HANCOCK COUNTY — Singing carols during the holiday season is a joy for performers Diane Hall of New Palestine and Shallen Atkins of McCordsville.
They will get a healthy helping of that joy this year as part of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, as it performs the annual Festival of Carols show in Indianapolis and Carmel.
The local singers are part of the 150-voice choir featuring arrangements of holiday classics. They will be joined by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Circle City Ringers handbell choir and Grammy Award-winning soprano Slyvia McNair for the special holiday presentations.
Hall, a 17-year member of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, said performing during the holiday season is a treat for any singer.
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“We’ll sing such a nice variety of songs from the familiar ‘Jingle Bells’ to a traditional holiday chorus,” Hall said. “It’s always a very happy occasion when families are coming together and celebrating.”
The performances come just in time to welcome the holiday season, with one show set for 7 p.m. Sunday at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis and three shows at the Palladium Center for Performing Arts in Carmel: 8 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 and 3 p.m. Dec. 20.
The Festival of Carols celebrates its 25th anniversary and will feature all-time favorite Christmas carols along with a special visit from St. Nick, officials said.
Hall, a soprano, is a retired Warren Central elementary school music teacher who began singing as a child in church. She said her music career snowballed from youth. She’s thrilled it has topped off as a member of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.
“It’s really so exciting and fun,” Hall said.
Atkins, a professional singer, said it’s been a slice of heaven working with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir the past five years. The Festival of Carols is a show she recommends for all families, including her own.
“It’s a wonderful concert we take our own children to,” Atkins said. “My husband always looks forward to this concert as a part of our Christmas tradition for our family.”
Atkins, too, has been a singer her whole life, getting her start participating in church youth musicals. Atkins, a soprano, studied voice at Anderson University and hopes someday to record an album.
She said performing during the holidays to festive crowds is something she looks forward to.
“People really enjoy it because there is such a variety and so many different pieces,” Atkins said.
Both singers say their favorite song is “The Dream Isaiah Saw.”
“It’s not one of the better-known songs, but it’s such a beautiful song talking about peace,” Hall said.
“It is just so powerful,” Atkins said.
Atkins said she’s also looking forward to preforming some songs from the movie “The Polar Express” because she knows her children will love them.
She said the show has grown a lot during the past five years. She recommended people get their tickets early to ensure a good seat.
“The audience always loves it, and there are always some special surprises in the show,” Atkins said.
Tickets for the shows range in price from $20 to $40 and may be purchased at indychoir.org.
Festival of Carols tickets range from $20 to $40 and may be purchased at indychoir.org.