Press Release • October 24, 2016

Philadelphia, PA (October 24, 2016) — After a nearly sold out run in 2015 that brought the best of holiday music to more than 20,500 fans, A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season is back with ten performances this December.

Opening at the Kimmel Center on December 2 and running until December 18, POPS Music Director Michael Krajewski will conduct the shows for the first time in his tenure at the POPS.

“Ever since I joined the Philly POPS, I’ve been eager to conduct the Christmas show and am very excited that my schedule allowed me to do it this year,” said Michael Krajewski, Music Director of the Philly POPS.

“This is my fifteenth year seeing the POPS Christmas show and my tenth as a board member,” said Sal DeBunda, Chair of the Philly POPS Board of Directors. “While the shows have always been incredible and successful, we’re now selling more tickets than two years ago. This one is particularly special to me because we’re welcoming Music Director Michael Krajewski to conduct his first Christmas series. I can’t support his work in transforming this organization enough.”

“The Philly POPS spreads cheer throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey through our concerts and performances at tree lightings and other events in November and December,” said Frank Giordano, Philly POPS President and CEO. “My personal favorite day of the year is opening night of our Christmas show when we host 2,000 members of the military, veterans, and local police officers and firefighters.”

Maestro Krajewski will lead the audience through an all-new spectacular lineup of exciting musical arrangements, featuring the 65-piece POPS orchestra, internationally acclaimed pianist and vocalist Tony DeSare, organist Peter Richard Conte, the Philly POPS Festival Chorus, the Philadelphia Boys Choir and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir. Don’t be surprised if Santa makes a singing appearance on stage!

Musical highlights from the show include:

O, Come All Ye Faithful
We Need a Little Christmas
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Let It Snow
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Ave Maria
Silver Bells
A Merry Christmas Sing-Along

Guest artist Tony DeSare has been a POPS fan favorite since his performance in 2015’s American Songbook: Then and Now. Named a Rising Star Male Vocalist in Downbeat magazine, DeSare has lived up to this distinction by winning critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances throughout North America from Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas headlining with Don Rickles. DeSare has three top ten Billboard jazz albums under his belt and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, the Today Show and his music has been posted by social media celebrity juggernaut, George Takei.

Tony is known for his 17 versions of “Jingle Bells,” that includes Tango, Klezmer, Spanish, Michael McDonald, Neil Diamond, and Elton John. He recently released his “Christmas Home” album, which features accompaniment by POPS musicians.

The POPS usher in holiday cheer before and after each concert with lobby entertainment, including Santa and Mrs. Claus and strolling Victorian Carolers.

The 10-show run begins on December 2 with I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders—the annual benefit concert at which the POPS host 2,000 members of the military, police and fire departments, and their families. Tickets are not for sale to the public for that concert.

Performance schedule:

Friday, December 2 at 8PM (benefit concert)
Saturday, December 3 at 3pm
Sunday, December 4 at 3pm
Wednesday, December 7 at 8pm
Saturday, December 10 at 3pm
Sunday, December 11 at 3pm
Wednesday, December 14 at 8pm
Friday, December 16 at 8pm
Saturday, December 17 at 3pm
Sunday, December 18 at 3pm

Tickets: $38-140

Christmas Choir Competition
For the last seven years, the Philly POPS has partnered with 101.1 More FM’s Christmas Choir Competition that offers local children the chance of a lifetime: a performance live on stage during a Philly POPS show. All school choirs in the Philadelphia eight-county area are eligible to compete. The winning choir in each division (kindergarten through 8th grade and 9th through 12th grade) will perform with the Philly POPS on December 7 and 14, respectively.

About The Philly POPS

The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert presentations and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives.

Now in its 38th season, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania serves a consistently growing audience of over 100,000 annually. Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keeps listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs from American traditions of music up through today’s chart toppers.

Outside the concert hall, Salute Series performances – including POPS on Independence on July 3 and the I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders – celebrate the American tradition of service around important national holidays; POPS in Schools enhances music education for Philadelphia School District students; and POPS Outside brings POPS music to local communities.

The Philly POPS performs as a founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.