Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

The Symphony of the Sierra, a program of Columbia College, will perform a variety of music in a free concert Saturday on the college campus.

The program will begin at 3 p.m. in the Dogwood Theater. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m., with the string section playing traditional Christmas carols as the audience arrives.

The orchestra, conducted by Mic Harper, will perform music from the film "E.T." by John Williams, the "Concerto Grosso for Orchestra in D" by Antonio Vivaldi, "Russian Christmas Music" by Alfred Reed and "The Marriage of Figaro" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Saturday's concert also will feature Columbia College student Danielle DiBartolomeo performing the third movement, "Alla Siciliana," from John Galliard's "Second Sonata for Trombone in G." She will be accompanied by Isaiah Spratt on piano.

Also are on the program are two works featuring guests of the conductor, seventh grade pianist Jacob Evans and eighth grade violinist Merel Jacobs.

Jacob will perform George Winston's "Prelude to Carol of the Bells" and Winston's version of Pachelbel's "Canon."

A student at Soulsbyville Elementary School, Jacob also plays second violin in the orchestra.

Merel will perform Maurice Ravel's "Pavane pour une infante defunte," a work originally composed for piano and arranged here as a trio for violin, flute and piano.

Joining Merel in the trio will be Sandra Betti on flute and Isaiah Spratt on piano.

A student at the Connections Visual and Performing Arts Academy, Merel also is the orchestra's assistant concertmistress.

"I'm really focused on having a community ensemble and the importance of keeping music in our schools," Harper said. "There are no full-time music teachers in any of our elementary schools and our high school bands are dropping off. At the college level, students don't have a lot of opportunity to perform classical music. Right now we're down as far as we can go and still put people in a parade."

Saturday's concert will last slightly more than an hour, Harper said.

"Bring the children and bring the grandparents," she said. "This is the kind of concert you don't want to miss."