Home for the Holidays ConcertPurchase Tickets
George Stellutoconductor
Morris Smithguest student conductor
Rodrick Dixontenor
Alfreda Burkesoprano
Judy Pagevocals
Erika Vondalesoprano
Derel Monteithpiano
Andy Crawfordbass
Jason Brannondrums
Doug Orearnarrator
Nitsch Theatre Arts
2:00 pm lobby
3:00 pm start

Add to Calendar

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Christmas Overture 
Albert Hague: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Christmas Eve from Christmas Eve Suite
Clement Clarke MoreTwas the Night Before Christmas
Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Adolphe Adam: O Holy Night
John Mason Neale: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Emile Blemont/Edward C. Nunn: Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella 
Isaac Watts: Joy to the World
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Polonaise from Christmas Eve Suite
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite No. 1
Florence Beatrice Price: Song for Snow
Bruce Broughton: Miracle on 34th Street Suite
Dimitri Tiomkin: It’s a Wonderful Life Suite
John Williams: Holiday songs from Home Alone
John McCutcheon: Christmas in the Trenches
Carmen Dragon: Silent Night
Walter Kent: I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride
Thomas Oliphant: Deck the Halls

Create Holiday memories with your loved one’s at the PSO’s 2023 Holiday concert. Enjoy a medley of Holiday favorites like Charlie Brown, the Nutcracker, Christmas carols, and more.

The Home for the Holidays concert will take place on Sunday, December 17, 2023, at 3 pm at the Peoria Civic Center Theater.


Did you know the Home for the Holidays concert is part of the Family Fun Pack?! The Family Fun Pack is the perfect way to give your family the gift of music this holiday season, two concerts for the whole family and one for date night! When you purchase the Family Fun Pack, you’ll get a discount and great seats for not only the Home for the Holidays concert but also the Hollywood Old & New (January 28) concert and annual Romance (February 17) concert.


Roderick Dixon, tenor

Rodrick Dixon possesses a tenor voice of extraordinary range and versatility that has earned him the respect and attention of leading conductors, orchestras, and opera companies.

Notable operatic engagements include Los Angeles Opera in the title role of Zemlinky’s Der Zwerg conducted by James Conlon and as Walther von der Vogelweide in Tannhauser. At Michigan Opera Theater and Todi Music Festival, Dixon appeared as Tonio in La Fille Du Regiment. He also appeared as Lenski in Todi’s production of Eugene Onegin .  At Portland Opera, he performed the title role of Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Prince in Opera Columbus premiere of Vanqui ;  Sportin’ Life in Virginia Opera’s Porgy & Bess; the Duke in Rigoletto for Cincinnati Opera; and Opera Southwest in the title role of Rossini’s  Otello. 

Alfreda Burke, soprano

Alfreda Burke’s vocal artistry has been described as “voluptuous, creamy and luxuriant” (Chicago Tribune). She has appeared in concert throughout North America and in Europe. Alfreda made her Carnegie and Orchestra Hall debut in Strauss’ Elektra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Daniel Barenboim. Highlighted performances include the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia under Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theatre/DSO/Rackham Choir, Royal Philharmonic (London), Prague Philharmonic, Umbria Music Festival (Italy), TodiMusicFest (US), Miss World 2012, 2014, 2016, 2021 (China, UK, US, Puerto Rico);  Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, Miss World Beauty With A Purpose and Rise Against Hunger events, Gala (South Africa 2017);  Humanity Rising: Notre-Dame Reborn virtual Gala; Sentinel of the Sea Award Virtual Celebration honoring Gary Sinise; Holders Season Gala (Barbados), Lancaster Festival, Corrales Cultural Arts Council (New Mexico), Grant Park Music Festival, Millennium Park Gala, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center, Auditorium Theatre, Auditorium Theatre 125 Living the History, Orpheum Theatre (Memphis), Chicago Opera Theater, Chorus Angelorum, Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, Siamsa na nGael and NATO Chicago Summit, among others.

Judy Page, vocals

A lifetime Peoria resident,  Judy “Page” Adkisson began singing at the age of 5 for family and friends, and in her church’s Children’s Choir. She then continued her singing through school choirs and group talent shows at Carver Community Center. Her only formal vocal training was instruction from her high school music teacher, where she learned harmony and a minimal amount of reading music. Her consideration of a career in vocal music actually started at 15 while in high school. She performed as the lead vocalist with a 4-piece band that entertained in the high school gymnasium after school for “sock hops.”

Judy’s career in music has spanned over 56 years. She currently performs at various venues in and around Peoria, such as the Contemporary Art Center, Two25 at the Mark Twain Hotel, Broken Tree Coffee Shop, Central Illinois Jazz Society events, Peoria Riverfront events, and private venues with longtime guitarist friends Preston Jackson and Steve Degenford. She mainly performs Jazz, the music she was first introduced to when she began vocalizing at home.

