November is upon us and Christmas tunes have started playing on the radio and in department stores. Love it or hate it, one musical group, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, consistently provides a magical atmosphere for those seeking more of the holiday spirit. While the name might imply a sit down classical band, that’s far from what they actually are. Formed by composer and producer Paul O’Neill in 1996, the band has been composed of 9 different touring guitarists, 4 bassists, 11 keyboardists, 10 electronic violinists, 3 drummers, 4 story narrators, and 78 different vocalists.
The band provides a unique show best described as a “rock opera,” and the show involves several elements hard to find at concerts elsewhere: real fire, snow (bubbles), and a light show. Several of the lead guitarists and various other members of the band run through the aisle ways in the venue and stage lifts propel the musicians to towering heights.
The band has released several Christmas albums and the concert follows a Christmas story line told by a narrator that ties into each song. Some of their most notable album releases include “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” from 1996, “The Christmas Attic” from 1998, “The Lost Christmas Eve” from 2004, and “Night Castle” from 2009. Their most recognized songs include “Christmas Canon” and “Wizards in Winter.” While their albums have been largely successful, they are better known for selling out their concerts. Billboard Magazine and Pollstar have both listed them as one of the top ten ticket-selling bands in the last decade.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra also participates in an immense amount of philanthropic work. The band has donated over $10 million to local charities where they play shows. They donate $1 from each ticket they sell at each of their tour stops, and they specifically donate to children’s charities.
Senior Avery Dietz is a fan of the atmosphere that the band creates for the Christmas season. “After listening to their music in combination with their Christmas narrative, I am so much more in the Christmas spirit,” Dietz said. “They produce such a powerful message,” she added. “The light show and fire just puts the icing on the cake!”
The first date of their winter tour begins Nov. 17. Locally, they come to Cincinnati, on Dec. 21, with shows at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tour dates and ticket information can be found through Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Website.