The Middleburg Concert Series will come “Home For Christmas” with a holiday concert of classical and traditional seasonal music Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. Featured performers will be MCS resident musicians Alan Saucedo, Cynthia Saucedo and Karen Chase; MCS Advisory Board members Dudley Oakes and Steven Cooksey; and internationally acclaimed guest vocalists Michael Forest and Aime Sposato.

The Christmas concert is underwritten by major sponsors Greenhill Winery & Vineyards and the Bank of Charlestown, with a special grant from the Town of Middleburg.

In additional to seasonal favorites, the program will include works by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi among others. The audience will also have the opportunity to participate in a surprise musical selection.

A key feature of the program will be Dudley Oakes playing the newly acquired and completely restored antique 1927 Steinway concert grand piano. The remarkable instrument still retains its original keys and soundboard, producing a perfect clarity of sound.

A renowned pianist and organist, Oakes is a member of the faculty at Shenandoah University in Winchester, where he teaches classic piano and organ. He has performed at organ recitals all over the world and has been noted for his “virtuosity, technical brilliance and musical interpretation.”

Also a faculty member at Shenandoah, Aime Sposato has been a featured soloist on NPR and at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and concerts worldwide. She has also been a recording artist with the Discovery and Learning channels and has sung the national anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and NASCAR.

Tenor Michael Forest will make a return engagement to the concert series after a well-received performance in June. A local favorite, he has performed for more than 20 years with the Metropolitan Opera as well as with the National, Pittsburgh and St. Louis symphonies and the New York Philharmonic.

Organist Steven Cooksey is a professor emeritus from Shenandoah University. In his 42 years on its faculty, he was a well-respected musical academic and founded the Bach-Handel Festival. He has designed and taught courses in church music, music history and music literature at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Concerts are held at Middleburg United Methodist Church on the corner of Washington and Pendleton streets. A reception of light refreshments catered by Savoir Fare Ltd. will follow. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

For more information, call 540-303-712 or email middleburgconcertseries@gmail.com

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