Renowned composer featured in WSO 50th anniversary concerts

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The work of nationally known composer Michael Kregler will be featured in the upcoming second concert series in the historic 50th season of the Warwick Symphony Orchestra beginning December 4. The world premier of his specially commissioned choral and orchestral piece, “Now Winter Nights,” will bring together the Orchestra with the URI Concert Choir and the Rhode Island-ACDA High School Honors Choir under the direction of Mark Conley.

The WSO’s Holiday Series is the second in a sequence of four programs honoring the 50-year history of the group, now under the direction of Music Director Catherine Gagnon. The WSO is the oldest continuously performing regional orchestra of volunteer musicians in the Ocean State.

Founded by Warwick music educator George Low in 1966, its performances throughout the state of classical and pop music have grown in popularity and respect as dedicated professional and amateur musicians have joined its ranks.

The Holiday Series opens on Sunday, Dec. 4 at St. Kevin’s Church in Warwick, and then continues on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the beautiful St. Ann Arts & Cultural Center in Woonsocket, with a final performance on Sunday, Dec. 12 at the URI Fine Arts Center in Kingston.

December’s holiday season program features selections from Handel’s Messiah, music from the Polar Express, the classic Russian Christmas Music, other seasonal arrangements, and the world premiere of “Now Winter Knights” by Michael Kregler.

Kregler, a Warwick resident, currently serves as faculty accompanist and lecturer at Providence College. He has a reputation for being adept in the fields of jazz, opera, choral music, popular music, and others. His three part choral work, “Now Winter Nights,” reflects this musical and cultural diversity, from the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay to the Latin rhythms of Colombia.

Tickets and additional information are available online at www.WSOri.org or at the door; general admission for this collaborative series is $15 per person, seniors $12, and children under 12 are free.

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