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SMSO Presents: Merry & Bright

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Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra

Presents: Merry & Bright

December 9, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

At the LMC Mendel Center Mainstage



 As the holidays approach, families gather, spend time together and celebrate all of the traditions that were created while growing up. Let the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra be a part of your family's memories!

Since music can evoke past holiday memories, join the SMSO as it performs its annual holiday concert, Merry & Bright on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Michigan Mendel Center Mainstage.

This will be an evening of merry making, beloved traditions, and a taste of holiday music from around the world. A festive favorite concert, discover, celebrate and connect with the stories and music of the season. Maestro Matthew Aubin has curated a musical performance that is sure to have music that is recognizable to all, including The Nutcracker Suite by American pianist, composer and band leader Duke Ellington, which is based on The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

The Nutcracker Suite is an album by Ellington recorded for Columbia Records in 1960 featuring jazz interpretations of the 1892 ballet and arranged by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

Ellington and Strayhorn did not just place jazz rhythms over Tchaikovsky's music. Instead, they recreated the work, turning it into something that was both completely their own and completely Tchaikovsky's as well.

This family-friendly concert is a great way to begin the holidays for children and adults alike.

Merry & Bright
Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center Mainstage
1100 Yore Ave., Benton Harbor

Music for the Program

  • Christmas Festival                                Leroy Anderson
  • Christmas Eve: Polonaise                     Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Hanukkah Festival Overture                  Lucas Richman
  • Fantasia on “Greensleeves”                  Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Carol of the Bells                                   Mikola Leontovich
  • Navidad Latina!                                     Anthony DiLorenzo
  • Sleigh Ride                                            Leroy Anderson
  • Nutcracker Suite (After Tchaikovsky)     Duke Ellington
  • The Night Before Christmas                   Aaron Dai
  • Christmas Singalong                              John Finnegan




The SMSO appreciates all of its sponsors; their support allows us to provide quality, musical experiences for the Southwest Michigan Community. Sponsors for this performance include True Blue Financial, Wales Wealth Management, AEP/Cook Nuclear Plant, The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, The Herald Palladium, WAUS, WNIT/PBS Michiana, The Michigan Arts and Culture Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Subscription packages are available for a limited time: $99/$55* for a 3-Pack (the remaining 3 Mainstage performances). Subscriptions can be purchased by calling or visiting the SMSO Box Office.

Individual tickets to the concerts can be purchased online, or by visiting or calling the SMSO Box Office. Single tickets are $38/$23* for Adults, $6 for Youth ages 6-17. Pricing includes ticket processing fees.

*Prices listed are for Zone A/Zone B Seating.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the concerts, call the SMSO at 269-982-4030, visit the office at 513 Ship St., St. Joseph, or its website at

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