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, Principal Guest Conductor


David Charles Abell is Principal Guest Conductor of The Philly POPS.

Classical music, opera, film music and musical theater all contribute to his diverse career, unified by a serious yet theatrical approach. He is widely known for conducting 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.

No stranger to Philadelphia, David Charles Abell made his Philly POPS debut in 2013 and has conducted three Christmas concert series and 2017’s Blockbuster Broadway concert series. In 2018, he will conduct Lenny’s Revolution: A Centennial Bernstein Celebration as part of a citywide tribute to Leonard Bernstein planned to mark the centennial of his birth. A protégé of the composer, David made his professional conducting debut conducting Bernstein's Mass in Berlin, having previously sung in the original Kennedy Center premiere of that work as a member of the Berkshire Boy Choir.

David recently made his Opera Philadelphia debut conducting the Barrie Kosky production of The Magic Flute. He has conducted Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night to great acclaim at three U.S. companies, as well as two recent European productions of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate in his own critical edition. Following his successful English National Opera debut with Sweeney Todd in 2015, he returned with Carousel to rave reviews. David conducted the French premieres of four Sondheim musicals: Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods and Follies. In concert, he has worked with several French regional orchestras and will be making his debut with the Orchestra National de Lyon in December 2017.

His ever-increasing catalogue of recordings includes Something’s Gotta Give with baritone Simon Keenlyside, excerpts from La bohème and Madama Butterfly with the Royal Philharmonic, Jonathan Dove’s community operaTobias and the Angel on Chandos and complete recordings of the musicals Miss Saigon and Man of La ManchaForever, his 2013 EMI Classics recording with soprano Diana Damrau, was chosen as CD of the week by Norman Lebrecht.

David attended Yale University and studied at Conservatoire Américain in France and the Juilliard School. David has fond memories of growing up in Philadelphia: His mother came from a Chestnut Hill family, and he attended Germantown Friends School while living in Mt. Airy from age five to age 12. 

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
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  • I'll Be Home For Christmas Spectacular

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