The New Haven Symphony Orchestra graces the stage at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Music from the hit film "The Polar Express" will be featured in a holiday concert by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, on Friday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. This program includes highlights from Kapilow's score for the movie, selections from Handel's "Samson" and Bach's "The Christmas Oratorio," and other sacred and secular holiday favorites.

Assistant Conductor Gerald Steichen will lead the orchestra and soloists Kathleen Callahan-Hardman, soprano, and Jeff Mattsey, baritone. The Litchfield County Children's Choir, with Conductor Anna Jedd, will make a guest appearance.

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) first rehearsed in 1894 and gave its inaugural concert in January 1895. It is the fourth orchestra to form in the United States, following the New York Philharmonic and the Boston and Chicago symphonies. Since its inception, the NHSO has performed regularly in New Haven and has toured extensively throughout the state and beyond, including performances at Carnegie Hall.

In addition to presenting a classical repertoire, the orchestra has a long tradition of performing pops concerts. Its eclectic roster of guest artists includes Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Benny Goodman, Judy Collins, Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, André Watts, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Sarah Vaughan and Van Cliburn.

Steichen will conduct the 70-member orchestra. A member of the New York City Opera staff, Steichen spent several years conducting the national tour of "Phantom of the Opera" and also conducted the final performances of the longest-running show in Broadway history, "Cats."

Tickets for the concert are $35 and $30. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on November 15, 2004

Vol. 37, No. 105

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