For many Arkansans, the Christmas season is marked by attendance at the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra December pops concert. This year, it is entitled simply “Happy Holidays” and the music is programmed to ensure that audience members leave happy and full of the holiday spirit.
Music Director Philip Mann will take the podium and lead the musicians of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Christmas and Hanukkah music both old and new.
Among the selections are: Tyzik: “The Skater’s Overture,” Styne: “Let It Snow,” Anderson: “Sleigh Ride,” Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons: Winter” (featuring violin solo work by co-concertmaster Kiril Laskarov), Gabrieli: “Canzon Noni Toni,” Richman: “Holiday Cheer!” Biegel: Hanukkah Fantasy,” Tchaikovsky: Selections from The Nutcracker,” Bob Hupp narrating “The Night Before Christmas,” Rimsky-Korsakov: “Snow Maiden Suite: Dance of the Clowns” Tyzik: Ave Maria,” “The Wonderful World of Christmas/Silver Bells” and Finnegin: “Christmas Singalong.”
In addition to Hupp, special guests include performances by the O’Donovan School of Irish Dance, Ballet Arkansas, Episcopal Collegiate School Steel Drum Band, baritone Darren Drone, Winter Pops Chorus, and Cathedral School Choristers. And of course, St. Nicolas himself, that jolly old elf Santa Claus will be on hand.
The concert is sponsored by Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Performances began last night and continue tonight at 8pm and tomorrow at 3pm. At 2pm on Sunday, a children’s fair with arts and crafts will take place. Also on Sunday, because of the sponsorship of Entergy Arkansas, children from Kindergarten through 12th grade are admitted for free with a paying adult.