The Aiken Symphony Guild will help ring in the holidays with a December Pops concert at the Etherredge Center featuring trumpeter and vocalist Joe Gransden.

The concert is Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. and tickets are available for $40 for adults and $7 for students.

Gransden, who got his start as a sideman with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller, performs with a jazz trio and has played at the Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, the Museum of Art and Design in Manhattan, and Spivey Hall in Atlanta.

His signing voice has been compared to Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra, according to his website.

“He must have fans in the area because I had a number of people call me when they first saw the ad and said they were delighted he was coming,” said guild president Sheryl Phillips. “He’s a personal favorite of Clint Eastwood. He has a big band sound and a very smooth voice.”

Before the concert, starting around 7:15 p.m., the Aiken Youth Orchestra will perform a holiday medley in the Etherredge Center lobby.

The guest conductor for the evening is a surprise. The Aiken Symphony Guild held a fundraiser earlier this year where individuals could make a donation and have their name entered into a drawing to act as guest conductor, according to Phillips.

The person whose name was drawn – a well-known Aikenite – will lead the evening concert, she said.

“That will be a special treat. He’s fulfilling a lifelong dream of conducting,” Phillips said. “The program is a diverse one with musical selections that are spiritual, classical, holiday favorites and jazz. We promise an evening of melodies that will please everyone.”

There are plenty of good seats available, and interested persons are encouraged to purchase their tickets early through the Etherredge Center box office.

“The best way to continue bringing quality music to Aiken is to buy a ticket,” Phillips said.

Call the Etherredge Center for tickets at 641-3305 or stop by at 471 University Parkway.