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Out & About: Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra comes 'Home for the Holidays'

Shirley McMarlin
| Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

It's not Christmas in Greensburg until the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra comes “Home for the Holidays.”

The symphony's annual yuletide concert, performed Dec. 16 in the Palace Theatre, treated listeners to a festive program of sentimental and sacred favorites, along with a few less familiar airs.

Guest conductor Maria Sensi Sellner led the orchestra through the opening, playful rhythms of “Sleigh Ride” to the final, soaring majesty of Handel's “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Featured soloist was Shannon Jennings, from the Pittsburgh Opera, whose powerful soprano voice was showcased in a “Hanukkah Medley” and the Italian hymn “Gesu Bambino.”

Delighting the crowd was a Tony Award-worthy recitation of “The Night Before Christmas” from retired Seton Hill University drama professor Gene Saraceni.

The All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County, comprised of 60 singers from various area high schools, made its yearly appearance, under the direction of Melody Vigo.

The audience joined in on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Good King Wenceslas” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

Seen having a most wonderful time: George andOlive Conte, Morrie Brand andMichele Boulet, Barbara Ferrier, Jess andJoan Stairs, Theresa Kappel, Romayne Breniser, Pat and Carla Firment, Amy Hildebrand, Michael Newhouse, John, Mary andBeth Smaligo andFran McCaffrey withJay, Christina, Dominic, Marlaina andElla McCaffrey.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

Belle Vernon Area High School All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County members, (from left), Jacob Lang, Miranda Kishel, Joshua Lang and Anthony Stone, gather for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Belle Vernon Area High School All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County members, (from left), Jacob Lang, Miranda Kishel, Joshua Lang and Anthony Stone, gather for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
(from left), Shannon Jennings, soprano, Pittsburgh Opera, sings as Maria Sensi Sellner serves as the guest conductor, at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
(from left), Shannon Jennings, soprano, Pittsburgh Opera, sings as Maria Sensi Sellner serves as the guest conductor, at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Members of the All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County, perform during the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Members of the All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County, perform during the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Director, Melody Vigo, directs the All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County, during the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Director, Melody Vigo, directs the All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County, during the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Iva and Gene Saraceni, pose for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Iva and Gene Saraceni, pose for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Burrell High School All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County members, (from left), Anthony Litterio, Emily Green, Maria Zafaran and Rachele Georgevich, gather for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Burrell High School All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County members, (from left), Anthony Litterio, Emily Green, Maria Zafaran and Rachele Georgevich, gather for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra executive director, Endy Reindl, greets guests while selling raffle tickets at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra executive director, Endy Reindl, greets guests while selling raffle tickets at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
(from left) Heather Clemens, and husband, James, (right), join Debbie and Terry Reese for a photo, at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
(from left) Heather Clemens, and husband, James, (right), join Debbie and Terry Reese for a photo, at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
(from left), Romayne Breniser joins her daughter, Theresa Kappel, for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
(from left), Romayne Breniser joins her daughter, Theresa Kappel, for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
(from left), Shannon Jennings, soprano, Pittsburgh Opera, and Maria Sensi Sellner, guest conductor, pose for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
(from left), Shannon Jennings, soprano, Pittsburgh Opera, and Maria Sensi Sellner, guest conductor, pose for a photo at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Maria Sensi Sellner, is the guest conductor, at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Maria Sensi Sellner, is the guest conductor, at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
(from left), Gene Saraceni narrates 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', as Maria Sensi Sellner, serves as the guest conductor, at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
(from left), Gene Saraceni narrates 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', as Maria Sensi Sellner, serves as the guest conductor, at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's annual ' Home for the Holidays' concert, held at The Palace Theatre in Greensburg on Saturday evening, December 16,2017.
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