Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Philly Pops Christmas Spectacular Begins 12/4!

The Philly POPS brings the holiday spirit to Philadelphia with 10 Christmas Spectacular shows, December 4-22, 2015.

Acclaimed conductor David Charles Abell leads the 65-piece POPS orchestra and three full choirs (for a total of 300 musicians on stage) in the Christmas Spectacular concerts. Joining the POPS on stage will be: guest vocalist (and Broadway veteran) Lisa Vroman, the Emmy-winning Philadelphia Boys Choir and Grammy-nominated African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, the POPS Festival Chorus, and organist Peter Richard Conte through an all-new program featuring holiday favorites like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Hallelujah.

“It’s a holiday experience you simply can’t have anywhere else,” says Abell (who lived in Philadelphia for seven years and attended Germantown Friends). “I always make sure that the program has something for everyone: grand symphonic arrangements of Christmas carols, popular holiday songs, and Christmas music done in swing style, Chanukah favorites, rousing Gospel numbers, and the ever-popular audience singalong.”

He continued: “The Kimmel Center is a warm, inviting place to hear concerts, but it also has a sense of grandeur.  Verizon Hall is dressed up beautifully in holiday finery, and the stage is completely filled with musicians. If you add to that Broadway star Lisa Vroman, Peter Richard Conte on the pipe organ, and a certain guy in a red suit, you’ve got a true Christmas Spectacular!”

Pre-concert entertainment – including Mr. and Mrs. Claus, carolers, local school ensembles – sets the merry scene in the Kimmel Center lobby before each show.
During the December 16 and 20 concerts, winning choirs from More FM’s Christmas Choir Competition perform on-stage. On December 9, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell will sing during the concert.

Schedule of events:
Friday, December 4th
Saturday, December 5th
3p.m. Concert

Sunday, December 6th
3p.m. Concert

Wednesday, December 9th
8p.m. Concert
Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell performs

Saturday, December 12th
Pre-show entertainment: String Theory School
3p.m. Concert
Wednesday, December 16th
8p.m. Concert
More FM Christmas Choir Competition winning school choir performs

Friday, December 18th
3p.m. Concert

Saturday, December 19th
Pre-show entertainment: Andrew Jackson Rock Band “Home”
3p.m. Concert

Sunday, December 20th
7p.m. Concert

Tuesday, December 22nd
8p.m. Concert
More FM Christmas Choir Competition winning school choir performs


About David Charles Abell
Conductor David Charles Abell, who attended Germantown Friends School, made his Philly POPS debut in 2013 and is thrilled to have re-established a warm connection with Philadelphia.
David is most widely known for the two Les Misérables Anniversary Concerts (10th and 25th), both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. Now living in London, he regularly appears on radio and television in the UK, most notably at the BBC Proms, London’s annual music festival at the Royal Albert Hall. These appearances have included the Richard Rodgers Centenary celebration (2002), a world premiere opera (2007), Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday (2010) and the War Horse Prom (2014).
David attended Yale University and studied at Conservatoire Américain in France and the Juilliard School. He made his professional conducting debut in Berlin with Bernstein’s Mass.

About Lisa Vroman
From Broadway to classics, on stage and in concert, guest artist Lisa Vroman has established herself as one of America's most versatile voices. She starred on Broadway, Los Angeles and San Francisco as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. Lisa is a frequent guest with symphonies including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Utah, St. Louis, Houston, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Cleveland, National, Cleveland, the BBC Concert Orchestra, as well as the Philly, Boston, Cincinnati, and New York Pops.
Her Broadway debut was in Aspects of Love and she was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Misérables.  She is a graduate of the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam (BM, Hon. Dr. of Music) and Carnegie-Mellon University (MFA), and is a George London Competition winner.

About The Philly POPS 
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. Now in its 37th season, the POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert presentations and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives.

The holidays are truly the most wonderful time of the year for the POPS. We get in the holiday spirit in November and December with our Festival Brass playing carols at tree lightings around the Philadelphia region. Our annual I’ll Be Home for Christmas Spectacular concert kicks off the season with a free concert for military, police and fire department families. The nine concerts that follow bring more than 20,000 people to the Kimmel Center to enjoy our popular Christmas Spectacular Series.

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