Season features favorite Boston Pops Christmas-Time Classics along with Exciting New Arrangements of Holiday Favorites with New Video Images
One of Boston’s greatest holiday traditions, the Holiday Pops season, under the direction of Keith Lockhart, opens on Wednesday, December 9, with a program that combines favorites of the Holiday season with exciting new arrangements of some of the most beloved Christmas-time classics, along with new video images created especially for the Boston Pops. The concerts take place at Symphony Hall, festively decorated to capture the magic of this special time of year, and feature the critically acclaimed Tanglewood Festival Chorus, which will join the orchestra for the entire season of 35 performances, December 9-27.
The program opens with Sean O’Laughlin’s festive and rousing “Christmas Canticles,” followed by the magnificent Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah,” featuring members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. The 2009 Holiday Pops season will feature two new works, including a new arrangement of “The Christmas Story,” for narrator, soloist, chorus, and orchestra by London arranger Philip Lane, with baritones James Demler and Robert Honeysucker alternating in the role of narrator/vocal soloist. For “Gifts of Great Meadows,” the Pops’ principal horn player Richard Sebring arranged “Coventry Carol” and “Silent Night” into a score complemented by video projections of the stunning natural ice sculptures he photographed last January in the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury.
The second half of the Holiday Pops program, which opens with the Boston Pops famous arrangement of “Sleigh Ride,” features one of the orchestra’s most popular new arrangements, “Twelve Days of Christmas,” which was recently made available for download at bostonpops.org. Written by Broadway composer and arranger David Chase, this version of one of the Christmas season’s greatest classics sports a clever, creative twist that made it an instant hit and audience favorite when it premiered in 2007, inspiring a live recording session resulting in the download release in 2009. The 2009 Holiday Pops program brings a new dimension to the Christmas-time classic, “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” with images from award-winning author and illustrator Jan Brett’s book of the the same name projected on screens above the orchestra.
No Boston Pops program would be complete without a few of the orchestra’s classic holiday medleys highlighting the most beloved songs of the season. Christmas Waltz features “Silver Bells,” “My Favorite Things,” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” And the Merry Little Sing-Along features “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Jingle Bells.” Other holiday favorites include “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “White Christmas,” and “Frosty All the Way.”
SPECIAL KIDS MATINEE PROGRAMS
This year’s Holiday Pops includes 35 evening and matinee concerts, six of which will be special kids’ matinee programs featuring soprano Maureen Brennan: Saturday, December 12 (11 a.m.); Sunday, December 13 (11 a.m.); Friday, December 18 (4 p.m.); Saturday, December 19 (11 a.m.); Sunday, December 20 (11 a.m.); and Thursday, December 24 (11 a.m.). These family concerts include a children’s sing-along, and parents can bring cameras to take photos of their children with Santa after the concert. Table seats will include a kid-friendly menu, along with special holiday treats.