Mastersingers celebrate the holiday season with concerts around town

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The Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers and artistic director Shannon Arnold will be making the holiday season merry with concerts around Southwest Florida in the month of December. The choral ensemble kicks off the season with its annual Readings and Carols concert on Dec. 1; follows that up with Deck the Halls in a collaborative performance with the Gulf Coast Symphony on Dec. 8; and concludes with the group’s traditional Christmas on Sanibel concert on Dec. 15.
The Mastersingers will perform an eclectic mix of holiday music at the Readings and Carols concert that will be held at New Hope Presbyterian Church, 10051 Plantation Road, Fort Myers, on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. The program will feature choral works, carol singing with the audience, and short readings that speak to the spirit of the season interposed.
Joining the Mastersingers at New Hope will be the Green Wave Treble Chorus, an auditioned group of female singers from Fort Myers High School under the direction of Mastersingers’ tenor and Fort Myers High choral arts teacher Trevor Tran. The program will be accompanied by longtime Mastersingers’ collaborative pianist Janet Carter and New Hope organist Ben Ball on the church’s extraordinary new Allen organ. Admission to the performance is free with a collection taken up to benefit the South Fort Myers Food Pantry. Concert goers are also invited to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the food pantry.
The next week sees the Mastersingers join the Gulf Coast Symphony for Deck the Halls at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. This fun-filled night of holiday music has something for everyone. Sharing the stage with the chorus and orchestra will be the Kellyn Irish Dancers, vocalist Mark Sanders, special guest jazz violinist Doug Cameron, and, of course, Santa. Tickets for Deck the Halls can be purchased through the Mastersingers’ website at www.mastersingersfm.com.
“If you have visitors from out of town, or you’re trying to really set the mood for the holiday season, this is the one event that you should plan on attending,” says director Arnold. “You are sure to leave the Mann Hall with a smile on your face, humming a Christmas carol.”
The chorus concludes its holiday performances with the always popular Christmas on Sanibel at the Sanibel Community Church on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. This concert will be accompanied by piano, organ and a brass quintet. Admission is free for this event that has become an island holiday tradition. The Community Church will take up a collection to benefit Community Housing and Resources on Sanibel.
For more details on the Mastersingers’ holiday concerts and all of the season performances, visit www.mastersingersfm.com.

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