Preston to join Symphony NH for holiday program

A back-up plan was never in the cards for Mont Vernon native Alex Preston, who started playing music when he was four years old.

“If you want to do something, just do it,” says the now 21-year-old singer songwriter, “You can’t have something else as a back-up plan. You can’t give yourself an out.”

After college, Alex relocated to pursue his dream.

“I moved to Nashville and started playing all the time,” Preston said.

After submitting an audition video online to American Idol, he was invited to Salt Lake City for a series of live auditions, first with the show’s producers, then finally with the celebrity judges you see on TV.

“I was nervous, but I thought I had an opportunity to show my personal music to industry pros and get critiques on it. If I looked at it like that, as an educational experience, it was less intimidating,” Preston said.

The rest, as they say, is television history.

It’s only been a few months since the final date of the 41-concert American Idol North American tour, but according to Preston, the work has just begun.

Among a spate of regional tour dates is an appearance with Symphony NH for their annual Holiday Pops show.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Alex into the Symphony NH family,” said Executive Director Eric Valliere. “Our Holiday Pops audience is definitely a bit different from our crowd during the rest of the season. We see many more families and it’s obvious to us that many of these families have made Symphony NH’s Holiday Pops concert a holiday tradition.”

The orchestra and chorus will play iconic holiday favorites such as Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and the “Hallelujah!” from Handel’s masterpiece Messiah, in addition to backing up Preston on original songs and seasonal tunes.

“This will be a different vibe than people are used to regarding my music,” said Preston, who will also lead the annual audience sing-a-long. “It’s going to be a really cool way to kick off the holidays.”

When asked about advice for burgeoning musicians, Preston responds with a message that reflects the maturity he has gained in the past year, “If you want to get something done, you have to go and do it. You need to put all your energy toward it. There are going be people that support you and people that don’t. That’s true of any path you might take. I choose to focus my energy on the people that support me.”

The concert is at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Keefe Center for the Arts at 117 Elm St. in Nashua. Tickets start at $12 and are available at symphonynh.org, or by calling the Symphony NH office at 595-9156. Tickets for youths, ages 5-15, are free with the purchase of an adult or senior ticket and must be reserved on the phone or in person.