An animated holiday classic from Britain is the centerpiece of California Symphony‘s program ‘Tis the Symphony this weekend. Music Director Donato Cabrera will lead them as they accompany The Snowman live, with the Pacific Boychoir Academy. The 1982 animated film, based on the picture book by Raymond Briggs, tells of a boy’s adventures during the night when the snowman he built comes to life. The concert will also include holiday selections and an audience singalong.

There’s more information at the California Symphony website.

There are no words at all in the film, with the exception of the memorable song “Walking in the Air.” The story is told in the same pastel illustrations as in the book. The Snowman, with a tangerine for a nose, and wearing a hat and scarf, gets to see the inside of a house, ride a motorcycle, cool down in a freezer, and fly to a festive gathering of other snowmen at the North Pole. “The Snowman was something that I did almost annually in my position as resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony,” Cabrera says. “During my first couple of years, one of the musicians of the symphony mentioned that he had heard that The Snowman was being done live with orchestra, and that it would be a great idea to bring to the San Francisco Symphony, so I approached the powers that be, or the powers that were then at the Symphony, and we brought it to great success…. This is actually the second time I will be doing it with the California Symphony, again, because it’s this beloved holiday classic that so many people grew up watching, and the song, of course, is so iconic.”  There are two performances this Saturday, at 4 and 8, at the Lesher Center for the Arts. “This movie – you know, it’s a 30 minute masterpiece, and I can tell it has such a great impact on the audience whenever I do it. “