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Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour a must-see annual tradition

| Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, 12:03 a.m.
A lavishly decorated stairway featured in a previous Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour.
A lavishly decorated stairway featured in a previous Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour.
Eight private residences and one historic farmhouse will open their doors on Nov. 18 for the Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour. Shown is a home from a previous tour.
Dean M. Beattie
Eight private residences and one historic farmhouse will open their doors on Nov. 18 for the Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour. Shown is a home from a previous tour.
This house was part of the Symphony Splendor Home Tour in 2017.
This house was part of the Symphony Splendor Home Tour in 2017.
Harpist Bill Van Patten played during the Symphony Splendor Home Tour in the Virginia Manor neighborhood of Mt. Lebanon to benefit the Pittsburgh Symphony Association. Nov. 20, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Harpist Bill Van Patten played during the Symphony Splendor Home Tour in the Virginia Manor neighborhood of Mt. Lebanon to benefit the Pittsburgh Symphony Association. Nov. 20, 2016.

Tour lavishly decorated Upper St. Clair residences during the Christmas-themed Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour on Nov. 18.

Eight private residences and one historic farmhouse will open their doors to the public to benefit the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Gilfillan Farm, an 1850s farmstead listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be decked out in time-period holiday decor and guests will learn about old-fashioned holiday traditions, said organizers.

The self-guided driving tour invites guests to explore homes decked out in Christmas splendor and enjoy live classical music from 37 PSO musicians volunteering their time and talents and placed throughout different homes on the tour.

The homes may be toured in any order from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and tour docents will be stationed at each home.

Last year’s event drew more than 1,000 guests. Each guest will be provided “booties” to wear during the tour, and comfortable, low-heeled shoes are recommended. Children 12 and older, accompanied by an adult, are welcome.

Event organizer Jean Horne says the event is always a successful fundraiser. In its fifth year, the event has raised more than $50,000 for the PSO.

“Our world-class Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is a cherished community treasure,” Horne says. “It’s a perfect way to pick up decorating ideas for your own home.”

New this year is a food truck parked at one of the tour homes, catered by Atria’s, with proceeds benefiting the PSO.

Guests opting for convenience may book a tour bus reservation for an additional $25. The bus will depart from Upper St. Clair High School parking lot.

The bus tour is not handicapped accessible and reservations must be made by Nov. 15.

Programs with a tour map of addresses will be provided to ticket holders and same-day buyers at registration, which is scheduled for the entrance at Upper St. Clair High School.

Details: Tickets may be purchased online at PittsburghSymphonyAssociation.org or by calling 412-392-3303; $55 for advance ticket and $65 for day-of-tour tickets.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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