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  • 'Twas the Week Before Christmas and All Through the Hall There Was Music and Dancing for One and for All
  • Dec. 20, 2008
  • Conductor Sarah Hicks Leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a Program Featuring Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and Festive Holiday Music for Orchestra

    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2008, AT 2:00 PM
    SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2008, AT 7:00 PM

    Continuing the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2008 Deck the Hall series of holiday concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, conductor Sarah Hicks leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 'Twas the Week Before Christmas, a joyous program celebrating the sounds of the season on Saturday, December 20 at 2:00 PM, and Sunday, December 21 at 7:00 PM.

    'Twas the Week Before Christmas is a family-oriented program featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing glorious orchestral holiday favorites including Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride," Victor Herbert's "March of the Toys" from Babes in Toyland, as well as orchestral arrangements of favorite Christmas carols. The program culminates with Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, portions of which feature dancers from Westside Ballet. In addition to hosting both concerts, David Prather narrates a traditional holiday favorite, The Night Before Christmas, set to music by Randol Bass.

    Deck the Hall, presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, is a series of holiday performances throughout the month of December featuring an array of exceptional artists offering seasonal music. Other performances include; Holiday Sing-Along, December 21 at 11:30 AM & 2:30 PM; The Count Basie Orchestra, December 22; Soweto Gospel Choir, December 23; and New Year's Eve with Pink Martini at 7 & 10:30 PM.

    Noted in The New York Times as part of "a new wave of female conductors in their late 20s through early 40s," SARAH HICKS' versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in "the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors." She joined the Minnesota Orchestra as Assistant Conductor beginning in the 2006/07 season, where she is lead conductor of the new "Inside the Classics" series, and concurrently holds the position of Staff Conductor at the Curtis Institute of Music. She completed a two-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in June of 2007. A cover conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra since 2003, she has guest conducted on their Family Concerts, Millennium Stage, and summer series. Hicks has acted as assistant conductor to such luminaries as James Levine, Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, and Yuri Temirkanov. Her past positions include Resident Conductor of the Florida Philharmonic, Assistant Conductor of the Reading Symphony Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Singers, the chorus of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which she has led in radio broadcasts heard nationwide. For five seasons, she was also Music Director of the Hawaii Symphony, an ensemble she founded in 1991 in her hometown of Honolulu. Hicks has guest conducted extensively both in the States and abroad, including the Silesian State Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Charleston Symphony. Her conducting highlights include performance debuts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Buechon Philharmonic (at the Seoul Arts Center), the Delaware Symphony, and the South Carolina Philharmonic. Hicks was born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Honolulu, HI. Trained on both the piano and viola, she was a prizewinning pianist by her early teens. She received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard University as a composition major; her AIDS Oratorio was premiered at Harvard University in May of 1993 and received a second performance at the Fogg Art Museum. She holds an Artist's Degree in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller.

    WESTSIDE BALLET COMPANY, a nonprofit organization, is one of the nation's premier ballet training companies. This pre-professional company was created by Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire in 1970 to provide the promising young dancers of the Westside School of Ballet the performance opportunities that are so vital to their growth. The Santa Monica, California-based company now comprises approximately 120 dancers, ages 9 to 18. Westside School of Ballet is the official school of the Westside Ballet Company and has an attendance of over 250 students. Westside Ballet's holiday season production of The Nutcracker is a Southern California tradition spanning four decades. Since 1999, these December performances have found a home in the Wadsworth Theatre in West Los Angeles. Many dancers have gone on to professional careers, including Monique Meunier and Anna Liceica (ABT), Martine Harley (Houston Ballet), Melissa Barak and Andrew Veyette (New York City Ballet), Stayce Camparo (Kansas City Ballet), and Francis Veyette (Pennsylvania Ballet). Yvonne Mounsey, Westside Ballet's Artistic Director, joined New York City Ballet as a principal dancer for George Balanchine after performing with Massine's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and de Basil's original Ballet Russe. During Mounsey's distinguished career with New York City Ballet, she created the role of Center Spanish in Balanchine's original production of The Nutcracker. Among the other roles she has created are The Harp in Fanfare, The Queen in The Cage, and The Other Woman in Lilac Garden. In 1960, Mounsey co-founded the Johannesburg City Ballet, now Pact Ballet, one of the world's major dance companies.

    For the past ten years DAVID PRATHER has been the popular host of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's "Summer Sounds: Music and Art for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl"-you may recognize him as "Cap'n Dave." He has hosted numerous other programs with the orchestra, including Toyota Symphonies for Youth, and Penninsula Fair concerts. He has narrated such classics as "Peter and the Wolf" and orchestral versions of "Casey at the Bat" and "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with conductors Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Alexander Mickelthwate, and Joana Carneiro among others. Mr. Prather is also a respected arts educator whose work for the Music Center of Los Angeles and the Orange County Performing Arts Center has taken him to thousands of schools throughout greater Los Angeles; this includes presenting original shows such as "Poetry Jam," "Star-Spangled Poetry," and "The Bully Dudes," as well as conducting classroom workshops. In addition, he has been involved in both the San Francisco Symphony's "Keeping Score" and the NEA's Anchor Works projects. His commissioned play, "When Harlem Was in Vogue," was presented by the Alley Theatre in Texas. Mr. Prather's love of music began early, as a boy treble at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Princeton University and The American Conservatory Theatre, he lives in Burbank with his wife and two children.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2008, AT 2:00 PM

    SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2008, AT 7:00 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    'Twas the Week Before Christmas


    SARAH HICKS, conductor

    MEMBERS OF WESTSIDE BALLET, special guests

    DAVID PRATHER, host and narrator

    RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "Polonaise" from Christmas Eve Suite

    Trad. (arr Dragon) O Tannenbaum

    Trad. (arr. Dragon) The First Nowell

    VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on "Greenseleeves"

    BACH (arr. Stokowski) "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"

    BASS The Night Before Christmas

    Narrated by Mr. Prather

    LEONTOVICH (arr. Dragon) Carol of the Bells

    PROKOFIEV "Troika" from Lt. Kij'e Suite

    ANDERSON Sleigh Ride

    P. FAITH (arr. Norris) Brazilian Sleigh Bells

    HERBERT "March of the Toys" from Babes in Toyland

    TCHAIKOVSKY Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a

           "Overture miniature"


           "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"


           "Arab Dance"

           "Chinese Dance"

           "Dance of the Reed Pipes"

           "Waltz of the Flowers"

    ANDERSON A Christmas Festival

    Tickets ($42-$147) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full-time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Leah Price, 213.972.3406,; Laura Cohen, 310.867.3897,; For photos: 213.972.3034