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Inside the Music

Merry (and Bright) Music-Making

Merry & Bright concert in 2019 | © Joseph Scheller
Merry & Bright concert in 2019 | © Joseph Scheller

Trumpeter Charles Lazarus’ annual Merry & Bright concert has become a brass-studded staple of the Orchestra Hall holiday calendar over the last several years, enticing audiences with its cool twist on holiday tunes and heartwarming classics.  

For the 2021 holiday season, Lazarus and his all-star band return to the stage with a new collection of holiday hits from his latest album, Merrier & Brighter. Described as soulful and swinging, funky and classic, the album features his signature take on Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and some new holiday originals, among others.  

Part of the fun of a Lazarus holiday show is the sheer variety of guests who join him onstage: powerhouse vocalists Tonia Hughes Kendrick and Bruce Henry, a nine-piece brass band showcasing many Minnesota Orchestra brass players, and composer-pianist (and New Power Generation alum) Tommy Barbarella are among this season’s collaborators.

New to the festive line-up this year will be the Merry & Bright Kids Choir, a small ensemble of young singers who will help share the Orchestra Hall premiere of the infectious, I Believe. Take a listen below.

Merry & Bright with Charles Lazarus takes place on Sunday, December 12, 2 p.m., at Orchestra Hall.