The Wizards of Winter

The Northern Lights Theater 1721 W Canal Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53233
Price: $45/$40/$35

Saturday, December 17 at 8 p.m.

The Wizards of Winter is a triumphant multimedia celebration of the season, featuring twelve talented musicians, many of which are former Trans-Siberian Orchestra members, playing original, soaring classical and prog-rock-inspired music, plus heartfelt ballads, in the spirit of Christmas.

The show, entitled Tales Beneath a Northern Star, is “a Christmas rock opera,” says band leader Scott Kelly. “You travel on a musical journey… anywhere in space and time. Some spaces are happy, some are melancholy; our music encompasses the vast range of feelings people experience during the holidays. We take you on a two-and-a-half-hour emotional roller coaster.”

The Wizards of Winter lineup is vocalist Vinny Jiovino, guitarists TW Durfy and Fred Gorhau (formerly of heavy-metal outfit, Explorer), drummer Tommy Ference, pianist/vocalist Mary McIntyre, violinist Natalia Nierezka; as well as former Trans-Siberian Orchestra members: vocalist Guy LeMonnier, narrator Tony Gaynor, and vocalist Joe Cerisano.

The group’s self-titled debut was a startling holiday prog-rock throwback that simultaneously conveyed optimism and wonderment (“Just Believe”) and flooring metal crunch (“The Journey”). In 2015, their follow-up album, The Magic of Winter, once again featured all original songs. And they are currently working on material for a third.

Co-founder, lead vocalist/flutist, Sharon Kelly states, “The whole experience of bringing music to people is very rewarding. Our music crosses generational boundaries….I personally find our young audience so inspiring….Those young people are why this is so meaningful and rewarding to me.”

Lead guitarist, Fred Gorhau explains, “There are moments every night, at every show, where things are really firing on all cylinders. It’s like lightning in a bottle. This show is very much about the fans and the audience and we feed off of their reaction that we get—both during and after the show.” Gorhau adds, “For me there is probably no better feeling that I get from the fans than when they tell me that we are their new yearly tradition.”