MANCHESTER — For a fifth year running, the Manchester Music Festival is inviting one and all to ring in the New Year on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 31 with two inspirational concerts at First Congregational Church of Manchester.
The New Year celebration will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a 45-minute family-oriented concert performed by the Manchester Festival Strings, joined by the Manchester Youth Ensemble. The second concert, at 5:30 p.m., will run approximately an hour and features the Festival's professional string players.
"Every year students from the Michael Rudiakov Music Academy look forward to playing side by side with the professional musicians," said Joana Genova, artist in residence and music school education director. "The ages of the kids in the ensemble range from 7 to 17, and in addition to the strings there will be special guests joining in to play trumpet and flute to perform 'Two Note Melody,' 'The Whistling Kettle' and the 'Waltzing Cat' by Leroy Anderson."
At 5:30 p.m. and lasting about one hour without intermission, the Manchester Festival Strings "will take the audience on a high-energy trip around the world, string-style," said Ariel Rudiakov, the Music Festival's artistic director. The program includes music by Dag Wiren, Corelli, Shostakovich, Gershwin, Mozart, Dinicu, Debussy, de Abreu and others, along with a zany nod to the cartoon world with the Loony Tunes Fugue arranged by Matthew Naughtin.
Soprano Casey Corvino, who is making her debut appearance with the Music Festical, will add her rich vocal talents in arias by Mozart and Weber. "All of this, along with the beauty and tradition of Viennese waltzes and a hot-blooded tango by Rodriguez truly offers something for everyone," Rudiakov said. After the last concert, audience members will be invited to a reception where they can meet the musicians and enjoy chocolates and sparkling cider.
"The New Year's Eve concerts have become a not-to-be-missed-tradition here in Manchester, a wonderful and uplifting way to usher in the New Year with family and friends," Rudiakov said.
Tickets for the family concert are $13 for adults, children and students free. Tickets for the evening concert are $30 for adults, $13 for children.
Additional information is available on the website at MMFVT.org or by calling the Festival office at (802) 362-1956. Tickets may also be purchased at the Northshire Bookstore and at the door.