IF YOU GO
What: "A Chamber Noel."
When: 3 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Sheraton Read House, 827 Broad St.
Each year, Chattanooga residents and friends gather on a December Sunday for "A Chamber Noel," an annual holiday tradition from the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera.
This year will be just a little bit different. The conductor will put down her baton and join the musicians as a performer for one of the pieces.
Maestra Kayoko Dan, whose musical history began with childhood flute lessons, will play on Hector Berlioz's Trio for Two Flutes & Harp, op. 25.
She is approaching her step away from the podium humbly.
"I got convinced to play," she said. "I didn't want to be featured because performing is not what I do for a living."
This will be Dan's first time performing here. She said it has been some time since she has performed. "It's probably like riding a bicycle," she said. "You don't really forget how to play, but the performing aspect, I don't know how it's going to turn out."
In addition to the Berlioz piece, "A Chamber Noel" will include Symphony No. 2 in D Minor by Franz Joseph Haydn; "Pastoreles de Noel" by Andre Jolivet and Trio, Tecum Principium from "Christmas Oratorio" by Camille Saint-Saens.
Typically an organ is featured in the piece, but Dan rearranged the work for harp and strings.
"I think it's going to sound great," she said.
The concert will culminate with selections from George Frideric Handel's "Messiah," best known for its "Hallelujah" chorus.
Conducting a smaller group for chamber music, Dan said, is "more intimate. You feel like you have more personal connection with the musicians. Every minute detail is communicated and translated with the musicians better when you're in a smaller setting."
This is only the beginning of the holiday season for the CSO. Next, Dan will conduct Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," a collaboration between the CSO and the Chattanooga Ballet.
"I'm in the Christmas mode already," she said.
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...