Performance 2 p.m. Sunday at The Victory
By Jonathon Lutz Special to the Courier & Press
Posted December 1, 2012 at 10:50 p.m.
Courtesy Catchlight Photography Christmas trees will decorate The Victory’s stage for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s Peppermint Pops concerts, Saturday and Sunday.
EVANSVILLE — The Evansville Philharmonic did its part to usher in the Christmas season Saturday evening with its annual Peppermint Pops concert.
Red was the official color of the evening, with only an occasional smattering of green. The audience and the chorus were attired mainly in crimson hues, while the orchestra sported a variety of Santa hats, reindeer antlers and other Christmas novelties.
Maestro Alfred Savia, dressed in a white jacket with red tie and cummerbund, lead the orchestra through a dynamic opening overture, “Rejoice!,” and then brought out this year’s guest artist, veteran Broadway performer Jenn Newman.
Ms. Newman charmed the audience with her bright, clear, soaring soprano and her willing smile. Her performance this evening, backed up by the orchestra and chorus, was the stuff goose bumps are made of.
Other special guests added their contributions to the evenings festivities as well. Sara Waters of Evansville Ballet danced to Tchaikovsky’s “Arabian Dance from Nutcracker.” Her performance served as a preview of the Dec. 15 “Nutcracker” performance.
An appearance by some tap dancing Santa’s, courtesy of Jan’s School of Dance, helped raise the energy level after “Twas the Night Before Christmas” almost put everyone to sleep. The dancing Santa’s performance was made all the more comical by defective belts in their wardrobe. The malfunction started with one Santa and soon spread, leaving the audience to wonder if all the Santa’s might not be beltless by the end of the song.
The highlight of the evening came in the form of two songs performed with great skill and emotion by the Evansville Philharmonic Chorus. “O Magnum Mysterium,” performed a cappella and conducted by Andrea Drury, could serve as a study in the use of dynamics in music. The members of this remarkable ensemble did themselves and their community proud this evening.
Eykamp String Quartet member Tim Kantor shared the stage with Ms. Newman on “Ave Maria.” His violin solo, backed by Mary Dicken’s harp, resonated through the Victory in achingly beautiful tones
The lighting, designed by Dana Taylor and implemented with the assistance of his Mount Vernon High School students greatly enhanced the mood and atmosphere of the Peppermint Pops concert again this year.
The last piece on the program consisted of a sing-along, allowing the audience to get in on the fun. Two encores followed, the second one a preview of Handel’s “Messiah” to be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday at Trinity United Methodist Church, 216 S.E. Third St., in Downtown Evansville.
IF YOU GO
What: Jenn Newman, will sing with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra in its annual Peppermint Pops holiday productions
When: 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Victory
Admission: Tickets cost $16 to $56 for adults, $6 to $56 for those 12 and younger, $5 at the door for students, beginning an hour before each concert. Members of club2030 may register online for $10 tickets up to 4 p.m. Saturday. Additional fees of $2 to $5 apply to each ticket.
Information: For reservations or information call (812) 425-5050 or go to www.evansvillephilharmonic.org online.
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