Maryland Symphony Orchestra to Present 28th Annual “Home for the Holidays” Concerts on December 12 & 13

MSO to Collect Donations for Toys for Tots and Salvation Army

Hagerstown, MD—Music Director Elizabeth Schulze and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra will kick off the holiday season with its 28th annual “Home for the Holidays” concerts on Saturday, December 12 at 7 pm and Sunday, December 13 at 3 pm at the historic Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown.

This year’s special guests will be Candice Mowbray, guitarist; Raychel Harvey-Jones, vocalist; Hagerstown Choral Arts, under the direction of Greg Shook; the Williamsport High School Choir, led by Michelle Rafter; and the popular and spirited yuletide sing-along, led by Jolly Old Saint Nick himself.

Musical highlights will include White Christmas; Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring; I’ll Be Home for Christmas; Most Wonderful Time of the Year; Gloria; A Christmas Festival; Sleigh Ride; and What Child is This.

Regarded by audiences and colleagues for her beautiful tone and sensitive music-making, classical guitarist Candice Mowbray expresses the lyrical and communicative quality of her playing through programs of modern and classic works. Her artful programming and thoughtful interpretations once elicited from a celebrated ballerina, “[the music] makes me want to dance,” and guitar virtuoso John Feely described her as “a beautiful player, so expressive and musical.”

Appearing as a soloist, chamber musician, and guest lecturer, Mowbray has been a featured artist for prestigious festivals and concert series such as the Guitar Foundation of American Convention in Los Angeles, Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society Series, Bethlehem Guitar Festival, Austin Peay GuitarFest, Ibero-American Guitar Festival at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Kreykenbohm Lecture Series, and Maryland Symphony Orchestra Lecture Series. She was profiled in Classical Guitar Magazine’s “Letter from New York” and featured in Maryland Public Television’s documentary, “Our Town.”

Mowbray earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Classical Guitar Performance at Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia. In addition to performing, she is an adjunct assistant professor of guitar studies at Shenandoah Conservatory and the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Maryland.  She also enjoys writing about music. Her publications include “Recordings to Revisit: Ida Presti’s Solo Recordings” in Soundboard and “A Piece of Carnegie Hall Comes to Maryland” in Bravo! Magazine. For more information, visit

A confessed news junkie, Raychel Harvey-Jones enjoyed a career in musical theatre (performing in theatres and aboard cruise ships around the globe) before beginning her career in television. She first came to the United States in the late 90s to work as a back-up singer for Country legend Garth Brooks and has performed in the musical “Cats” in London’s West End and toured as part of Clear Channel’s cast of “Chicago.”

Transitioning from the stage to television was a natural progression for Harvey-Jones.  She came back to the U.S. in 2003 to work for Bloomberg Television in New York before moving to Los Angeles to work for ABC. She was the news director for Hagerstown’s HMTV-6, starting the channel for Schurz Communications. It was at this time she discovered the MSO and became a board member. She now works as a producer and freelance reporter at NBC4 in Washington, DC.

The Hagerstown Choral Arts, under the direction of Gregory Shook, and the Williamsport High School Choir, led by Michelle Rafter, will also be performing with the MSO.

Adult tickets for the concert range from $10 to $40, and all children’s tickets (under 18 years of age) are $12. They may be purchased online at, in person at 30 W. Washington Street (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm), or by calling 301-797-4000 during business hours.

During this year’s concert the MSO will be partnering with the U.S. Marine’s TOYS FOR TOTS Foundation and THE SALVATION ARMY to help them meet their missions of assisting those in need throughout Washington County.

On Saturday, December 12, from noon until the close of the concert, the MSO will be collecting new, unwrapped toys in the lobby of the theatre. Drop off your donations during the day or bring them along to the concert. Every dollar and every donated toy collected for TOYS FOR TOTS stays in the local area.

On Sunday, December 13, from noon until the close of the concert at 5 p.m., the MSO will be accepting new, unwrapped toys for the Salvation Army’s toy drive. The Salvation Army has been serving the residents of Washington County since 1903.

For those not attending the concerts, or unable to stop by the theatre during the weekend, donations will be accepted at the MSO office during regular business hours the week preceding the concerts.