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National Composers Orchestra: A Holiday Celebration!

Join us for NCO’s inaugural event: A Holiday Celebration! You will experience holiday classics such as “Silent Night” and “’Twas the Moon of Wintertime” with a modern reimagining. Come be among the first people to hear a new work based on Christmas ornaments that is being composed by local composer, Bryan Stanley and premiered by the NCO. This new work is presented in collaboration with dancers from the American Midwest Ballet; a combination of music and dance that is sure to wow our eyes and ears! It wouldn’t be a holiday celebration without music from the movies! Be sure to bring the whole family along to catch a glimpse of one of Santa’s favorite reindeer and a Grinch who stole Christmas! The fun doesn’t stop there; our show features appearances from other local celebrities and an audience sing-a-long to send you home in the holiday spirit!

About the Guest Artists:


John Beasley


John Beasley (born June 26, 1943) is an American actor. He is known for his roles in the films Rudy (1993), The General's Daughter (1999), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Walking Tall (2004), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), and Sinister 2 (2015).

In 2002, Beasley founded the "John Beasley Theater & Workshop" in OmahaNebraska to promote live theater, especially works written by or featuring African-Americans.

On August 12, 2005, Beasley received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

Alyssa Grimsley


Hometown: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Training & Experience: B.F.A. in ballet performance from the University of Oklahoma; Western Arkansas Ballet; summer programs at Joffrey Midwest, Ballet Austin, Tulsa Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet 

Featured Repertory: Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Gift of Heart in The Wizard of Oz; Big Swan in Swan Lake, Snow Queen and Arabian in The Nutcracker; roles in French Songs, Habaneras: The Music of Cuba, Death and the Maiden, Giselle, Paquita, Go West!, and Ella

Additional Highlights:  toured with Oklahoma Festival Ballet to Eisenstadt, Austria and with Burklyn Ballet Theatre to Edinburgh, Scotland; eighth season with American Midwest Ballet


Anna Swenson


Hometown: Spokane, Washington

Training & Experience: Ballet Arts Academy; trainee program at school of Alberta Ballet; summer programs at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Joffrey Ballet’s Jazz and Contemporary program, and School of Alberta Ballet

Featured Repertory: Emerald Queen in The Wizard of Oz; Snow Queen and Arabian Princess in The Nutcracker; Big Swan in Swan Lake; featured roles in Blackbird, Appalachian Song, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Seneca Montgomery’s Order in the Chaos

Additional Highlight: ninth season with American Midwest Ballet

Bryan Stanley


Dr. Bryan Stanley (b. 1972), accomplished pianist-composer and collaborator, is published by Hal Leonard, Boosey & Hawkes, and G. Schirmer, which include concert arrangements of American folksongs and adaptations of Copland’s music. 

The Music Teachers National Association granted Dr. Stanley Honorable Mention in the 2019 Distinguished Composer of the Year Competition with his Three Concert Etudes for Piano commissioned by the Nebraska Music Teachers Association. 

His original compositions for piano, concerto, vocal, and chamber groups have been performed with Caritas Symphonia of San Francisco, Siaulei Piano Duo Festival in Lithuania, Harpa Symphony Hall in Iceland, Riverton Utah Symphony Orchestra, University of Nebraska in Omaha and Kearney; St. Louis Community College Orchestra, Indiana University-Southeast, Simpson College, Park City Beethoven Festival, Utah Opera, Park City Community Church, Lewis University, and KBYU radio.

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