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Revel in the majesty of the season with Pacific Symphony's "Holiday Organ Spectacular," featuring organist Todd Wilson, Broadway veteran Lisa Vroman and principal musicians
November 25, 2013
Cascading notes swirl in a reverberating mural of majestic sounds as the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ fills the concert hall with the nostalgia of holiday classics during Pacific Symphony’s annual “Holiday Organ Spectacular,” part of the Pedals and Pipes series. The evening ignites with the talent of virtuoso organist Todd Wilson, Broadway soprano Lisa Vroman and accompanying Symphony principal musicians: Timothy Landauer, cello; Benjamin Smolen, flute; Barry Perkins, trumpet; and Mindy Ball, harp. Visiting the Symphony for the fourth year, Wilson, head of the organ department at The Cleveland Institute of Music and curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall, also performs organ works by Bach, Widor, Carter and Purvis. This concert takes place one night only, Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $15-75; for more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.
“The music for this concert covers the gamut from warmly expressive to thrillingly virtuosic, and shows off every aspect of the great C.B. Fisk organ—every tone color from softest to loudest,” says Wilson. “The pipe organ is a natural medium for holiday music and is a ready partner for voice and instruments. We have a number of fresh, new arrangements of holiday favorites on this year’s program, and there is sure to be something to suit every taste!”
The program features treasured Christmas songs “The First Noel,” “Ave Maria,” “O Holy Night,” “The Little Drummer Boy” and much more! Decorating the concert hall with good cheer, the audience is invited to join in singing along to popular holiday favorites “Deck the Halls,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.” Symphony musicians and Vroman guide the audience in an acoustic display of holiday fun.
“It’s a real pleasure to collaborate with these superb and versatile performers,” enthuses Wilson. “Lisa Vroman sings everything from the classics to Broadway with style and a real communicative flair. Barry, Mindy, Tim and Ben are all top-notch musicians and the variety of instrumental colors combines with the organ in all sorts of beautiful and exciting ways.”
One of today’s finest concert organists, internationally acclaimed for his virtuosity, Wilson is the director of music and worship at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland. He also serves as house organist for the newly restored Aeolian organ at the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio. He has performed in major cities throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, including concerts at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, U.K., Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas and Uihlein Hall in Milwaukee. His latest CDs on the JAV label feature a live recital of American music from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and “Live from Severence Hall,” a concert of music for trumpet and organ.
Establishing herself as one of America’s most versatile voices, Vroman garnered Theatre Critic’s awards for her Broadway role as Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” during a record-breaking run in San Francisco, and she also had a return engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. In 2008, Vroman made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops, starred as Lili Vanessi in “Kiss Me Kate” with Glimmerglass Opera, sang the role of Birdie in “Regina” with Utah Opera, made her New Jersey Opera debut as Rosalinda in “Die Fledermaus,” and premiered two comic operas by composers John Musto and William Bolcom with the New York Festival of Song. She is a frequent guest soloist with major theatre and opera companies as well as orchestras.
The Pedals and Pipes organ series continues on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, when organist Dennis James provides the soundtrack to the 1921 silent film “The Three Musketeers.” On April 4, 2014, is game-changing organist Cameron Carpenter. This series is generously sponsored by Valerie and Barry Hon and receives additional support from American Airlines, The Westin South Coast Plaza and PBS SoCal.
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