The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center was packed full with guests in fancy attire Friday evening for the return of one of the longest-running holiday traditions in Madison, a special performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO).

“There is just nothing comparable to live music, and we were so fortunate to have the renowned Atlanta Symphony here again in Madison to celebrate the holidays with us. We are thrilled that this beloved tradition could return,” said MMCC Director Melissa Klein.

“It was a lovely evening. The symphony played beautifully warming the hearts and lifting the spirits of all who attended,” said Elizabeth Moore, marketing director for the MMCC.

The annual holiday concert with the award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra began 42 years ago, just two years after the cultural center first opened.

After a year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the orchestra returned to the cultural center’s stage to perform renditions of beloved Christmas carols and holiday music. The show also includes a holiday sing-along of popular Christmas songs, a crowd-favorite every year.

According to the ASO’s website, “The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra continues to affirm its position as one of America’s leading orchestras with excellent live performances, renowned guest artists and engaging education initiatives, all under Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles. As the cornerstone for artistic development in the Southeast, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs a full schedule of more than 200 concerts each year, including educational and community concerts, for a combined audience of more than half a million people.”

This year’s concert was led by Conductor Jerry Hou. According to the ASO, Hou is “recognized for his dynamic presence, insightful interpretations, versatility and commanding technique. Taiwanese-American conductor Jerry Hou joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as ASO Associate Conductor and Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra in September 2020. He has conducted the Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Teatro Colon, Rochester Philharmonic and San Antonio Symphony, among others.”

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