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
Get Directions
Nov 29-Dec 21, 2019
See All Dates & Times
Fri, Nov 29, 2019
8PM
Uptown Christmas at The Met
8PM
Sun, Dec 1, 2019
3PM
Uptown Christmas at The Met
3PM
Fri, Dec 6, 2019
8PM
CHRISTMAS SALUTE
8PM
Sat, Dec 7, 2019
3PM
3PM
Sun, Dec 8, 2019
3PM
3PM
Wed, Dec 11, 2019
8PM
8PM
Sat, Dec 14, 2019
3PM
3PM
Sun, Dec 15, 2019
3PM
3PM
Wed, Dec 18, 2019
8PM
8PM
Fri, Dec 20, 2019
3PM
3PM
Sat, Dec 21, 2019
3PM
3PM
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.

Guest Artists

David Charles Abell, Principal Guest Conductor

More

Born in North Carolina, Principal Guest Conductor David Charles Abell grew up in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, attending Germantown Friends School through the sixth grade. A gifted musician from a young age, his study of trumpet, viola, piano, and composition eventually led to a concentration on conducting. He attended Yale University, the Juilliard School, and the Conservatoire Américain in France, where he studied under Nadia Boulanger. At age 13, David met Leonard Bernstein while singing in the world premiere of Bernstein’s Mass in Washington, D.C. Ten years later, David assisted his teacher John Mauceri in the tenth anniversary production of Mass, leading to a close association with Bernstein—as both a conducting student and as an editor of Bernstein’s music.   

David made his debut with The Philly POPS in 2013’s Christmas Spectacular, returning again in 2014 and 2015. He has since conducted Blockbuster Broadway in 2017, Lenny’s Revolution in 2018, and will lead 2019’s A Philly POPS Christmas and 2020’s Sondheim: A 90th Birthday Celebration. In addition to his work with The Philly POPS, David conducts concerts, opera, and theatre performances around the world. He has performed with such distinguished artists as Dame Judi Dench ,Dame Emma Thompson, Heather Headley, Idina Menzel, Petula Clark, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Matthew Morrison. He has conducted many prominent orchestras, including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphonies, and Boston Pops.

David is widely known to TV audiences for the 10thand 25th anniversary Les Misérables concerts, both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. In the UK, he has performed many times on television, most notably as conductor of the immensely successful Sondheim 80th birthday Prom and as the conductor for four years of the Olivier Awards, the UK’s equivalent to the Tony Awards. Recently, he made his Zurich Opera debut with Sweeney Todd, starring Sir Bryn Terfel.

David currently lives in London.

Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist

More

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.

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

More

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