Sounds of the Season

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Celebrate the Sounds of the Season with Us!

Experience the magic of the holiday season with “Sounds of the Season” on Sunday, December 3, 2023. Under the baton of Guest Conductor Dirk M. Hillyer, this enchanting musical journey takes you “Around The World at Christmastime,” featuring timeless classics like “O Tannenbaum,” “What Child is This,” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” Revel in the grace of J.S. Bach’s “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring” and the enchantment of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Selections.” The evening also promises heartwarming moments with soloist Jillian Gavin in “Where Are You Christmas?” and Jacyn Tremblay in “When The Tree Goes Up.” Plus, a festive intermission with beloved tunes like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Don’t miss this joyful celebration of the holiday spirit through the power of music.

Dirk M. Hillyer, Guest Conductor

Dr. Dirk Hillyer is a highly recognized figure on Boston’s North Shore who has performed nationally as a musician/conductor/horn player/mentor. He has varied experiences from the classical genre to “pops” music of Broadway and Film.  This experience led Hillyer to conduct Disney’s DISNEY-IN-CONCERT which took him on two national tours. He has conducted the Austin Symphony, members of the Dallas Symphony in this Disney extravaganza, twice the National Symphony Pops at Wolftrap Performing Arts Center, Miami Pops and Philly Pops in the Kimmel Center. Additional dates included Florida, Virginia, Connecticut, and many Massachusetts cities.

His Hillyer Festival Orchestra (HFO) is locally in the limelight with over 200 performances in Marblehead, Salem, Danvers, Peabody, Lynn, Swampscott, Gloucester, Northborough, Chelmsford, Boston, and beyond. Salem’s July 4thconcert alone attracts 30,000-40,000 people each year! Recently, the HFO opened the Pops season in Wolfeboro, NH to a rousing reception. Additionally, this orchestra, comprised of some of the best pops players in the Boston area and played Boston’s Hatch Shell on the Esplanade five years in a row.

Hillyer holds a PhD from Tufts University with two additional degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Jillian Gavin, Soloist

Jillian Gavin is a senior at Pentucket Regional High School. Jillian discovered her love of music at a very early age. Jillian started and has continued to perform primarily in the Merrimack Valley for both community and professional theaters since the age of eight. Jillian hopes to pursue her love of Musical Theater in college in the fall of 2024. She would like to thank her family, teachers, and friends for their love and support. Jillian is both excited and grateful to the MVPO for this incredible opportunity. Some of Jillian’s stage credits include Little Women (U/S Beth*, Amy, Ensemble*), Greater Boston Stage Company; Spring Awakening (Ilse) Acting Out Theater Company; Carrie The Musical (concert version) Firehouse Center for the Arts; Elf the Musical (Tiara the Elf, Charlotte Dennon) Firehouse Center for the Arts; and Urinetown the Musical (Little Sally) Acting Out Theater Company.

Jacyn Tremblay, Soloist

Jacyn Tremblay performs throughout New England with the 11-piece band Beantown. Other musical credits include single releases on Universal/Motown Records in the pop/r&b vocal group Jada, pop/rock singles in the duo Venus Mars Project, performing as a regularly featured soloist with the Hillyer Festival Orchestra, and most recently with The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra. Her most recent musical release, “When The Tree Goes Up,” with her group Three Second Chances, debuted on all digital music platforms in November 2022. Three Second Chances is currently recording their debut EP in Nashville, TN, with plans to release their first yacht-pop single in early 2023! Jacyn currently studies voice with Mike Maxiner of Matt Farnsworth Voice Studio.

Sounds of the Season Program

  • Around The World at Christmastime – Arr. Bruce Chase (1912-2001) featuring O Tannenbaum, Infant Holy, What Child is This. Sanctissima and Hanukah, Whence Comes Rush-Wings, Go Tell it on the Mountain
  • Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring – J.S.Bach (1685-1750)
  • Nutcracker Selections – Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) featuring March, Danse Arabian, Tropic
  • Where Are You Christmas? – Dirk Hillyer (b.1951)
  • Jillian Gavin, Soloist
  • Swingin’ On the Housetop – Arr. Ralph Ford (b. 1963)
  • Winter Wonderland – Felix Bernard (1897-1944) arr. Calvin Custer


  • The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Edward Pola (1907-1995) Arr. Bob Cerulli
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas  – Hugh Martin (1914-2011) Arr. Martin Gold
  • Parade of the Wooden Soldiers – Leon Jessel (1871-1942) Arr. Martin Ford
  • When The Tree Goes Up – Jacyn Tremblay, Soloist
  • A Christmas Festival Medley – Arr. Marc Allison