This is the first year that the Philharmonic Association has offered the Holiday Ensemble Program, but it definitely won’t be the last year that the program is offered.

This year, the program was open mostly to string instrument players from TYS and TYO with a few musicians participating from Sinfonia and the musician interns from TYP helping out. An impressive total of fifty musicians signed up to participate.

There were three rehearsals held for the group starting in late November after TYS and TYO’s regular fall sessions had ended. All musicians rehearsed the holiday music together. After the three rehearsals, the large group was broken up into smaller ensembles of varying sizes, and each musician was assigned to at least two of seven different performance locations. Performances took place at Parkview Manor Retirement Community, Transitions Lifecare, Marbles Kids Museum, Hillcrest Raleigh Rehabilitation Center, The Oaks at Whitaker Glen-Mayview Retirement Community, Falls River Village Retirement Community, and Falls River Court Memory Care.

It is a rare thing for many nursing homes, hospice facilities, and retirement communities to receive live performances, much less live performances put on by an ensemble of young musicians. Judging from the huge smiles on the faces of the audiences, the lasting applause, and the many thanks received after performances, the holiday ensemble musicians made a huge impact. Our musicians brought joy to many people this holiday season and, according to the musician’s feedback, they enjoyed doing so.

The Philharmonic Association is grateful to the musicians, parents, hosts at the facilities, and audiences for making this program such a success. We look forward to repeating this program again in the future!