A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season! | The Philly Pops
 
A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season!

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season!

David Charles Abell, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Dec 6-21, 2019
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Featuring

Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist

The Melodica Men, guest artists

After the energy and sparkle of his hugely successful 2013, 2014, and 2015 Christmas shows, audiences eagerly anticipated Principal Guest Conductor David Charles Abell’s holiday homecoming.  

David’s back with an original program featuring The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, The Philadelphia Boys Choir, The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and organist Peter Richard Conte. 

Joining in for the fun is Broadway royalty Mandy Gonzalez — fresh from her breakout performance in Hamilton — returning her incandescent warmth and fabulous dresses to Philly’s favorite holiday tradition.  Last Christmas, audiences fell in love with Mandy’s celestial vocal power and infectious charm. Expect to hear her heart-stopping interpretations of all the classics, as well as “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen, which she sang in front of Independence Hall on July 3, 2017 in her trademark fashion!  

The program will also feature the Melodica Men, two Juilliard and Peabody Conservatory graduates who achieved fame on YouTube with their hilarious videos. They are true virtuosos of an under-appreciated musical instrument.

To Purchase tickets or for questions regarding this concert please call 215.893.1999

Guest Artists

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor

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Throughout his distinguished career, conductor David Charles Abell has excelled in a wide range of musical genres, from contemporary opera to worldwide TV broadcasts of Les Misérables. He has appeared four times at the BBC Proms and has worked with such distinguished artists as Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Lea Salonga, Idina Menzel, Heather Headley, Petula Clark, Bryn Terfel, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison, Michael Ball, Michael Feinstein and Stephen Hough.

David was appointed Music Director of the Philly POPS a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began. He helped the organization pivot by planning and conducting one of the first US orchestral streaming events in July, 2020. The subsequent Christmas celebration he conducted was broadcast to half a million US servicemen and women by the American Forces Network.

Born in North Carolina, David earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School after intensive viola, piano and composition studies. Turning his attention to conducting at the age of fourteen, he went on to study with Leonard Bernstein and Nadia Boulanger.

Recent projects have included a new production of La bohème at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Francesca Zambello’s Porgy and Bess at Atlanta Opera, Barrie Kosky’s Die Zauberflöte at Opera Philadelphia, and Tomer Zvulun’s Eugene Onegin at Hawaii Opera Theatre. He is a regular guest conductor at Cincinnati Opera, where he has led Die Fledermaus and Kevin Puts’ Silent Night among others. In the UK, David made his debut with English National Opera in Sweeney Todd (starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson). subsequently returning for an equally-acclaimed Carousel. He recently conducted his own new critical edition of Kiss Me, Kate for Opera North and the Théâtre du Châtelet.
 

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,”  

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, Mandy has performed with symphony orchestras around the country including Cleveland Orchestra, Philly Pops, Naples Philharmonic, Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Arkansas, Anchorage, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Youngstown Symphonies, among many others.  Mandy made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops in February 2020 and will return to the Philly Pops for the third consecutive year in December 2020. 

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 Melodica Men

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What started off as two guys playing toy instruments for fun is now an internationally-acclaimed musical duo. Joe Buono and Tristan Clarke became friends while studying music at the Peabody Conservatory, and they have been playing melodica together since May 2016. A melodica is like a cross between a keyboard and a harmonica because you have to blow air into it to make the reeds inside vibrate. 

In July 2016, the Melodica Men funded their tour of Seattle and Paris by busking in the street. In September 2016, their "Rite of Spring" video went viral and gained over 1.5 million views in one day. In December 2016, they played their solo debut with the Jacksonville Symphony at the Holiday Pops concert series. Since then, they have been soloists with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, featured on ABC's "The Gong Show,” briefly seen on NBC's "America's Got Talent,” and have gained 230,000+ social media followers and over 30 million views worldwide thus far. You can find the Melodica Men on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. 

Behind the scenes, the Melodica Men are pioneering a new way of learning music as a language through the melodica. Pilot programs in elementary schools will start in January 2018, and a full online curriculum is in the works. You can find out more about their music education mission on Patreon. 

Tristan is a graduate of the Juilliard School and plays principal trumpet with the Jacksonville Symphony. Joe has earned two Masters degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and is currently teaching and composing.

Presented By
Slideshow  |  16 Photos
A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
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  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019
  • A Philly POPS Christmas 2019