A dusting of snow and The Seattle Symphony Holiday Pops Concert…it was guaranteed to get our holiday spirit on!
There are still tickets and I suggest you grab a pair or two for the concert today (2pm), tonight (8pm) or Sunday afternoon (2pm). You’ll get traditional holiday standards with a Broadway flair thanks to the excellent voices of Nicole Parker and Hugh Panaro both New York musical theater veterans (Panaro’s voice is particularly effective for the Christmas Pops Medley). For that Mormon Tabernacle sound the University of Washington Chorale and the Symphony really deliver in pieces like a very different Gloria (Randol Alan Bass) and a more traditional Hark the Herald Angels Sing!(arranged by Mark Wilberg). Full symphonic sound and rich vocals made it a memorable night of music. Patapan shows off the Symphony to great effect.
The arrangements of many of the usual songs are musically complicated and interesting…in particular The Little Drummer Boy arrangement by David Hamilton. Santa Baby, with Parker doing impression of Ellen DeGeneres, Julie Andrews, Celine Dion and Diane Keaton is a hoot and a half – fun and funny! Stuart Chafez conducts with enthusiasm and is his usual jovial self – ad-libbing with the singers and pandering to the crowd.
Ending on Let there be Peace on Earth was touching and fitting! I always marvel when I am in attendance at an event at Benaroya Hall, this was no exception. And, there is more for the holidays coming up. Parking is usually a snap as well. And, any seat in the house will do…the excellent design of this venue makes that possible.
Bonus: Handle’s Messiah, December 16-18, Seattle Men’s Chorus Silver and Soul – now through the 21st, The Festival of Lessons and Carols with the Northwest Boys’ Choir December 23rd, Vivaldi’s Four Season’s with Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aries back by popular demand December 28 and 29th. And, bring in the New Year at Benaroya with The Classic Sounds of Motown and some partying.
Note: Of all the things I see and do The Seattle Symphony, its orchestra, director Ludovic Morlot, special programming (children concerts, Pops, and special guests/programming and performers) remains a stand-out. This time of year your special donation will make it possible for them to continue to produce Grammy winning recordings and outstanding programs. I urge you to support them by attending. This is a noteworthy Seattle cultural institution. ‘Tis the season for end of the year giving as well (tax-deductible) – donate.