The Hillsdale College Sym­phony Orchestra will be playing Christmas music at this upcoming concert. James Holleman | Courtesy

The Hillsdale College Sym­phony Orchestra will demon­strate tech­nical prowess and offer a bit of nos­talgic holiday cheer as it per­forms a mon­u­mental clas­sical work and popular Christmas pieces for its last concert of the semester.

The orchestra will perform Sat­urday, Dec. 1 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3:00 p.m. in Markel Audi­torium. Doors will open 30 minutes before the concert.

Pro­fessor of Music James Holleman looks forward to the oppor­tunity to showcase his stu­dents’ work.

“Rehearsals have been very focused; stu­dents brought the energy. I think it’s going to come off well,” he said.

Junior Natalia Bodnar said that preparing for the concert was chal­lenging, yet rewarding for the orchestra.

“We have grown together musi­cally. I know our per­for­mance this weekend will be reflective of all the hard work and practice of these past weeks,” she said.

The concert will open with Johannes Brahms’s Sym­phony No. 4 in E minor. According to Holleman this is a dif­ficult piece to master, and he and the orchestra have put a lot of time and effort into learning it.

“We talk about Great Books in lit­er­ature; this is one of the ‘Great Works’ in music,” he said.

Bodnar is excited to perform the sym­phony, and agrees that it is ter­rific.

“This sym­phony is a mas­ter­piece of art, a very mature com­po­sition and an absolute joy to play,” she said. “I get chills per­forming it!”

Fol­lowing the sym­phony and an inter­mission, the orchestra will amuse audience members with a col­lection of sym­phonic Christmas pop songs that will include a “Christmas at the Movies” medley and a variety of classic Christmas songs.

“Expect a real Christmas flare,” said Holleman. “We want to provide a little end-of-semester fun.”

Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved through the box office. To request tickets, call 517 – 607-2848 or email

A jazz afterglow will follow Saturday’s concert.