ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will present this year’s Gala Holiday Pops Concert this Friday through Sunday, December 20-22 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik discussed this year’s version of the annual Rochester holiday tradition Wednesday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“For the first time ever, there was such a reaction, positive reaction to our soloist last year, which was the incredible Don Potter, the next week, I said, I’ve just got to invite him back,” Tyzik said. “So Don Potter is going to come back this year along with, of course, our Festival High School Chorale, which has been a tradition for 26 years. We’ve got about 200 children who are from 37 different high schools in our seven-county area. So they all come together, about six or seven kids from each school, and we have a blast all week. There are two rehearsals, and then they sing to the filled houses in six performances. And it’s one of the most incredible things of the year. I think it’s, in my whole time with the RPO, if I were to look back and somebody said, put a finger on one thing, I would say having that choir was probably the best idea I had.”
Tyzik said you’ll hear favorites like ‘Sleigh Ride’ and ‘O Holy Night,’ and ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ and the famous ‘Christmas Song.’ In addition, Don Potter has some original pieces in the second half of the performance that he will sing with the choir. “The music is joyful, but it’s also spiritual,” he noted. “It’s a chance to come and see these incredible young people. They are the best of the best. Usually, music students are the ones that get the highest grades, the ones that go on and succeed because the arts really gives something to them that they don’t get in other ways. You know, I expected my own daughter to do well in math or in history or social studies or English. But when she was in the school play or singing in the choir, that’s when I saw this humanity come forth. So these kids just back there singing – their spirit, it’s infectious. It’s an incredible experience every single year. And I finish the year thinking, you know, I’m happy to be alive to witness this. That’s how I feel.”
For tickets, stop by the Eastman Theatre Box Office, call (585) 454-2100, or visit the RPO website.