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Community comes together for a grand production of "The Nutcracker"

Hannah Swayze • Dec 3, 2018 at 11:10 AM

The Johnson City Symphony Orchestra will bring a grand production of Tchaikovsky’s, “The Nutcracker,” to Johnson City this holiday season.

On Dec. 8 Seeger Chapel at Milligan College will be the site of Tchaikovsky’s, “The Nutcracker,” in its fully glory.

Talking part in the performance will be the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, the East Tennessee Ballet Academy and the children’s choir from the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy. The children’s choir is a specific request in the score.

“This is how Tchaikovsky originally planned for it to be done: in a big production like this,” said Lisa Wilkerson, manager of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra.

Originally created Russia, “The Nutcracker” did not premiere in the U.S. until produced by the San Francisco Ballet in the 1940s. The show did not gain popularity as until decade later until famed choreographer George Balanchine staged the 1954 performances by the New York City Ballet.

Today, the ballet is stage all across the U.S. and is one of he most well-known ballets and and is an incredibly popular Christmas tradition everywhere.

This production is the only regional production that will feature live music and choral accompaniment.

The Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy children’s choir will perform a selection of Christmas songs during intermission. In addition, the Appalachian Express Men’s Choir, who have been involved with the symphony orchestra’s Christmas concerts the past few years will perform as the audience enter the hall.

“It will be a musical night from start to finish,” said Wilkerson. “By the time they leave they will definitely be in the holiday spirit.”

The Johnson City Symphony Orchestra will also hold a toy drive for Toys For Tots Dec. 3-8. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the Symphony’s office at 172 W, Springbrook Dr. in Johnson City those dates between 1-5 pm, or can be brought to the concert December 8.

The program will be held at Milligan College, Seeger Chapel beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. Tickets are $10 for students and $35 for adults. For more information, call 423.926.8742 or visit jcsymphony.com/events.

East Tennessee Ballet Academy will also host two more matinee performances of just the ballet on Dec. 8 and 9. Those performances will be held at the Gregory Center on Milligan’s main campus, and tickets may be purchased at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library, 201 N. Sycamore St., or by calling 512-1722.

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