MSO to present ‘Holiday Joy’ concert

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Julien Benichou, will usher in the holiday season with a program of orchestral and vocal music at the “Holiday Joy” concert, to be performed on Friday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Mariner’s Bethel Church at Route 26 and Central Avenue in Ocean View, and on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cape Henlopen High School Auditorium, Kings Highway, Lewes.

The MSO will showcase two vocalists — soprano Esther Jane Hardenbergh and baritone Kevin Short. Hardenbergh has sung extensively in the United States and Europe, in opera, oratorio and recital. She made her debut at Carnegie Hall in 1999 as winner of the International Opera Singer Competition and is known as an interpreter of recital repertoire — in particular, 19th century German lieder and 20th century American art song.

She has appeared with such orchestras as Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Memphis Symphony, Atlanta Baroque Symphony, Miami Bach Society, Handel Choir and Orchestra of Baltimore, Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. She is currently associate professor and department chair of the Department of Vocal Performance at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music.

Kevin Short has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Paris’ Opera Comique, Grand Theatre du Luxembourg Oper der Stadt Koln, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Theater Basel and Theater Bern. He has performed multiple roles with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He also has an active concert schedule and has worked with orchestras in the U.S. and around the world.

Joining Hardenbergh and Short are two vocalists from the University of Miami, Frost School of Music — soprano Mia Rojas and mezzo-soprano Zaray Rodriguez.

Between seasonal favorites such as “White Christmas” and “Silent Night,” there will be orchestral interludes with Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” and Handel’s “Messiah.” The concert will include the traditional audience sing-along.

The concert will also be held on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Avalon Theater, East Dover Street, Easton, Md., and on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Community Church, Racetrack Road, Ocean Pines, Md.

Tickets cost $45 for adults, and are free for those 18 or younger with a reservation. For tickets and information, call 1-888-846-8600 or visit the MSO Website