GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

November 21, 2012

Symphony's holiday tradition comes alive

Symphony tradition on tap in new home

The holiday season kicks off this weekend — and that means it’s time for the Cape Ann Symphony’s annual Holiday Pops concert, in two shows, set for Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

The concerts, now held at the symphony’s new home at the Manchester Essex Regional High School’s auditorium, features a variety of holiday music and a guest appearance by vocalist Renese King, known for her gospel vocals and much more.

The Pops concert — “Make A Joyful Noise” — features holiday music for all ages, including Strauss’ “Fledermaus,” Anderson’s “Christmas Festival” and “Trumpeter’s Lullaby,” Waldteufel ‘s “Skater’s Waltz,” and Herbert’s “March of the Toys” plus other holiday favorites and an updated audience sing-along.

Conductor Yoichi Udagawa said the orchestra is excited about its new home and its nearly sell-out reception at its first concert this fall at the new venue. The Pops concert also generally sells out, and is on its way to sellout sales this year as well, organizers say.

“This Holiday Pops we have something very different with Renese King,” Udagawa said. “I call her the ‘Holy Pipes.’ I love her singing.

“She is the kind of perfect blend of all the emotional spiritual elements of gospel music with the absolute clarity, pitch and diction of classical music,” he added. “I’m always floored every time she sings.”

Recognized regionally as a talented instrumentalist, choral director and arranger, she has appeared throughout the East Coast and internationally as an accompanist, vocalist, and percussionist.

She has also appeared alongside noted personalities such as Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Cyndi Lauper, Rockapella, New York Voices, Peter Jennings, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler — and she has made featured and guest solo appearances in several concerts, national television broadcasts, a national tour, and a CD release with the Boston Pops Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

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