

WHAT: “Glad Tidings” Holiday Concert

WHO: Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra

WHEN: Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Mendel Center Mainstage at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E Napier Ave, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

TICKETSavailableonline, by calling our office at 269-982-4030 or in person at 513 Ship St. St. Joseph, MI, M-F 10am to 5pm.

Zone A: Adult: $35 / Full time students $5

Zone B: Adult: $20 / Full time students $5



Die Fledermaus  Overture                                        Johann Strauss II

‘Twas the Night before Christmas                            Bill Holcombe

Bill Downey, Narrator

From Amahl and the Night Visitors:                         Gian-Carlo Menotti



Shepherds’ Dance

A Feast of Carols                                                              Randol Alan Bass

                Combined Choirs

Chanukah Suite                                                                Traditional, arr. Jeff Tyzik

Les Patineurs (Skaters’ Waltz)                                  ÉmilWaldteufel

O Holy Night                                                                       Adolph Adam and JS Bach, arr. Keith Christopher

                The Three Divas of Southwest Michigan

Angels We Have Heard on High                                 arr. Paul Thompson

                The Three Divas

Fantasia on “Greensleeves”                                        Vaughan Williams   

The Bells of Christmas                                                    arr. Bob Krogstad

A Carol Festival                                                                 arr. Hawley Ades

                Combined choirs, Three Divas and Audience


Our Generous Sponsors

The Symphony is only able to perform these concerts with support from our community.  While that support takes many forms, we are particularly grateful to our sponsors for this concert:Meijer, Wales & Associates, Classic Catering and Events, and News Talk 94.9 WSJM.Additionally, this activity is supported by theMichigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and theNational Endowment for the Arts.


For press inquiries regarding this concert, please contact Robin Fountain, SMSO Music Director, 615-522-8295,


Small Business of Note: Chartreuse - A Gallery of Local Art

Chartreuse offers handmade art by more than 20 artists who call the St. Joseph area home. Come check out our locally-made gifts and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. We have something new nearly every day! Located at 304 State Street, downtown St. Joseph. Open ‘year round and open every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Current hours are 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.


About the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra

The SMSO has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of our community since 1951. We strive to cultivate and inspire a diverse audience through professional musical experiences. We embrace the responsibility to be a dynamic and vibrant part of southwest Michigan by offering innovative programming, broader venues and increased educational opportunities, while balancing artistic growth with financial soundness. Your participation and support is vital to our mission of Transforming Lives Through Music.


The Three Divas of Southwest Michigan

Hailing from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Katherine Rohwer is an active mezzo-soprano soloist, choral singer, and conductor.  At the age of six, she began singing in church and community choirs and studied piano, voice, and drama. Katherine graduated summa cum laude from Western Michigan University with degrees in Choral Music Education and Vocal Performance in 2009.


Rebecca Derbas-Selvidge, soprano, holds a Bachelors of Music in Choral Education from Western Michigan University and a Certificate of Musical Theatre Performance from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She is Choral Director at Coloma Community Schools, Lake Michigan College's Summer Choir, musical director for Twin City Player's Sound of Music, Children's Music Workshop's production of Hairspray and CMW TeenStock's summer productions of Les Miserables, Legally Blonde, and Spamalot.


Carrie VanDenburgh, soprano and California native, grew up in a musical family and studied piano and violin from an early age. Although she loved to sing and grew up performing in choirs, she never thought it was something she would pursue until her high school choir teacher gave her a solo. Following her graduation from high school, Carrie studied at Pacific Union College for two years before transferring to Andrews where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in 2000 and a Master of Music in 2002, both in Vocal Performance.




Copyright © 2019