JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra recently held its annual Christmas Gala Holiday Pops concert to help usher in the holiday cheer.
“The concert really hits on the traditions of Christmas – the sing-alongs, the choirs, the beautifully decorated church, the songs that you remember from your childhood,” said Linda Brill, executive director for the orchestra. “It’s everything you would want from a holiday concert, and it brings back a lot of memories.”
Now in its 11th season, the concert featured the full orchestra and Christmas Gala Chorus, conducted by maestro J. Wayne Baughman. The Christmas Gala Chorus is a volunteer group of experienced vocalists from all over Atlanta.
Guest vocalist Timothy Miller likewise joined the symphony at Johns Creek United Methodist Church. Miller, a tenor, is best known for his performances of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch of the Atlanta Braves games.
“He has a very rich, powerful voice,” Brill said. “It’s quite inspirational to hear him sing.”
This year, the orchestra held a special recognition for Sue Haggerty during intermission. Haggerty was the previous executive director of the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra and served in that capacity for nine seasons.
“She was an integral part of the orchestra’s growth and development,” Brill said.
Originally based in New York City and New Jersey, Haggerty was an ad executive while also performing with the Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra, under the direction of David Randolph. She also served on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Pops Orchestra, before she moved to Johns Creek and eventually joined the Steering Committee for the Archdiocesan Festival Choir of Atlanta.
Haggerty is currently the President of the Cultural Arts Alliance at Johns Creek.
The Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra has a core membership of 45-50 musicians.
“Our orchestra is unique in that we are the only part-time, professional symphonic orchestra in Metro Atlanta,” Brill said.
Their next concert, “Virtuoso Strings,” will be held March 11, 2018, followed by “The American Dream,” May 12. The former will feature the string section in Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite while the latter will take the audience on a musical tour of the country, from Broadway to the Wild West.
The orchestra also provides additional educational and outreach programs within Johns Creek area schools and senior centers.
Anyone with a passion for classical music is encouraged to volunteer with the orchestra. For information and to get involved or donate, visit johnscreeksymphony.org.