A Christmas Carol

The Emmy-nominated version of the beloved Dickens story as seen on PBS.

A Classic Tale, A Symphonic Feast, A New Holiday Tradition!

Music Composed and Arranged by Bob Christianson
Lyrics and Book Adaptation by Alisa Hauser

A Christmas Carol – The Concert is the classic Dickens tale as you’ve never heard it before complete with full symphony orchestra, choir and rock/pop rhythm section accompanying a narrator and four soloists. Composer Bob Christianson and lyricist Alisa Hauser have created a glorious new score with musical styles ranging from classical to Broadway to blues to gospel.

Experience this classic ghost story as you never have before!

Josh Getlin; Huffington Post

“A Christmas Carol: The Concert” has the distinction of being the only known adaptation of Dickens’ 1843 novella written as a dramatic concert, with singers backed by a full symphony orchestra. But that’s not what makes the show so special. Its electrifying performances — driven by a powerhouse cast, a rock/pop/gospel rhythm section and members of the Elmhurst College Concert Choir and the Chicago Children’s Choir — add up to an instant holiday classic. Rising at times to near operatic levels, the 90-minute show is an engaging, cleverly staged production that the entire family can enjoy.

Hedy Weiss; The Chicago Sun-Times

A glorious new musical version of the classic…it makes you sit bolt upright and listen to the familiar story with renewed pleasure.


Music Composed and Arranged by Bob Christianson
Lyrics and Book Adaptation by Alisa Hauser

Show Gallery

Cast Needs

When the show is performed on stage as a concert, as it was originally conceived, the set-up is much simpler than the version seen on PBS.

All 4 actors are right up front, with their books and their stands. The role of “Belle” is usually sung by a woman from the choir. There are a few costume changes, mostly small stuff….But nothing like what we did for television.
The lighting is also much, much simpler. All that is needed is a multi-color wash for the orchestra & choir, and 7 specials—-one for each of the actors (including Belle) one for the 1st chair cellist, and one for the violin player who will play the “Irish Fiddle” solos.

When an orchestra hires our “package” of 4 actors, 3 musicians, a conductor and stage manager, it’s no problem getting the piece pulled together (including sound & lights) in your normal “3-hour rehearsal”.

Program & Instrumentation

Symphony (48 piece)

(9 players) One each:
English Horn
Bb Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Contra Bassoon

9-10 players:
(3) Bb Trumpets
(3) French Horns
(2) Tenor Trombones
(1) Bass Trombone
(1) Tuba (OPTIONAL)

A full symphonic string section:
Violin 1
Violin 2
Double Basses

Please note: One of the violin players MUST be able to play Irish Fiddle solo and the 1st Chair cellist will play quite a few solos, especially in act two.

Piano player (brought with company)
Drummer (brought with company)
5 String Electric Bass Player (provided by venue)
Acoustic/Electric guitar Player (provided by venue)
5 percussion players including timpani player. (provided by venue)
2nd Keyboard player (brought with company) (synths – some sounds are sent with the parts- a full list of sounds needed will be provided with the part).

Yamaha Recording kit:
22″ Bass drum
10″ &12″ toms mounted on bass drum
14″ &16″ floor toms,
5 1/2″ x14″ snare and stand,
hihat stand, stool, rug.
2 music stands and lights,
4 cymbal stands, 2 w/boom,
sleigh bells, tambourine, cowbell, woodblock, cabasa
small percussion table
monitor/XLR feed for in-ears

must have the following instruments:
3 -4 timpani
Concert Bass Drum
Concert Snare
Tubular Bells
Suspended Cymbal for rolls
Gong (medium or large)
Various metals such as triangle, mark tree, bell tree, etc.
Orchestra Bells and various “toys” that all percussion players have.

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