"Holiday on the Cape" at Cape Symphony

"Holiday on the Cape" Show Notes

Cape Symphony presents “Holiday on the Cape” on Friday, December 1, 2023 at 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM, Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sunday, December 3 at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center.

Cape Symphony

Joe Marchio, Conductor
Cape Symphony Musicians
Cape Symphony Dance Company, Michelle Chwastiak, Director
Dancers: Mel Costa, Grace Egmore, Julia Gallagher, Lydia Garrison, Miya Henderson, Charlotte McCann, Maia Mercuio, Gemma Mills, Liliana Raciti, Eva Schroeter, Abigail Siggins, Gemma Soares, Bih Timoh, Charlie Mae Vaneria, Annika Waynen, Lia Waynen

Guest Artists

Chatham Chorale

Patrice Tiedemann, Soloist

Download a printable version of these Show Notes.

Download the lyrics to the songs in the program.

Table of Contents


About Today's Program

Tickets for “Holiday on the Cape”


Please note the program is subject to change.

Arr. Dan Goeller

Arr. Robert Wendel

Maureen Condon

Arr. Robert Wendel

Arr. Jerry Brubaker

SLEIGH RIDE (Friday and Sunday program)
Leroy Anderson

(Arr. Custer)

Mel Tormé (Arr. Bob Lowden)

John Williams


SLEIGH RIDE (Saturday program)
Leroy Anderson

Leroy Anderson

Arr. Mack Wilberg

Mark Miller

Arr. Dan Forrest

Arr. Robert Wendel

George Frideric Handel (orch. Prout)

Arr. Bob Cerulli

Arr. Dan Goeller

Arr. Arthur Harris

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About Today’s Program

Cape Symphony’s “Holiday on the Cape” opens with joyous, captivating energy as the orchestra swings right into Dan Goeller’s “Christmas Fantasy,” a jubilant medley of Christmas carols. You’ll recognize “The Sussex Carol,” “We Three Kings,” “What Child is This?”, and “Sing We Now of Christmas,” arranged in grand, film-score style. Sit back and let the merriment carry you away!

Rudolph, Bells, and Holly” is a medley of beloved Christmas standards by Johnny Marks: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (a hit for Gene Autry), “A Holly Jolly Christmas” (made famous by Burl Ives), and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (Bing Crosby). Marks (1909-1985) had a special gift for Christmas songs, though he himself did not celebrate. This delightful arrangement by Robert Wendel, performed by the Cape Symphony Orchestra and the Cape’s own Chatham Chorale, will knock your fuzzy socks off!

Maureen Condon wrote “Christmas on Cape Cod” to commemorate the ways Christmas is observed in our uniquely beautiful seaside home. Guest soloist Patrice Tiedemann’s gifted soprano will capture all the warmth and welcome of an old-time Christmas Stroll.

If Maurice Ravel had written “The Little Drummer Boy,” then “Little Bolero Boy” might have been the result. The rhythm and melody of the two pieces seem truly made for each other, and this magnificent arrangement by Robert Wendel lends itself beautifully to dance, as well. The Cape Symphony Dance Company, led by Director of Dance Michelle Chwastiak, will perform a piece created especially for the occasion. Each performance will feature a cast of twelve dancers ages 6 to 14. “Little Bolero Boy celebrates unity and joy as we come together during the holiday season,” says Michelle. “The familiar call of the drum invites the dancers to the stage and will build in excitement as the piece progresses. We hope to awaken the childlike spirit within our audience as they witness our Little Bolero Boy!” 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a much-loved story for generations of the young and young at heart. This arrangement by Jerry Brubaker captures it all in one enchanting piece, from the mean and nasty “three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich” Grinch, to the love and joy of Whoville and the carving of the Roast Beast by a Grinch whose heart has grown three sizes. Get in touch with your inner Cindy-Lou Who – or your inner Grinch.

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling! Leroy Anderson’s light orchestra standard “Sleigh Ride,” while not originally written for Christmas, has come to embody the cheery, festive spirit of the holiday. Anderson is said to have had the idea for the piece during a July 1946 heat wave! It was first performed by Arthur Fiedler’s Boston Pops in 1948, and has become one of that orchestra’s signature songs.

It's Christmastime" is Calvin Custer’s delightful instrumental medley of holiday favorites. You’ll hear “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Silver Bells” and “I'll Be Home for Christmas,” all wrapped up together as one lovely present!

Who can hear Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song” without smiling? Bob Lowden’s arrangement, performed by your Cape Symphony Orchestra and soloist Patrice Tiedemann, guarantees it won’t be you. This beautiful holiday standard, first recorded by the Nat King Cole trio in 1946, is said to be the most-performed Christmas song of all time. It’s exactly the kind of music that Ms. Tiedemann remembers signaling the start of the Christmas season in her family. “When my grandmother broke out her Nat King Cole records and started tip-tapping around cooking and cleaning, you know it was time!” she laughs. Although it’s been said many times, many ways: Merry Christmas to you.

