The holiday season will literally come alive when the Okanogan Valley Orchestra & Chorus (OVOC) present “Winter Magic Returns ” on Saturday (Dec. 8).
The orchestra will play the score for a screening of the delightful animated film “The Bear,” which chronicles a young girl’s friendship with a polar bear. The girl and the bear discover the charms of each other’s worlds — with engaging and their often-hilarious consequences. (It’s not that easy — or convenient — to have a full-sized polar bear in your house, and to try to keep it a secret.)
The girl joins her furry friend on an adventure among the constellations of the winter sky, soaring past the Great Bear (the Big Dipper). Together they discover the magic of life as they fly above the wintry landscape. “The Bear” includes live narration and three vocal soloists.
“The Bear” is based on the illustrated book by Raymond Briggs, with music by Howard Blake. Briggs and Blake also collaborated on the animated holiday classic “The Snowman,” which the orchestra performed last year. That movie-music combo was so well received that OVOC decided to do it again.
The orchestra takes the audience on another cinematic journey — to the North Pole — in music from the 2004 holiday film “The Polar Express.”
The choir will perform “Nutcracker Jingles,” a witty mash-up of “Jingle Bells” and music from the “Nutcracker” ballet. And while many people are familiar with the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s “Messiah,” this concert provides a wonderful opportunity to hear Beethoven’s lovely setting of Hallelujah.
There’s also a medley of favorite seasonal songs including “Winter Wonderland” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” plus a rhythmically intricate version of the dance-like French carol “Patapan.” The Omak High School choir joins the OVOC singers in a peaceful winter song that conjures the allure of falling snow.
A brass ensemble will be on hand in the lobby for more festive entertainment.
“Winter Magic Returns” is at 2 p.m. at the Omak Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; and free for those 14 and under.