The Huronia Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is back in Innisfil this Christmas, a third year in a row for their eight years strong, annual Christmas List. The community event that brings together music and youth, is expected to sell out and also runs a program in Barrie.

Oliver Balaburski, HSO artistic director is “covering the Simcoe County area as an orchestra” one city at a time with past stops in Collingwood and Orillia. He says that in communities where there isn’t a suitable concert hall and performing in churches is the only option, a Christmas concert is very suitable.

“The Innisfil community church has a really nice big stage and it can accommodate the Huronia Symphony in a good way. The acoustics are very nice and the audience is very friendly so that’s very good for us because we have great support,” says Balaburski.

They perform with the Youth Songsters choir hailing from Alcona Glen Elementary School and Lake Simcoe Public School. “We have around 30 teachers in our symphony orchestra and one of the teachers that works in Innisfil made this connection with the public schools,” says Balaburski.

“They are with us every year and this is the third year in a row, so we are very happy to have them again and it’s a great addition to the Christmas concert,” he adds.

Their group of students has grown to 35 singers making up two choirs who practice for a couple of months in preparation for the show.

“Singing with a symphony orchestra at the beginning was really overwhelming because of the big huge sound behind them, but then they got used to it, they enjoyed it and got very excited,” says Balaburski.

Although not directly involved in the recruitment and selection process, Balaburski says students already enrolled in a vocational program are eligible to join. “In an environment where classical music is not very prominent, I think that’s a great benefit because it’s not just physical effort to make music but it’s a very deep mental effort,” he says.

The evening promises to be a symphonic delivery of Christmas songs pieces related to Christmas, with some of the music literature written by classical composers. Tickets are available at the door or by calling (705) 721-4752 for the Dec. 9 event.

(Image: Taken from Huronia Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 Christmas List concert in Innisfil)