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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

More than a pipe dream! Pacific Symphony’s annual “Holiday Organ Spectacular” features Christmas favorites and magnificent color of the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ

Orange County, Calif. — December 08, 2014

Feel the joy and majesty of the holidays through the mighty sounds and vibrations of the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ during Pacific Symphony’s annual “Holiday Organ Spectacular.” The color, beauty and versatility of the organ is showcased in partnership with voice and other solo instruments to bring out the best of treasured Christmas classics. Todd Wilson, curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall and one of the highest-regarded concert organists across the world today, returns with a thrilling mix of classical and popular Christmas carols, including Bach’s “In dulci jubilo” and “Two Chorale Preludes.” Praised for her “exquisite voice, clarity and range” (Harold Prince), soprano Lisa Vroman, who starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daae in “The Phantom of the Opera,” is featured throughout the program in “Ave Maria,” “O Holy Night,” “Candlelight Carol,” “The Christmas Song” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

Adding yet more color and zest to the organ’s palette are the Symphony’s principal musicians Rose Corrigan, bassoon; Barry Perkins, trumpet (playing piccolo/petite trumpet); and Mindy Ball, harp. Taking place Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m., this concert launches the 2014-15 Pedals and Pipes series, which spotlights the $3.1 million concert organ created by C.B. Fisk—the visual focal point of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. For more information or to purchase tickets ($15-$75), call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“[Todd Wilson is]... a fabulous virtuoso with fleet feet, a prodigious memory and technique to burn.” —The Plain Dealer

“We have a wonderful variety of music on this year’s program, ranging from Bach to seasonal favorites like ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Sleigh Ride,’” says Wilson. “We also have some new arrangements being created especially for this concert. I look forward especially to the arrangement of ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,’ featuring the bassoon as Grinch. It promises to be great fun!”

An acoustic delight, this performance features beloved Christmas songs that warm the heart and create the feeling of good cheer. “The First Noel,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “I Saw Three Ships,” are included, as well as two chances for the audience to sing along to the songs, “The Holly and the Ivy,” “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.” Wilson also performs Garth Edmundson’s Toccata on “Vom Himmel Hoch” and Pastorale and Dance by Craig Phillips.

“I enjoy this concert year after year because of the special opportunity to collaborate with some of the outstanding musicians of Pacific Symphony, and to play a magnificent organ in a beautiful concert hall,” says Wilson.

Setting “the gold standard by which others are measured” (The American Organist), Wilson is acclaimed internationally for his virtuosity. Wilson is head of the organ department at The Cleveland Institute of Music and 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 Severance 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 role in “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.

Pedals and Pipes continues on March 8, 2015, with an organ recital by Hector Olivera. On April 26, 2015, Dennis James returns for another silent film revival, as he performs the soundtrack to Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush.” This series is generously sponsored by the official vehicle, Mercedes Benz, Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel and PBS SoCal.