Erika Vondale, vocals

Hailed during a recent industry workshop in New York City as very natural and authentic, ten-year-old soprano (and Peoria native) Erika Vondale earned acclaim from top casting directors for her range and wonderful vibrato, good humor, great energy, and skill. A rising talent with remarkable expression, she is gaining attention from presenters, managers, and production companies both regionally and nationwide. This fall, Ms. Vondale made her South Bend Civic Theatre debut as an Oompa Loompa and ensemble member in the regional premiere of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-A New Musical.” Her recent performance credits include Marta in the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra x GhostLight Theatre’s production of “The Sound of Music” (Summer ’23) and Eric Shaffernickle in “Matilda, Jr.” (Spring ’23) for Children’s Music Workshop (CMW).  In 2021, she made her theatrical debut at the age of seven playing multiple roles in CMW’s production of  “Super Happy Awesome News,” a musical written for virtual performance during the pandemic. Her teachers include: soprano Chelsea Basler (Metropolitan Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Berklee College of Music), Kurt Domoney (Broadway Kids Auditions, NYC), Brett Teresa (Broadway Kids Auditions, NYC), Lorie Krauss (St. Joseph, MI), and Paul Mow (St. Joseph, MI). In her studies of diverse musical styles and genres, Ms. Vondale often performs solo recitals, and December 2023 marks her Peoria Symphony Orchestra debut. Instagram: @erika_vondale_official

Derel Monteith Trio

Derel Monteith is a pianist, composer, and arranger based in Peoria. After focusing on classical piano during his childhood in North Carolina, he developed an affinity for improvised music and earned a degree in jazz studies from the University of Miami. He has performed with artists such as Nnenna Freelon, Frank Foster, Matt Wilson, and Greg Ward, and has studied with Vince Maggio (a student of Oscar Peterson), as well as the Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider. He has performed with the PSO as a featured soloist, as accompanist and orchestral arranger for vocalists Judy Page and Brianna Thomas, and in Too Hot to Handel© – The Gospel Messiah. Derel has led jazz piano trios for over 30 years, but he formed the current version of Derel Monteith Trio in 2015. The trio has performed in Chicago and throughout Central Illinois, playing a diverse repertoire that includes Derel’s original compositions, jazz standards, and instrumental covers of rock songs. In October 2019, Derel simultaneously released his debut trio album, Quantity Of Life, and his debut solo album, Connemara, both of which received positive coverage from the jazz press, including JAZZIZ. Early Reflections (93-94), a new version of his trio’s unreleased debut album from the ’90s, followed in December 2021.

Bassist Andy Crawford is managing director of Jazz and Instrumental Programs at Knox College, including the Rootabaga Jazz Festival. A first-call jazz bassist, he performs regularly with multiple groups throughout the state, has performed on dozens of recordings, and has been featured multiple times with the PSO, including with The BraziLionaires, Judy Page, the Todd Kelly Quartet, the Claude Bolling Suite for Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Piano Trio, the Judy Garland 100th anniversary concert, and the PSO’s performance of La La Land. Andy organizes the San Pancho Music Festival in Nayarit, Mexico, an annual three-day festival in its 22nd year that welcomes over 5,000 attendees and features 30 musical groups over three days every February.  Crawford is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala in agricultural marketing and ecotourism.

Jason Brannon hails from Peoria and is a prominent jazz drummer throughout the region. He teaches drums and directs ensembles at Knox College, and is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Joe Hunt (a former member of the Bill Evans Trio) and Billy Pierce. Jason has performed with Buddy DeFranco, Jim McNeely, Anat Cohen, Miguel Zenón, Chuchito Valdés, and Paul Bufano, and his drumming can be heard on a number of recordings.

Doug Orear, narrator

Dough Orear is a local actor who found his passion for acting in college. He began his professional career with Kenley Players in Ohio under the direction of the renowned producer John Kenley. Acting took Dough to New York and Los Angeles, where he worked professionally onstage as well as in television and film. His favorite professional acting experience was touring with Jack Lemmon in the stage production of Tribute. Dough continues to work as an actor in independent films, voiceovers, and onstage locally for both Corn Stock and Peoria Players theaters. Local roles include Dr. Gibbs in Our Town, Lyman Wyth in Other Dessert Cities, Otto Frank in Diary of Anne Frank, Charlie Aken in Osage County, Warden Samuel Norton in The Shawshank Redemption, and most recently John Clarke in Calendar Girls. He is the President of Manpower Staffing, married for 39 years to his wife Pam, and the proud father of his grown children Quinn and Cagni.

Nitsch Theatre Arts

Nitsch Theatre Arts (NTA) is a local arts education organization that has been serving students of all ages in the Central Illinois area since 2014, offering performing and visual arts opportunities at low/no cost. NTA is proud to have area students from our Stage Kids, Stage Teens, and Rising Stars programs performing in the December concert under the direction of Taylor Hubbartt and Kelleen Nitsch, founder and executive director of NTA. They are excited that its Rising Stars, Singapella acapella group, and the dance troupe Kickline just returned from performing at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular! NTA offers programs in Eureka, Tremont, Peoria, Washington, and Bloomington taught by our directors and teaching artists who are degreed industry and education professionals, ensuring the best quality classes, workshops, and events. Please join us at our new NTA Center for Creativity in Washington and check out our upcoming productions — for tickets or more information, visit

Concert Sponsors & Underwriters

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Sign up for our e-newsletter
This season was made possible, in part, by leadership gifts from:
© 2024 Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Website created by Central States Marketing.