BRSO concerts bring it ‘Home for the Holidays’

The voice of the LSU Tigers will accompany the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra for its annual “Home for the Holidays” concerts.

Instead of announcing Tiger TDs, Dan Borné will read “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” at all three concerts — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 3 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are on sale now for the shows, all of which will be held in the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, 275 St. Louis St.

The Thursday concert is the third in the 2013-14 Investar Bank Masterworks series, and the Sunday performances will kick off the All Star Automotive Pops Series.

The Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus will join the orchestra, along with guest artists soprano Mara Bonde and baritone Dennis Jesse, a faculty member in the LSU School of Music.

The program will feature such crowd favorites as the “Hallelujah Chorus,” “Winter Wonderland,” Sleigh Ride” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The orchestra’s music director Timothy Muffitt will conduct. The chorus is led by David Shaler.

The Sunday matinee is part of the orchestra’s ongoing outreach program titled, “Musical Gateways: Giving the Gift of Music.”

“Imagine if you are a young person who doesn’t see a lot of hope in life, and you are invited to a festive holiday concert with a full symphony orchestra, a 100-member chorus and wonderful soloists,” says Alan Hopper, the orchestra’s executive director. “What kind of impact might that experience have on you? Well, this is our opportunity to make that possible for hundreds of young people in our community.”

Hopper says to do this, the orchestra first asks local companies and business owners to consider making a financial investment in the program.

“Second, we ask for recommendations of worthy organizations that are making a difference in the lives of our young people so we can invite them,” he says.

Sponsorship levels start at $100, which allows 10 children to attend the concert free. Levels increase to more than $1,000. Donations are tax deductible.

Concert tickets are $25-$55. For tickets or more information, call (225) 383-0500, ext. 100, or visit brso.org.