I'll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to Military & First Responders | The Philly Pops

I'll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to Military & First Responders

David Charles Abell, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Dec 4, 2015
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David Charles Abell,  guest conductor

The Philly POPS Festival Chorus

African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir
Peter Richard Conte ,  organist

The Philadelphia Boys Choir


The Salute Series is made possible by the generous support of Donors and Sponsors.

This concert is by invitation only and is presented for members of the active military, police and fire departments and other first responders in recognition of their ongoing service.  To learn more about the Philly POPS Salute Series visit phillypops.org/SALUTE.


A Philly POPS Salute Series performance honoring our nation's traditions, values, and commitment to service

On December 4, 2015, The Philly POPS will again ensure a magical kick-off to the Christmas season by presenting this benefit concert as the final Salute Series event of the year. During the evening all branches of the military will be recognized.  Through the generous support of our sponsors, The Philly POPS will provide 2,000 complimentary tickets to these devoted individuals to thank them for their tireless service to our community throughout the year. Featuring internationally celebrated conductor David Charles Abell and Lisa Vroman, best-known for her long-running portrayal of Christine Daaé in Broadway's Phantom of the Opera.

Helpful Information

This program, including intermission, is approximately two and a half hours in length. Artists and program are subject to change without notice.

Discounted parking passes are available from select garages. For more information, please call 215.893.1999.


We hope all of our guests will have a great time and make many memories at our concerts and events. Post your photos or videos on social media and include #phillypops for a chance to win a pair of tickets to any upcoming concert in the current or following season! Please refrain from flash photography in the concert hall. 

Enjoy the show!

Guest Artists

David Charles Abell, conductor


Conductor David Charles Abell was born in North Carolina, went to nursery school in New York and came to Philadelphia, his mother’s hometown, at the age of five. He attended Germantown Friends School for seven years, then moved to the Chicago area with his family. Having lived and worked in several different countries since that time, he now resides in London. Following three years of conducting Christmas Spectacular, he is thrilled be returning to the Philly POPS to perform some of the Broadway music that started his career back in the 1980s.

At the age of 12, David joined the Berkshire Boy Choir, which was chosen to participate in the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. David met Bernstein again while attending Yale University and assisted him on various projects during the last years of his life. After completing his studies at the Conservatoire Américain in France and the Juilliard School, he made his professional conducting debut in Berlin with Bernstein’s Mass. His association with Bernstein’s music continues: he recently served as Musical Supervisor for Candide in London and has been asked by Bernstein’s children to serve on the committee marking the centennial of the composer’s birth.

David is most widely known for the two Les Misérables Anniversary Concerts (10th and 25th), both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. 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).

Classical music, opera and musical theater all contribute to a diverse career, unified by a serious yet theatrical approach. Recent projects include his Boston Pops debut with an all-Gershwin program, two European productions of Kiss Me, Kate (in his own critical edition), live accompaniment to the film Brief Encounter with the London Philharmonic, Carmen in Kansas City, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night in Detroit.

Lisa Vroman, vocalist


From Broadway to classics, on stage and in concert, 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 and garnered theater critics’ awards for her portrayal. Her Broadway debut was in Aspects of Love and she was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Misérables.

Off Broadway and regionally, she has starred as Marian Paroo in The Music Man, Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate, Birdie in Regina, Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Anna 1 in The Seven Deadly Sins, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella. She’s appeared on PBS as Johanna in Sweeney Todd and Hey! Mr. Producer. She has also played Laurey in Oklahoma at the BBC PROMS festival), Anna Leonowens in The King and I, Mary Turner in Of Thee I Sing, and sang and danced opposite Dick Van Dyke as Mary Poppins at the Hollywood Bowl.

Lisa is a frequent guest with symphonies including San Francisco, Nashville, Philadelphia, Dallas, Utah, St. Louis, Houston, Pacific, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Cleveland, National, Florida, Cleveland, BBC Concert Orchestra, Boston Pops, Philly POPS, New York Pops as well as with the New York Festival of Song and Organist David Higgs.

She is a graduate of the Crane School of Music, State University at Potsdam (BM, Hon. Dr. of Music, Minerva Award), Carnegie-Mellon University (MFA), and is a George London Competition winner.

Recent performances have included a multi-city tour of China, An Evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a concert series with L’Opera de Rennes in France, and playing the role of Maria Callas in Terence McNally’s award winning play, Master Class.

Please visit www.lisavroman.com.

Peter Richard Conte, Organist


Peter Richard Conte is highly regarded as a skillful performer and arranger of organ transcriptions. He has been featured several times on National Public Radio and on ABC television’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight. His monthly radio show, The Wanamaker Organ Hour, airs on the first Sunday of each month and can be accessed online via WRTI.org. He performs extensively throughout the United States and Canada under the management of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, and was a featured artist at the American Guild of Organists’ National Convention in 2002, and at the International Organ Festival in Aosta, Italy, in September 2004. In 2013, the Philadelphia Music Alliance honored him with a bronze plaque on the Avenue of the Arts’ Walk of Fame. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Philly POPS, and with Delaware and Allentown Symphonies.

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I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
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  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular

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