John Williams’s Oscar-nominated score made Home Alone an iconic Christmas film. This wonderful music captures the playful soundscape of Christmas in a fresh and original way, evoking all the feelings of the holiday and communicating its warmth and meaning, as well. It is the very sound of childhood mischief and magic! The Cape Symphony Orchestra will perform “Somewhere in My Memory,” for which Williams and Leslie Bricusse were nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Song, and “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas.”


At Saturday’s “Holiday on the Cape” concerts, the second half of the program begins with Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” and the Cape Symphony Youth Orchestra will play this piece alongside the Cape Symphony Orchestra. Our young musicians are honored to share the stage with the professional orchestra, and we couldn’t be more proud of them!

At Friday’s and Sunday’s “Holiday on the Cape” concerts, the second half of the program begins with “A Christmas Festival.” Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) composed many light concert pieces for the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. Asked to compose a Christmas concert piece in 1950, he drew from popular Christmas carols to create “A Christmas Festival.” The Chatham Chorale joins the Cape Symphony Orchestra in performing this well-loved piece of holiday music.

The Chatham Chorale will also perform Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of “The First Noel,” a traditional English carol heralding the coming of Christmas. First published in its current form in the early 19th century, it is thought to have originated as part of a miracle play in the 13th or 14th century. The song’s enduring popularity even in modern times is a testament to its timeless message of hope and joy.

The Cape Symphony Orchestra is delighted to debut “A Chanukah Festival,” composed by our very own Mark Miller! You may recognize Mr. Miller as our Principal Clarinetist; he is also Music Director and Conductor of the Cape Symphony Youth Orchestra. “A Chanukah Festival” was written with a good-humored nod to Leroy Anderson’s “Christmas Festival,” which Mark calls “the best medley ever written.” “A Chanukah Festival” promises to be very good fun for musicians and audiences alike!

O Come, All Ye Faithful” is usually credited to John Francis Wade, an English Catholic living in exile in France, who first published it in 1751. As with many very old Christmas hymns, its exact origins and sources are lost to the ages, but its message, beauty and powerful emotional appeal endure to this day. Dan Forrest’s arrangement is especially effective, building to a magnificent, enchanting conclusion.

The orchestra returns to the terrific talents of Robert Wendel for “In the Manger,” which draws on “Away in a Manger,” “Gesu Bambino” and “Venite Adoremus” to create a uniquely lovely Christmas piece in itself.

Next comes a major high point of our Holiday on the Cape as your Cape Symphony, the Chatham Chorale, and Patrice Tiedemann perform the “Hallelujah Chorus” from George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. The word “hallelujah” is a Hebrew interjection, used as an expression of praise and gratitude to God, and repeated in exultation in this incomparable piece of music as Christians rejoice in their Lord. Messiah, an English language oratorio first performed in Dublin in 1742, has become one of the most frequently performed choral works in Western music, and its Hallelujah Chorus at the closing of Part II is famous as a powerful stand-alone piece, with brass, timpani, and voices soaring to the heavens.

“Hallelujah” is a tough act to follow, but we can do it together! Join in our “Christmas Sing-A-Long,” with lyrics to be projected on the monitors for all to follow.

As our concert nears its conclusion, Patrice Tiedemann will sing “O Holy Night.” Originally based on a French poem, this song was adapted into English by John Dwight in 1855. “O Holy Night” has been performed by many singers from operatic to pop, but truly lends itself best to gifted classical talents. Strong feelings are woven into the piece, and it’s not unusual to see audience members dabbing their eyes as it builds and builds. “When I’m entrusted with this song, I know it attaches to people’s emotions,” Ms. Tiedemann says.

Cape Symphony’s “Holiday on the Cape” wraps with a heartfelt wish from all of us to all of you: “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

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Tickets for “Holiday on the Cape”

Join Cape Symphony for “Holiday on the Cape” at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main Street on Friday, December 1 at 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM, Saturday, December 2 at 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM.

For more information and to purchase tickets for Holiday on the Cape, visit, call the Box Office at 508-362-1111, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit 2235 Iyannough Road in West Barnstable, MA. The Box Office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Beginning on Friday December 1 at 3:00 PM, box office operations for Holiday on the Cape move to the concert venue; once there, we can only be reached by email.

Please be vigilant: Only tickets purchased on Cape Symphony’s secure website,, or through the Cape Symphony Box Office are legitimate and guaranteed. Exchanges or credits will only be honored for tix purchased on this Cape Symphony website or through the Cape Symphony Box Office.

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