The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


December 9, 2013

Holiday Pops coming to Tarboro

TARBORO — “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose...”

The sound of audience members singing along to the North Carolina Symphony’s rendition of that popular Christmas song will reverberate through Edgecombe Community College’s Keihin Auditorium in an 8 p.m. Wednesday concert.

The “Holiday Pops” concert is part of Edgecombe Performance Series Season Nine.

“I think it’s a really fun event for the community, and it’s our only holiday event. It seems to be a really popular show here in Tarboro,” said ECC’s Cultural Arts Director Eric Greene.

Maestro William Henry Curry will lead the Symphony of 66 musicians in the Holiday Pops beginning with “Christmas Overture” by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

“The power of a full symphony orchestra is something to be experienced,” said the Symphony’s Communications Director Joe Newberry. “North Carolina Symphony musicians are of the highest level. These are unbelievable musicians.”

After “Christmas Overture,” the Symphony will play an arrangement of the classic English melody, “Fantasia on Greensleeves.” That arrangement is one that Greene looks forward to hearing once again.

“The idea is taking a familiar melody and making a big, bold statement of it. It will take a lot of twists and turns,” Greene said.

Other orchestral holiday pieces in store for the audience at Wednesday’s concert are “Mother Ginger and the Clowns” from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” ballet, Arthur Harris’ “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and Maoz Tsur from “A Chanukah Celebration,” composed by the Symphony’s own principal trombone player Terry Mizesko.

A longstanding Holiday Pops tradition that will continue this year is a sing-a-long.

“One of the things that folks really look forward to is the sing-a-long,” Newberry said.

This year’s sing-a-long, arranged by Bruce Chase, includes the tunes “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Silver Bells” and “The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire.) Song sheets will be provided for audience members to follow along with the lyrics.

Greene said he believes the Holiday Pops offers “a little something for everybody…unless you’re Ebenezer Scrooge and you don’t like Christmas.”

He said he is particularly interested in hearing the final number in the Holiday Pops –  “Fantasy on Christmas Carols” from “avant-garde” 20th century composer Malcolm Allen’s “The Holly and the Ivy.” Judging from past Holiday Pops concerts, Greene expects the Symphony will do “Sleigh Ride” as an encore for the audience.

Greene said the Symphony has been performing at ECC ever since playing at the grand opening of the Keihin Auditorium in May 2004 and the Holiday Pops, in particular, has been well received by the community. Last year’s Holiday Pops concert drew a crowd of 780.

Tickets to the Holiday Pops are $20 for adults and $5 for children. To purchase tickets in advance, call the ECC box office at 823-5166, ext. 187. Tickets will also be available at the door for the same price.


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