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Lindsey Stirling, "Warmer in the Winter"

Her Christmas concert tour includes a few of Lindsey Stirling's favorite things.

"I love choreography and dancing, the costumes, it's all my favorite things," Stirling said. "This is what I've always wanted to do."

Stirling, who has combined her skill on the violin with an active sense of showmanship, brings her "Warmer in the Winter" show Friday to Mayo Civic Center. The show features two dozen holiday songs, numerous costume changes, dancers, and choreography.

This is not her first go-round on a Christmas tour, and Stirling, speaking by phone from her home in California, said she feels she knows what her audience expects.

"I've got a pretty good gauge of what's going to work," Stirling said. "You can't really gauge it until you do it on stage. We still make some tweaks as we go. As an artist, it's fun to do new things."

Stirling has built her audience in large part through internet videos, best-selling albums and appearances on TV's "Dancing with the Stars" and "America's Got Talent." Her music runs the gamut from light classical to pop.

And pop was the direction in which Stirling headed when she wrote her own Christmas songs, "Warmer in the Winter" and "Christmas C'mon."

"I decided I was going to go the route of jolly Christmas songs," she said. "With 'Warmer in the Winter,' I wanted it to sound like a classic from the 1950s. For 'Christmas C'mon,' I wanted to make the fun Christmas pop song."

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Lindsey Stirling, "Warmer in the Winter"

Beyond that, there are literally dozens of Christmas-related songs that could be selected for a holiday-themed tour like Stirling is doing. "I just started with my favorite Christmas songs, songs that reminded me of my childhood and Christmas," she said. "I'm going to have to play these songs over and over again."

Indeed, the tour, which launched Nov. 19 in Fresno, Calif., runs through Dec. 23, when it concludes in Fort Myers, Fla. Venues range from smaller theaters to large arenas.

That requires adjustments along the way, Stirling said. "The biggest thing is the dancers and I have to change the choreography," she said. "We go out on stage before the show every day."

Stirling, who was reared in Arizona, attended Brigham Young University before launching her music career. Now 33, she's anything but the overnight success she would appear to be.

"When I first started putting myself out there, it's discouraging," she said. "You're hitting all these dead ends. You have this big vision, but until you have the revenue, it's hard to show what you can do. Sometimes, you want to stop. You say, 'Man, this is hard.'"

Stirling and her fans are glad she kept going.

"To be able to share it with people, to see the smiles on their faces, to see their (social media) posts after the show, that's why I do this," she said.

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Life Reporter

Tom covers primarily arts and entertainment for the Post Bulletin and 507 Magazine. He also often writes feature stories about local history. He is a native of Milwaukee, WI, and enjoys reading and traveling.