Athens Symphony Orchestra to kick off the holiday season with its 26th Annual Christmas Concert Series

press release from the Athens Symphony Orchestra

Contributed Photo

Featuring Special Guests Seth Hendershot and Santa Claus

(ATHENS, Ga.) – Santa is back to help the Athens Symphony Orchestra launch the traditional start of the holiday season with its annual Christmas Concert Series. Performances will take place at The Classic Center Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3:00 p.m.

This year’s performance will mark the return of Santa Claus to the Symphony stage after two years of social distancing and COVID precautions kept him away. “I’m thrilled to be making my return and can’t wait to see all my friends in person at the concerts this year!” said Santa.

The performance will showcase a selection of holiday classics, including “Twas the Night Before Christmas” narrated by Seth Hendershot, owner of Hendershot’s Coffee Bar in Athens.

“I am honored to have been asked to narrate ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ with the Athens Symphony this year. This piece has a great deal of sentimental significance for me as my mom would read it to us every December 24 and carried that tradition on with me and my sister’s kids, her grandkids. It really invokes a feeling of excitement and joyous anticipation in kids and adults alike and is just a really beautiful and special poem” says Hendershot.

“I’m really excited to be doing “Twas the night” with Seth. At the 2019 Christmas concert, Susan Dinwiddie told me to ask Santa what song he would like us to perform in 2020. Without pausing, he said, ‘Twas the night before Christmas’. And when it came time to choose the narrator, I can’t think of anyone in Athens that best represents dedication to music here than Seth Hendershot,” says Conductor Brad Maffett. “When our 2020 concert was canceled, Susan made me promise to still program the piece. I agreed, and so the long journey will finally have a conclusion.”

Complimentary tickets will be available beginning Monday, November 28 at 10:00 a.m. on The Classic Center’s website, Tickets are required for entry. Attendees may secure up to four tickets.

About the Athens Symphony

The Athens Symphony has served as a pillar of the community by spreading the joy of music to thousands of guests since 1978. Supported by local and regional volunteer musicians, sponsors and individual donors, the Athens Symphony Orchestra is proud to host six complimentary performances each season, as well as annually award the Susan Dinwiddie Music Education Grant to fund instrument purchases, music experiences and music education for area youth.

For more information about the Symphony, the Susan Dinwiddie Music Education Grant and how to become a supporter, please visit

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