Holiday Pops Concert, First Congregational Church Norwood
December 11

“International Holiday Celebration”

Read our guest artists’ bios here.

Meet our generous sponsor.

The Parkway Concert Orchestra will present its annual Holiday Pops Concert, 'International Holiday Celebration,' on Sunday December 11 at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 100 Winter Street, Norwood. Matthew Fritz conducts the 50 piece non-profit orchestra in classical and pops holiday favorites for the entire family, including selections from The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, 'A Christmas Festival' by Leroy Anderson, and the world premiere of 'Fantasia on Two Hanukkah Songs' by Greg Houston. Violinist Markus Placci will be featured in 'Winter' from Vivaldi's The Seasons.

This concert is sponsored by May Funeral Home and the program is supported in part by a grant from the Norwood Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Donation is $15; $10 for seniors and students; and free for children under 12 years old. Light refreshments and free parking are included. For ticket reservations please call 781-762-0288.

The Program:

Around the World at Christmas Time Arranged by Bruce Chase
Selections from The Nutcracker Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
O Holy Night Adolphe Adam, arranged by Brian Beninati
“Winter” from The Four Seasons Antonio Vivaldi
     Markus Placci, violin
A Canadian Brass Christmas Arranged by Luther Henderson and Calvin Custer
Fantasia on Two Hanukkah Themes Greg Houston
Somewhere in My Memory John Williams, arranged by Brian Beninati
Rocket Sleigh Delvyn Case
A Christmas Festival Leroy Anderson
The orchestra thanks Delvyn Case for his generous donation of music, and Brian Beninati for transcribing and arranging music to fit our instrumentation.

Markus Placci, violin

Markus Placci portraitPraised for having “a magnificent personality, a superb energy, a total command and an extremely convincing taste” (La Libre Belgique), young Italian violinist Markus Placci has perfomed worldwide in renowned venues such as the Great Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg (Russia), the Teatro Monumental in Madrid, the Kursaal in Baden-Baden, Mozart Hall in Bologna, the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan, and the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton.

Winner of the “Brahms Preis” in Germany, the “Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize” at Tanglewood, and of the prestigious “XXVI Vittorio Veneto Competition” in Italy, Mr. Placci world premiered with great acclaim the Violin Concerto by Spanish composer J. Cervello'.

Since his solo debut at age 13 with the Bologna Symphony, Mr. Placci has appeared in solo performances with major symphony orchestras like the Barcelona Symphony, the Radio Television Orchestra of Spain (RTVE), the Baden-Baden Philarmonie, Milan's Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra, Teatro San Carlo of Napoli Symphony, the St. Petersburg State Orchestra (Russia) among others, and has been broadcast live on BBC Radio, Bartok Radio Hungary, RaiRadio, RTV Espana, and WGBH.

Mr. Placci is on the Violin Faculty at The Boston Conservatory and makes his home between Boston and Bologna.

Greg Houston, Composer

Greg Houston portraitGreg Houston is an emerging African American composer, and teacher of music. Greg was born in Boston in the late 1970s and grew up in the New York City area. He comes from a musical family whose parents sang for the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Symphony Orchestra and churches all around the Boston area.

Greg’s music has been played throughout the United States and in Europe by ensembles such as The Boston String Ensemble, The New England String Quartet and The National Military Orchestra of Russia.

Greg was introduced to composition by one of his piano teachers who marveled at how good he was at improvising in the style of Mozart despite the fact he was not supposed to do that during a piano lesson.

Greg is a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music where he majored in Composition and Film Scoring. He currently attends Brooklyn College in Brooklyn NY, where he will be getting his Master’s Degree in Composition. Greg has never wavered from his goals; he says that everyone has goals, but he just want to take his to the next level.

Brian Beninati, composer

Greg Houston portraitBrian Beninati has played violin with the Parkway Concert Orchestra for just under 2 years. He has been playing the violin for 3 years, the flute and piccolo for almost 12 years, and the clarinet was his first instrument over 14 years ago. Studying and arranging music of all kinds for various sized groups has been a passion of his for nearly as long. He has most recently played second flute and piccolo for the Westfield State University Wind Symphony. He also currently plays in the Blackstone Valley Community Concert Band out of Uxbridge, MA.

December 11 Concert SponsorsLeft to right: sponsor Robert Folsom, conductor Matthew Fritz, William Scherban, (clarinet and orchestra vice-president) and Leslie Powers (violin and orchestra treasurer).

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