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Symphony to perform Christmas concert

Des Moines-based jazz singer Max Wellman, who first appeared with the Fort Dodge Area Symphony in 2013, will perform several popular holiday tunes, including “O Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bells,” “Toyland” and “Silent Night.” Wellman and vocalist Katy Merriman will sing duets to these classic songs in arrangements created just for them.

Music from Lerner and Lowe’s hit broadway show “My Fair Lady,” the timeless “Miracle on 34th Street” and Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” are paired with Jonathan Bailey Holland’s jazzy fanfare “The Party Starter” and Sarah Mauro’s smooth and melodic “Innocente ma Curioso.” On their own, Wellman will sing Irving Berlin’s smooth and frosty “White Christmas” and Merriman will take us back to the stage with her rendition of “My Romance” from Rodgers and Hart’s “Jumbo.”

Joshua Barlage, music director and conductor, said, “Max and Katy have an undeniable chemistry that makes them an irresistible couple on and off the stage. They will charm, cajole and coax you into the comforting moods of the holiday season.”

Taking place at the tail end of the Thanksgiving weekend, this concert presents a perfect segue into the upcoming holidays. If there is family in from out of town, invite them along to help us to make this concert part of your holiday season kick-off.

Tickets are $10, free for students, and can be purchased at Rieman Music or at the door on the day of the show.

About the Fort Dodge Area Symphony

Providing first-class music performance and educational experiences for the greater Fort Dodge area since 1949. The Symphony is celebrating its 70th anniversary. The 2019-2020 season continues the tradition of presenting exhilarating performances of familiar works by well-known composers alongside composers who are earning their own popularity.

More information at fdsymphony.org.

Max Wellman

Vocalist Max Wellman is enticing music lovers throughout the region. With a sound evoking the likes of Sinatra and Connick, Wellman’s recordings & performances promise that the Great American Songbook is alive & well for a new generation of listeners. Wellman has appeared at some of the great clubs throughout the country, from Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center to Andy’s Jazz Club in Chicago to Dazzle in Denver & many in between. Performances alongside vocalist Rose Colella (Chicago) & pianist Annie Booth (Denver) have been met with rave reviews.

Over the years, Wellman has had recorded success with his “Comes Love” EP (2009), “Max Wellman Live with His Big Band” (2010) and “You Must Believe In Spring” (2014). He also routinely sells out his Songbook Project subscription service — a project that sheds light on dozens of treasured standards every year. Wellman has successfully produced concerts at many of the Midwest’s gems, from historic Hoyt Sherman Place to the Des Moines Playhouse to the restored Paramount Theater in Cedar Rapids. Coming off the release of his full-length big band album, “Just In Time,” Wellman founded Noce, a state-of-the-art jazz club in the Western Gateway neighborhood of downtown Des Moines.

Katy Merriman

Katy Merriman is an actor and director who hails from Wabash, Indiana. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from Butler University in Indianapolis and has sung as a soloist with the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. Merriman is a is an emeritus company member with Iowa Stage Theatre Company, where she directed their 2018 production of Fun Home. Other ISTC appearances include Margot in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Honey in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Portia in “The Merchant of Venice,” Emily Webb in “Our Town,” Hero in “Much Ado About Nothing,” and Cecily in “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Regional credits include “Yuletide!” “Anything Goes in Concert” (Indianapolis Symphony); Helga, “Cabaret” (Des Moines Onstage); Faust, “La Traviata” (Indianapolis Opera Chorus); “Monica,” “The Medium” (GSU Opera); “Seussical the Musical,” “Anything Goes” (Wagon Wheel Theatre). Other area credits include Molly, “Completeness”; Doralee, “9 to 5”; Elle Woods, “Legally Blonde”; Cosette, “Les Miserables”; Cinderella, “Into the Woods” (Des Moines Playhouse). She is the artistic director of the Des Moines Community Playhouse.