New Haven Symphony Orchestra brings "Holiday Pops" to Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts - December 20


 

Image: New Haven OrchestraThe New Haven Symphony Orchestra is coming to town under the baton of Gerald Steichen with an evening of "Holiday Pops" at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Joining the NHSO is the New Haven Chorale and soprano soloist Jessica Medoff Bunchman in a holiday extravaganza of music that spans centuries and incorporates diverse styles in a beautifully planned program that will delight traditionalists as well as the whimsical of all ages.

Bunchman's formidable range encompasses opera, Broadway and popular music as well as light opera and recitals. Her major operatic roles include, "Suor Angelica," "Don Giovanni," "La Boheme" and "Carmen"; she has performed Maria and Elsa in "The Sound of Music" and Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz"; she recently made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in the Fauré "Requiem"; and she has dazzled audiences in a well-received cabaret show and crossover and pops concerts.

Maestro Steichen leads off the evening, with "A Christmas Festival" by Leroy Anderson and in the next grouping of music, his own arrangement of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" sparkles; the program continues with Italian composers, Alphonsus Liguori and Pietro A. Yon, the latter, the composer of "Gesu Bambino" provides a shining inspiration for soprano Bunchman. The New Haven Chorale lends a special magic to the newly world-premiered "Fantasia on Christmas Carols" by Townsend and the voices of the Chorale and the soloist blend in harmony with the ethereal and soaring favorite, "O Holy Night."

Post intermission begins with a variety of merry carols topped with the humorous pairing of Hageman's "Fruitcake" and Amanda McBroom's delicious plea, "Dieter's Prayer." Narrator Kathryn Jones expresses the joy and wonder that accompanies the season in the essential Christmas tale, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." A medley of Santa Claus tunes and the familiar "Sleigh Ride," "White Christmas" and "Sing We Now of Christmas" surround the popular mood that Bunchman brings to "Santa Baby."

The New Haven Chorale is an auditioned, professionally conducted community of 100 vocal musicians united by their passion for choral music and their commitment to personal musical development. The Chorale sprang from the groundbreaking work of Robert Shaw, who conducted the ensemble on five occasions. The Chorale members share a tradition of generous and enduring participation - many have been members for decades and several for longer than 30 years - that has forged rare institutional artistic memory and teamwork, both qualities that support the Chorale's equal emphasis on superb musicianship and a sense of community.

Tickets are $40, $35 and are available online at http://www.fairfield.edu/quick or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit http://www.fairfield.edu/quick

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 24, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 148