Catalina holiday traditions include a symphony concert

The holidays on Catalina Island offer a dramatic alternative to the mainland. Small town charms and unique celebrations fill Avalon with holiday cheer while nostalgic decorations and twinkling lights provide island style to Christmas traditions.

Thanks to the Catalina Island Museum, one of those Catalina holiday traditions involves a world renowned symphony orchestra. For the last four years, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra has provided a free holiday concert in the Catalina Casino Building.

Composed of both graduate and undergraduate musicians from Stanford University, the symphony provides a unique opportunity to experience classical musical on Catalina Island. This year’s concert will feature music from Claude Debussy, Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Edward Elgar and Johann Strauss II. Anna Wittstruck will conduct the ensemble and Chen Zhao, from the San Francisco Symphony, will perform a violin solo during this year’s concert.

The Avalon Theatre provides a spectacular venue for the concert, which is first-come, first seated and is open to Avalon residents and visitors alike. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16, with the concert commencing at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Catalina Island Museum website.