Nutcracker for Kids
Visions of sugarplums and beautiful ballerinas will dance in your head after seeing Tchaikovsky’s delightful Christmas ballet, performed in a condensed 45-minute version created just for kids. This annual favorite finishes with a grand finale sing-along and a jolly visit from Santa himself!
Enjoy a fun and fascinating 45-minute concert designed especially for children 5-11.
Join in the fun at the interactive Musical Carnival, where kids can test drive a musical instrument, meet and interact with musicians from Pacific Symphony and Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles, watch local ensembles perform, create special crafts that connect to each concert’s theme and participate in learning activities that align with state and national educational standards. Activities begin at 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. concertgoers and 12:15 p.m. for 11:30 a.m. concertgoers.
Box Office: (714) 755-5799
To learn more about Music Director Roger Kalia, please click here.
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EXCERPTSFROM THE NUTCRACKER
The Christmas Tree & March
Arrival of Drosselmeyer
A Pine Forest in Winter (Journey through the Snow)
The Spanish Dance (Chocolate)
The Chinese Dance (Tea)
The Russian Dance (Candy Canes)
Dance of the Reed Flutes
Waltz of the Flowers
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Final Waltz and Grand Finale
The Dreidel Song
Deck the Halls
Education and Community Engagement programs are supported in part by Pacific Symphony League. To learn more, visit www.pacificsymphony.org/League.
I am thrilled to have all of you with us today for our performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. I will be conducting the fantastic musicians of Pacific Symphony as well as the talented dancers from Festival Ballet Theater for this unique production.
From the very opening notes played by Pacific Symphony, our imaginations will take us to a fantastical world filled with dolls, mice and sugar plum fairies. We will also feature the percussion section, which is our Spotlight Instrument for this concert.
The percussion section consists of many instruments including the tambourine and ratchet, both of which you will hear during the performance today. The ratchet represents none other than the Nutcracker!
Tchaikovsky’sThe Nutcracker contains some of the most inspiring and beautiful music ever written. In addition to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s dance, we will also experience dances from exotic places like Spain, Russia and China.
I also hope that you will join us on January 12 for our next concert, Mozart’s The Magic Flute – Opera for Kids, which will feature amazing singers and actors! But first, enjoy the magical journey that you are about to embark on, and who knows, maybe there will even be a special guest chanting the words, “Ho, Ho Ho…”
May your holidays be filled with joy and I wish you all the best for the New Year!
SPOTLIGHT ON PERCUSSION
Of all the instrument families in the orchestra, the percussion family has the widest variety of instruments. This is because percussion includes anything that makes a sound when it is shaken, scraped or hit. Instruments like the tambourine and the maracas are shaken, while the güiro is scraped with a stick to make sound.
Keyboards and all kinds of drums are hit with drumsticks, mallets or hands.
Even more percussion instruments, like the cymbals or castanets, make sound when you hit them together. Everyday things you might not think of—like pots, buckets or even mechanical items like a ratchet—can also be used as percussion instruments!
The Nutcracker features many percussion instruments throughout the different dances. Each instrument helps add to the story of The Nutcracker, representing different characters from the ballet. For example, a ratchet makes the Nutcracker’s sound, while the tambourine helps make the dancing dolls come to life.
Perhaps the most recognizable percussion instrument in The Nutcracker is the celeste, a keyboard instrument that represents the Sugar Plum Fairy with its light, high-pitched sound. Listen for these and many other percussion instruments as you watch today’s concert!
FESTIVAL BALLET THEATRE
Celebrating 30 years of artistic excellence, Festival Ballet Theatre, a non-profit arts organization founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla, is Orange County’s premier, accomplished professional ballet company. Our mission is to enrich Orange County’s artistic and economic vitality, to inspire love and appreciation for dance, and to invigorate ballet by:
*Presenting a season of exhilarating classical and contemporary performances,
*Providing a nurturing environment for dancers and choreographers,
*Offering stimulating educational outreach
With reverence for classic masterpieces and a focus on developing future tours de force, Festival Ballet Theatre is committed to presenting the best of dance, enriching lives, and developing a new generation of audiences and artists. Arts Orange County named Festival Ballet Theatre Outstanding Arts Organization of the Year in 2001, and also recognized artistic director Salwa Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award in 2014.
Festival Ballet Theatre is proud to collaborate with Pacific Symphony for over 10 years in presenting Nutcracker for Kids at the Segerstrom Concert Hall showcasing FBT’s talented company dancers and the students of Southland Ballet Academy, the official school of FBT.
Southland Ballet Academy, founded in 1983, is dedicated to excellence in dance training. Named one of the top seven producing schools in the nation by Pointe magazine, Southland Ballet Academy provides elite ballet training in a creative and nurturing environment. Southland Ballet Academy graduates have gone on to dance professionally in renowned ballet companies across the globe.
James McHale is delighted to be performing again with Pacific Symphony. McHale was featured in the Family Concert King Arthur and the Dragon’s Lair, and wrote and directed Beethoven: Trials to Triumph, Pacific Symphony’s Class Act Youth Concert. He most recently performed in the musical Once at Lamb’s Players’ Theater and Much Ado About Nothing at The Old Globe in San Diego.
McHale is a resident artist at Anaheim’s Chance Theater, where he was recently seen in In A Word and Middletown (2017 Stage Scene LA Award for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role). Other theater credits include Hamlet in Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Dogfight, Samsara, Maple and Vine (OC Weekly’s Best Play of the Year 2015), and The Laramie Project Cycle (LA Stage Times’ Top 10 of 2013). He received his B.A. in theater arts performance from CSU Long Beach, and has studied with the Michael Chekhov Association and The Actor’s Center (NYC).
Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla has been firmly committed to developing the art of ballet and the future of dance in Orange County. For more than 30 years, Rizkalla has presented the finest classical and contemporary repertoire ranging from full-length classical ballets to world- premiere contemporary works through Festival Ballet Theatre.
During her professional dancing career, Rizkalla graced the stage in leading roles in well-known classical ballets as well as contemporary pieces. She had the privilege of working under the direction of world-renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky and Serge Lifar. As a young dancer, Rizkalla trained in the Russian Vaganova method and studied with ballet masters of the Bolshoi and the Kirov. As the culmination of her training, Rizkalla completed a bachelor of arts degree in from full-length classical ballets to world- premiere contemporary works through Festival Ballet Theatre.
During her professional dancing career, Rizkalla graced the stage in leading roles in well-known classical ballets as well as contemporary pieces. She had the privilege of working under the direction of world-renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky and Serge Lifar. As a young dancer, Rizkalla trained in the Russian Vaganova method and studied with ballet masters of the Bolshoi and the Kirov. As the culmination of her training, Rizkalla completed a bachelor of arts degree in ballet pedagogy.
She established Southland Ballet Academy in 1983 and debuted Festival Ballet Theatre in 1988. In addition to teaching and directing, Rizkalla was a faculty member of several area institutions. Many arts organizations have recognized her service. The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators and Orange County Performing Arts Center jointly presented her the Orange County Arts Educator of the Year Award for Secondary Dance (2003); Youth America Grand Prix awarded Rizkalla Outstanding Teacher accolades since its inception; and Arts Orange County recognized Rizkalla with the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award (2014). Rizkalla was named one of OC’s 100 Most Influential in 2017 by the OC Register.
Rizkalla has been honored to impact the lives of hundreds of students and their families through her teaching. She is proud to be a dedicated educator, an energetic promoter of the arts, and an active participant in the cultural life of her community.