The New York Pops, led by music director and conductor Steven Reineke, offered a sleigh full of musical riches this weekend at the legendary Carnegie Hall. Featuring guest vocalists Kelli O’Hara, Matthew Morrison and Arlo Hill, along with the Essential Voices USA choir, the concert hall chimed with familiar tunes as well as a few unexpected ones.
The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States and its season at Carnegie Hall is one of the venue’s highlights. This particular concert reunited for the first time O’Hara and Morrison since they appeared in the Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific. Both were in terrific vocal form and are preparing to return to Broadway this season—O’Hara in The King and I and Morrison in Finding Neverland.
In addition to the principals’ performances, the evening’s program also featured an original composition, “Wishes and Candles,” composed by Stephen Paulus and Aland and Marilyn Bergman for the 1998 Lincoln Center Tree Lighting. There was also a rousing Judaic medley, “Songs of Freedom: A Celebration of Chanukah.” But the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly O’Hara’s moving performance of “O Holy Night” (arranged by David T. Clydesdale), which brought the audience to its feet. The evening concluded with a traditional Christmas sing-along and a meditative a cappella “Silent Night.”
Whether you are visiting or live in New York City, be sure to try to coordinate your plans to sync with one of the remaining Pops performances of the season:
One Night Only: Sutton Foster
Join the two-time Tony Award-winning star of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes in her solo debut at Carnegie Hall.
Let’s Be Frank
In Frank Sinatra’s centennial year, four of today’s finest entertainers pay tribute to America’s original idol. Featuring Tony DeSare, Storm Large, Frankie Moreno and Ryan Silverman.