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Audiences Of All Ages: Invited to Celebrate The Season with Beloved Traditional Holiday Music

December 1, 2022

A beloved holiday musical tradition is returning to South Florida Symphony Orchestra (SFSO)! Sebrina Maria Alfonso will conduct Handel’s glorious holiday favorite, Messiah! This beloved seasonal masterpiece featuring soloists Neil Nelson, bass baritone; Gerardo Ortega, tenor; Brittany Graham, soprano; Stephanie Newman, mezzo-soprano and the South Florida Symphony Chorus will commence on December 3, at 7:30 p.m., at The Parker in Fort Lauderdale and on December 4, at 4 p.m., at Barry University in Miami.

Smithsonian magazine writes, “A musical rite of the holiday season, the Baroque-era oratorio still awes listeners 250 years after the composer’s death.” Handel’s popular work, which draws from the Christian Lent and Easter stories, encompasses a musical narrative brilliance that transcends belief systems.”

“South Florida Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to bring back Handel’s Messiah and share the joy of time-honored classics to launch the holiday season in grand musical style,” said Jacqueline Lorber, President and CEO of South Florida Symphony Orchestra. “With soaring vocals, masterful arrangements and compelling storytelling, this presentation is truly an inspirational musical experience for the whole family.”

To elevate the holiday spirit, the evening opens with glorious sounds of the season, including Schubert’s Ave Maria; Pietro Yon’s Italian Christmas carol, “Gesù Bambino;” Mendelssohn’s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and more followed by Part I of Handel’s Messiah. The performance culminates with the iconic “Hallelujah” chorus as sung by the South Florida Symphony Chorus, made-up of seasoned chorale singers and community talent. The Chorus is conducted by Dr. Giselle Elgarresta Rios, who will also lead the orchestra at the December 4 concert at Barry University. Rios and Maestra Alfonso collaborated to create the South Florida Symphony Chorus in 2019, which made its debut at the Beethoven 250th celebration in February of 2020.

The esteemed South Florida Symphony, celebrating its 25th anniversary of artistic excellence, launched its 2022/23 season on November 9 at The Parker in Fort Lauderdale and on November 10 New World Center in Miami Beach. This outstanding season will feature classical masterworks including Shostakovich’s final “War Symphony,” No. 9, Brahms’s doubly demanding Concerto for Violin and Cello and an all-Dvořák program with audience favorite – and performer during the Symphony’s inaugural concert - Zuill Bailey. Additionally, honoring its commitment to presenting new works, SFSO will present its third world premiere by composer-in-residence John Gottsch: the Florida-inspired Ocklawaha. The South Florida Symphony Chorus will expand its repertoire, once again, performing one of the greatest large chorale works of its day, Bruckner’s majestic Te Deum.

Tickets for Handel’s Messiah start at $15 for the December 3 concert at The Parker is located at 707 Northeast 8th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304 and can be purchased online at: Or via the Broward Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at: (954) 462-0222.

Tickets start at $20 for the December 4 performance at Barry University’s Shepard & Ruth K. Broad Performing Arts Center (11300 NE 2nd Ave in Miami Shores) and can be ordered online at or via phone at (954) 522-8445. Student tickets and group rates are also available by calling (954) 522-8445 or emailing

About South Florida Symphony Orchestra (SFSO)
Founded in 1997 in Key West by Music Director Maestra Sebrina María Alfonso, the now Wilton Manors-based South Florida Symphony Orchestra (SFSO) is celebrating its 25th anniversary season. SFSO is dedicated to providing enriching cultural music experiences to residents and visitors in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Guided by the belief that music is pivotal to thriving communities, SFSO brings vibrancy and engagement with the arts via innovative programming and transformative educational initiatives. A pioneer in its commitment to symphonic music for underserved communities, its Symphony in the Schools program has touched the lives of 100,000 students since its inception in 1997. SFSO was recently named the first Partner in the Arts for The Parker by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and has been recognized by the Broward County Cultural Division as a “Major Cultural Institution,” one of only a handful of organizations to be so honored. For a performance schedule and season tickets, visit: Or call: (954) 522-8445 Or email at:

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