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A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season!

Todd Ellison, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Dec 1-22, 2018
See All Dates & Times
Sat, Dec 1, 2018
3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
3pm
Sun, Dec 2, 2018
3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
3pm
Wed, Dec 5, 2018
8pm
Sensory-Friendly Performance | Use code SFPOPS
Doors open at 7:30pm
8pm
Fri, Dec 7, 2018
8pm
5th Annual Christmas Salute
Doors open at 7:30pm
8pm
Sat, Dec 8, 2018
3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
3pm
Wed, Dec 12, 2018
8pm
Doors open at 7:30pm
8pm
Fri, Dec 14, 2018
3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
3pm
Sat, Dec 15, 2018
3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
3pm
Sun, Dec 16, 2018
3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
3pm
Fri, Dec 21, 2018
3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
3pm
Sat, Dec 22, 2018
3pm
Doors open at 2:30pm
3pm
Featuring

Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist

Peter Richard Conte, organist

The Philly POPS Festival Chorus

The Philadelphia Boys Choir

African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir

Philadelphia’s incredible holiday tradition is back! Broadway legend Todd Ellison takes the baton for an all-new repertoire of your favorite holiday classics. Fresh from his Tony-nominated An American in Paris stint, Ellison brings his trademark sophistication and style to the POPS. This holiday season features Hamilton’s Mandy Gonzalez, who rocked Philly’s Independence Week 2017 with moments from her Broadway hit In the Heights and Frozen and stunned the Parkway with her stirring “This Land is Your Land”. The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, the award-winning African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and the Philadelphia Boys Choir add cheer, spirit, and splendor to the over 300-performer presentation. Presented by KeyBank.

Helpful Information

This program, including intermission, is approximately two hours in length. Artists and program are subject to change without notice.

Discounted parking passes are available from select garages. For more information, please call 215.893.1999 or add a parking pass during checkout when purchasing your tickets.

Photography

We hope all of our guests will have a great time and make many memories at our concerts and events. Post your photos or videos on social media and include #phillypops for a chance to win a pair of tickets to any upcoming concert in the current or following season! Please refrain from flash photography in the concert hall. 

Enjoy the show!
 



The December 5th A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season! show is a Sensory Friendly perfomance. Sensory-Friendly performances are designed to create a welcoming environment for individuals and families who have sensory sensitivities, cognitive processing differences or anyone who may benefit from a relaxed performance environment. All are welcome to these performances. To learn more, please visit phillypops.org/SF.

Guest Artists

Todd Ellison, conductor

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Hailed by The New York Times as one of “Broadway’s Electric Conductors,” Ellison is one of the most accomplished and sought-after music director/composers working today.

Currently the Music Supervisor/Conductor/arranger of the new Broadway-bound musical Roman Holiday, he is also the composer of the award-winning new musical The Black and White Ball with Stephen Cole, as well as The Canterville Hotel with Brendan Cull. He also composed the songs “The Long Way” for Emily Skinner, and “Gettin’ Nowhere Fast” for Guy Haines.

He is currently the Music Supervisor of An American in Paris at the Dominion Theater in London’s West End, as well as 42nd Street at the Drury Lane Theater.

His Broadway credits include Michel Legrand’s Amour, Monty Python’s Spamalot (Best Musical Tony Award), La Cage aux Folles (Best Musical Revival Tony Award), 42nd Street (Best Revival Tony Award ), Elton John’s Lestat, Annie, The Wild Party, On the Town, Once Upon a Mattress (starring Sarah Jessica Parker), How To Succeed (starring Matthew Broderick), She Loves Me, Taller than a Dwarf and A Class Act.

He was the music director of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the famed Radio City Music Hall for several seasons.

As Marvin Hamlisch’s music director, Ellison worked with him on his productions of Ballroom and The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis.

For City Center’s Encores!, he conducted their acclaimed version of On The Town and The Bandwagon.

Internationally, he has conducted at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, The Dublin Film Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Mexico City), World Science Festival at Lincoln Center, Cole Porter’s Jubilee at Carnegie Hall, the Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, The Philly POPS, Nashville Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, New Haven, New Jersey, and York Symphonies.

He has conducted more than 20 albums including the Grammy Award-winning cast albums of his shows. He has accompanied such stars as Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols, Nicole Kidman, Barry Manilow, Jane Lynch, Bea Arthur, David Hyde Pierce, Tracey Ullman, and Kelsey Grammar.

Born in Essex, Connecticut, Ellison began his piano lessons at age 6 and is a graduate of Boston University School of Music with a degree in piano performance.

Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist

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Mandy Gonzalez possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. Currently starring in the megahit Hamilton as Angelica Schuyler, Mandy also originated and starred as Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights, for which she received a Drama Desk Award. She has starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, blowing the roof off of New York’s Gershwin Theatre each night as she belted out the signature song “Defying Gravity,” and for which she was honored with a Broadway.com Award for Best Replacement. Other Broadway roles include Princess Amneris in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical Aida and in Lennon, where she portrayed Beatles icon John Lennon. Mandy made her Broadway debut in Jim Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires, starring opposite Michael Crawford.

Mandy received an Obie Award and overwhelming critical praise for her performance in the Off-Broadway production of Eli’s Comin’, directed by Diane Paulus, and based on the music and lyrics of singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Television viewers have the pleasure of seeing Mandy in the recurring role of Lucy Knox on the hit CBS drama, Madam Secretary. Mandy also appeared as Agent Susan Combs on the hit series Quantico, as well as guest appearances on Doubt, White Collar, The Good Wife, among others.

Equally at home on the big and small screen, she has appeared in Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor, After, starring opposite Pablo Schreiber, and Man on a Ledge with Sam Worthington. Mandy can also be heard as the voice of Mei in Disney’s Mulan 2.

A frequent concert soloist, she has performed with symphony orchestras around the country including Cleveland Orchestra, Philly POPS, Naples Philharmonic, Forth Worth, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Arkansas, Anchorage, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Youngstown Symphonies, among many others.

Mandy released her debut album, FEARLESS, with Warner Music, which debuted at #13 on the iTunes charts. Her album – hailed as “a genre-defying, highly-personal, daring, and brilliant debut” (Pop Bytes) – delivers new, original songs from some of the most accomplished writers in the music industry, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Nettles, Bill Sherman, and Tom Kitt.

The Philly POPS Festival Chorus

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The Philly POPS Festival Chorus is a 180-voice ensemble that performs with the Philly POPS under the direction of Jeff Kern, Head of the Vocal Division for University of the Arts.

The Philly POPS Festival Chorus began performing in 2002 and performs with the POPS orchestra during the annual Christmas concert series and Broadway series. The chorus has performed with many professional artists including Faith Prince, Capathia Jenkins, Ashley Brown, Lisa Howard, Lauren Kennedy, Rachel York, Alice Ripley, Ann Hampton Callaway, and The von Trapp Family Children.

The Festival Chorus is an auditioned, volunteer organization composed of singers ranging from high school students to retired professionals.

The POPS Christmas series has become a Philadelphia tradition. Today’s 11 performance run is built on a program that includes some 300 performers with three choirs, an organist, a singing Santa Claus, a guest vocalist and a popular sing-along inviting the audience to join in the fun. The first POPS Christmas concert series was in 1981, with hometown hero-turned Hollywood staple Eddie Fisher starring.

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