Tonight: Christmas concert at the Strand Theatre

The neighborhood’s Christmas celebrations will get the marquee treatment on Monday as the Boston Classical Orchestra and local partners stage a special holiday concert at the landmark Strand Theatre. The family-friendly show is billed as a neighborhood-wide effort, with special performances by the Boston City Singers and the the Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy Choir and string ensembles.
Sean Roberts, a Jones Hill resident who serves as the executive director of the Boston Classical Orchestra, says that the show will fill a void in the neighborhood’s celebration of the Christmas season.

“We want to provide a special, family occasion for residents in Dorchester and surrounding neighborhoods, a true Dorchester-wide event,” Roberts said. “Tickets are priced at only $5 for unreserved seating, so everyone can come and choose their seat.”

The Strand is fast becoming a second home for the orchestra, which been based out of Boston’s Faneuil Hall, where the BCO— under the direction of Steven Lipsitt, stages regular Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon concerts. Roberts says that the orchestra is “gradually establishing residency at the Strand as its second home” with the goal of “providing accessible family concerts for Dorchester and surrounding areas.” Roberts says that the orchestra is planning another children’s concert at the Strand for May 2011.

Monday’s performance will be hosted by Kim McLarin, a novelist, assistant professor at Emerson College, and regular commentator on WGBH-TV’s Basic Black. Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy’s music program — under the direction of Mary Swanton — and the Dorchester-based Boston City Singers, led by Jane Money, will be featured alongside the orchestra. The program will include selections from The Nutcracker and Handel’s “Messiah”— along with classic popular tunes such as “Sleigh Ride” and “Let It Snow!” The show will end in a sing-along, Roberts said.

We are delighted to return to our friends at the Strand and to work again with Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy,” said BCO Music Director Steven Lipsitt. “We are proud to be able to bring an affordable, family Christmas concert to the people of Dorchester.”

Light refreshments will be provided to the audience compliments of Dorchester Arts Collaborative. The caterer is Butcher Shop Market in Adams Village.

Tickets are $5 and $10 (reserved) and can be ordered by calling 617-423-3883. Online orders can be made at Tickets may also be purchased at:

Upham’s Corner Beauty Supply, 769 Dudley Street; Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester, 1135 Dorchester Avenue (1-9 pm); Butcher Shop Market, 782 Adams Street; and Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road (Dec. 6 only, noon-7 pm).