Bring a toy; enjoy a free holiday concert | NevadaAppeal.com

Bring a toy; enjoy a free holiday concert

Rhonda Costa-Landers

The public is invited to take in a free holiday concert Tuesday evening at the Carson City Community Center.

Founded and directed by Gordon Hawkins, the Holiday Choir and Orchestra features amateur and professional musicians performing a variety of holiday tunes in unique arrangements.

In exchange for the free show, attendees are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

“(The concert) was put together professionally,” said Dave Wyble, area coordinator for the Toys for Tots program. “And he did it just for the kids so they would have a Christmas.”

Wyble said toys are needed for the newborn to 3 years and 10-15 years of age groups.

Wyble served 20 and a half years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He said several hundred toys were collected from the concert last year and Marines will be in the lobby in their dress blues collecting toys from the community.

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“We can use educational toys, too,” he added. “And we’ve got some special requests from families with children who have special needs. One child has cystic fibrosis, another has muscular dystrophy.

“We serve Carson City, Douglas and Lyon counties. There are 500 families just in Carson City, about 900 families total. We try to give each child two or three toys.”

Toy distribution days are Dec. 18-19. All toys will be handed out from the Nevada Appeal, 580 Mallory Way, upstairs. If families missed the cut-off date to call for toys, they can still contact the Ron Wood Family Resource Center at 884-2269.

“They are the clearing house,” Wyble said. “They ensure no one is double-dipping.”

The orchestra and choir have been in rehearsal since September. Hawkins said many of last year’s musicians and vocalists have returned.

“We had such a warm reception with what we did last year, we wanted to make this an annual event,” Hawkins said. “Fremont Elementary School choir will perform again with us.”

“I’d like to collect about 1,200 toys this year because we never know what the need will be until the last minute,” Wyble added.

He said 4,775 toys were distributed last year to 1,910 children in Carson City and Douglas, Lyon and part of Storey counties.

Other concerts coming up include:

n For 21 years, the Carson City Symphony has spread Christmas cheer with the Holiday Treat concert. It will take place this year at 4 p.m. today at the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St. The opening performance, by the Carson High School Brass Quintet, will begin at 3:15 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

n Mile High Jazz Band, which formed as a nonprofit organization in 2001, will present A Jazzy Christmas from 8-10 p.m. Tuesday at Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St. Swing dance lessons will be offered from 6-7:30 p.m. for an additional $5.

Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

IF YOU GO

What: Holiday Choir and Orchestra benefit concert for Toys for Tots

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

Cost: Free in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy

Call: 887-0535

What: Carson City Symphony’s 21st annual Holiday Treat concert with an opening performance by the Carson High School Brass Quintet.

When: 4 p.m. today, with opening performance at 3:15 p.m.

Where: Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

Tickets: $12 general, $10 seniors, students and Symphony Association members, free children 16-younger, available at the Brewery Arts Center or at the door.

Call: 883-1976 or 883-4154

What: Mile High Jazz Band presents A Jazzy Christmas

When: 8-10 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St.

Admission: $5 general, $4 members of Mile High Jazz Band Association, free 18-younger.

Call: 883-2662