ESO Magical Holiday Concerts

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Saturday, December 12, 2015 to Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin, IL, 60120

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra presents the Magical Holiday Concerts this year on December 12 and 13, 2015!  Enjoy musical holiday favorites at this festive concert and make memories with the entire family! The stage will be filled to the brim with orchestra musicians, singers and dancers.  ESO will be joined onstage by the Elgin Master Chorale, the Elgin Children’s Chorus and dancers from Midwest Dance Collective in a holiday spectacular that will be fun for the whole family.  This season, the ESO brings the talented soprano and Miss Illinois 2014, Marisa Buchheit, to the stage.  Hear your holiday favorites such as Do You Hear What I Hear, O Come All ye Faithful, Go Tell it on the Mountain, The Little Drummer Boy, Deck the Hall, The Christmas Song, Silent Night, Sleigh Ride, selections from The Nutcracker, audience sing-alongs and more!  Don’t miss the holiday décor in the lobby and onstage, and a surprise visitor from the North Pole!

Marisa Buchheit is an operatic soprano who has performed in critically acclaimed productions around the world.  She sings in nine languages, including those of her own ethnic heritage: Thai, Chinese, and German. She studied vocal performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she graduated with Academic Honors and served as President of Mu Phi Epsilon Music Fraternity.   In 2014 Marisa won the title of Miss Illinois and represented the state with a year of extensive travel, performances and presentations at major events in her native Chicago and around the state. In the Miss Illinois competition she won the Grand Talent Award and the top scholarship award before later competing in ABC’s nationally televised Miss America broadcast.

Marisa is a frequent recitalist and featured soloist in the Community Chapter Concerts of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  In November 2014, she won the LiPuma Memorial Scholarship Award in the Casa Italia Annual Vocal Competition. She is also a co-founder of the Soprano Trio Très belle, which performs regularly with Ravinia Festival’s Educational Outreach program.  Marisa’s recent performances include recitals and fully staged operas in the United States, Italy, France, Austria, and Thailand. Roles performed include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, The Counsel in Trial by Jury, Maria in West Side Story, Mary Sunshine in Chicago, and Liesl in The Sound of Music. In 2014 she completed a National Premier Tour with the Carnegie Arts Center of Indiana portraying the lead soprano role of Ying-ying in the Romance of the Western Chamber — a traditional Chinese musical.

Stephen Squires is a musician with a career that blends his passions for conducting, teaching, and performing.  Mr. Squires received his musical training at the Preparatory School of the Eastman School of Music and the Crane School of Music, in his home state of New York.  He earned his Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting/Trumpet Performance at California State University, Northridge.  Stephen Squires is Professor of Conducting in the Music Conservatory at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University.  Prior to this appointment he served on the artist faculty of the Northern Illinois School of Music for nineteen years, where he received the prestigious “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.”  Mr. Squires’ current professional appointments include Resident Conductor of the Elgin (IL) Symphony, Music Director of the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Rockford, IL), Music Director of the Millar Brass (Evanston, IL), and Music Director of the Illinois Brass Band.   He is the former Music Director of the Illinois Chamber Symphony.  In addition, he is an accomplished recital accompanist, freelance trumpeter, and frequent guest conductor at educational festivals throughout the country.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra experience is unmatched for a fun, relaxing, cultural experience.  Patrons can enjoy a drink, time with friends and even shopping in the lobby of the Hemmens Cultural Center.  From start to finish – the ESO brings world class, big city entertainment without the hassles of the big city.  Valet parking is offered for just $10 (cash) per car.


The ESO’s family-friendly Magical Holiday Concerts will be performed at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin on Saturday, December 12 at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 13, at 1:30p.m.   Tickets start at only $30 and can be purchased through the ESO Box Office (847-888-4000) or by visiting