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Ring in 2011 with symphony, ballet

Thu., Dec. 30, 2010, midnight

First Night isn’t the only way to celebrate the arts in Spokane on New Year’s Eve:

• For a second year, the Spokane Symphony will follow German tradition by performing Beethoven’s inspirational Ninth Symphony with the Symphony Chorale.

The orchestra’s German-born music director, Eckart Preu, recalls hearing it as a young soldier in East Berlin during the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Featured soloists include Christina Major, soprano; Patty Blankenship-Mortier, mezzo-soprano; J. Raymond Meyers, tenor; and Charles Robert Austin, baritone.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.

Tickets are $20 and $25 for adults, $14 for children 12 and under, through the symphony ticket office (509-624-1200) and TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

A special package with concert admission and a First Night button is available for $28 and $33 for adults, $22 for children ages 11-12 (kids 10 and under get into First Night for free).

Theatre Ballet of Spokane will again present its traditional Ballet & Bubbly at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.

The student company will perform a new work by Charles Askegard of New York City Ballet, set to music by Rossini.

The program also includes a piece by guest choreographer Deidre Kellogg based on the Houlton techique, which combines ballet with modern dance; a water-themed collaboration between Theatre Ballet’s artistic director, Dodie Askegard, and visual artists Lisa Nappa and Roger Ralston; and a new work by resident choreographer Sara Donally.

The evening begins with a chocolate and champagne reception at 6 p.m., followed by the performance at 7. Tickets are $17 in advance, through TicketsWest, and $20 at the door.

Theatre Ballet also will present a shortened version of the program, sans reception, at 9 p.m. as part of First Night.

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