CIYC Krannert concert 2019

The Central Illinois Youth Chorus will perform five songs with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra at its 'Joys of the Season' concert Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

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CHAMPAIGN — The busiest stretch of Central Illinois Youth Chorus’ season wraps up tonight at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

The opportunity to perform in the Great Hall alongside a symphony — led by a jolly guest conductor named Santa Claus, no less — negates the fatigue factor.

“We’re riding the Santa high,” administrative director Kathy Lee said.

On Sunday, the chorus hosted its biggest event — the 42nd Winter Concert — at Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign.

“That’s our gift to the community,” Lee said.

The reward? Tonight, about 70 8-to-18-year-olds will join the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra on stage for its "Joys of the Season" concert.

The kids — who represent 34 area schools — rehearsed Monday night at Krannert.

“For some of them, it was their first time at Krannert,” Lee said. “That’s a pretty cool experience.”

Nerve-wracking, too.

“Eventually,” Lee said, “it turns from terror to excitement.”