Yoichi Udagawa, Music Director
CAPE ANN SYMPHONY HOLIDAY POPS
A Festive Musical Celebration for
Orchestra and Chorus
The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus,
The Ipswich High School Chamber Singers &
The Manchester-Essex Regional High School Select Chorus
The Cape Ann Symphony’s Annual Holiday Pops Concert, kicks off the holiday season on Saturday, November 24 at 2 pm at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School on 134 High Street, Ipswich, MA; Saturday, November 24 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 25 at 2 pm at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA with a joyful program of music from Strauss, Anderson, Mozart, Waldteufel, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky and many others. The 2018 Holiday Pops concert led by CAS Conductor and Music Director Yoichi Udagawa features the return of the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the direction of Rockport’s Wendy Betts; the CAS debut of Ipswich High School Chamber Singers and the Manchester-Essex Regional High School Select Chorus; as well as the conducting debut of CAS’s inaugural Conducting Fellow Ipswich’s Michael Coelho. A holiday tradition, the Cape Ann Symphony Holiday Pops Concerts regularly sell out. According to Cape Ann Symphony Board President Magnolia’s Fran White, “Last year’s Holiday Pops Concerts were complete sell outs so this year we added a third performance in our new performance venue in Ipswich. This year the Sunday November 25 matinee in Manchester has already sold out, but we still have tickets available for the matinee in Ipswich and the evening concert in Manchester. This is such an exciting year with the special guests from Ipswich, Manchester and Essex making their CAS debut and joining the orchestra and the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus on the stage. I would suggest getting tickets to the remaining concerts on Saturday afternoon in Ipswich and Saturday night in Manchester soon!” The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus and Orchestra joined by the Ipswich High School Chamber Singers on Saturday, November 24 at 2 pm at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School on 134 High Street, Ipswich, MA; and joined by the Manchester-Essex Regional High School Select Chorus on Saturday, November 24 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 25 at 2 pm at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA perform a wide selection of holiday favorites ending the festive concerts with the annual audience sing-along. Single ticket prices are $43 for adults, $38 for senior citizens, $15 for Students of any age; $5 for youth 12 years old and under. For tickets and information, call 978-281-0543 or visit www.capeannsymphony.org.
Cape Ann Symphony Conductor and Music Director Yoichi Udagawa is looking forward to this year’s Holiday Pops Concert, ““
The musicians of the orchestra and I always thrilled to perform the Holiday Pops concerts. This year we are going to have in addition to our wonderful chorus, student choruses from both Ipswich and Manchester. This will be a program for the entire family, and we can hardly wait to share it with our audiences!” The 2018 Holiday Pops program includes Strauss’ Fledermaus Overture; Mozart’s German Dance K 605 “Sleighride”; Waldteufel’s Skater’s Waltz; Kikuchi’s Hanukkah Celebration; Tchaikovsky’s Selections from The Nutcracker; Vivaldi’s Gloria; Rutter’s Christmas Lullabyand Gloria Patri from his Magnific; Hayes’ Christmas Bells Are Ringing; Williams’ Somewhere in my Memory; and Leavitt’s Ose Shalom. Cape Ann Symphony’s inaugural Conducting Fellow Ipswich’s Michael Coelho makes his professional conducting debut during the Holiday Pops Concert. Coelho is set to conduct the second piece of the program Anderson’s Christmas Festival.
The Cape Ann Symphony launched The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus at the 2005 Holiday POPS Concert. The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus is a chorale with over 75 voices from the North Shore area. The group performed with the Cape Ann Symphony at Holiday POPS Concerts in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 2013, 2014. 2015, 2016 and 2017. The 75 plus member chorale under the direction of Wendy Betts is comprised mostly of North Shore residents, the majority of which live on Cape Ann. According to Betts, “It is such a pleasure to work with the singers in our CAS Chorus! They work hard, are disciplined in their music tasks, and put out a lovely choral sound. But best of all, they truly enjoy one another, which is what choral singing is all about! Making music TOGETHER! And this year we are looking forward to singing with the young people from Ipswich High School and Manchester-Essex Regional High School, under the direction of Abby Frost and Donna O’Neill, respectively.”
A voice teacher and choral director, Ms. Betts is the Organist/Director of Music Arts as well the Director of handchime and newly formed handbell ensembles at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Topsfield. In October 2017, to celebrate 500 years of the Protestant Reformation, Wendy directed a Bach choir of over 50 voices of North Shore choral singers, performing portions of Bach’s cantata #80 Ein feste burg ist unser Gott with trumpet, organ, piano, and percussion, as well as incorporating area soloists and ensembles in singing several of Bach’s beautiful arias and magnificent chorales. Ms. Betts has an independent voice studio and teaches piano and voice as well as leading seminars with area vocalists and choral groups and sharing music ministry with church and studio choirs in North of Boston rehabilitation centers. She is also the Founder and Director of Share the Music, a group of 20-plus singers who present favorites from the American Songbook each March. Ms. Betts’ vocal performances include several Victorian Parlor Concerts and two Emily Dickinson programs. Ms. Betts presently serves as Music Chairman for the Women’s Council of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Wenham, MA.
The Ipswich High School Chamber Singers are 24 members strong, drawn out of the 91-member Concert Choir. There is also a second auditioned group called Bel Canto, 20 women, who are of a similar outstanding caliber. Three women sing in both groups. “The students are eager to perform with Cape Ann Symphony!”, says Abby Frost, Conductor of Choirs for Ipswich High School, “We are hard at work preparing for the first ever Holiday Pops Concert in Ipswich!”
The Manchester-Essex Regional High School Select Chorus, a choral group with over 35 members, is led by Choral Director and Music Teacher at Manchester-Essex Regional High School, Donna O’Neill. “My students and I are very grateful for the invitation and the privilege of performing at the Cape Ann Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert ” explains Choral Director O’Neill, ” It has been an exciting and amazing time for the students in preparing for this special performance.”
Founded in Gloucester in 1951, the Cape Ann Symphony is a professional orchestra of over 70 players from throughout the New England area. They perform a subscription season of four concerts per year plus several Pops and youth concerts. The Symphony Board of Directors named Yoichi Udagawa the Music Director and Conductor of the Cape Ann Symphony in the summer of 2000 after a yearlong search. In addition to his leadership of Cape Ann Symphony, he is Music Director and Conductor of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, and the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and a cover conductor at the Boston Pops Orchestra. Frequently invited to guest conduct, Mr. Udagawa has worked with many different orchestras including the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Nobeoka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, the Indian Hill Symphony, the Garden State Philharmonic, the Brown University Orchestra, the Syracuse Society for New Music, the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Newton Symphony, the Austin Civic Orchestra, and the Mid-Texas Symphony. Mr. Udagawa is at home in popular and contemporary music as well as the standard symphonic repertoire. He is known for his relaxed manner and ability to speak from the podium which has helped new audiences as well as enthusiasts gain a greater appreciation for symphonic music. His programs often include premieres of new works – some specially commissioned for the orchestra — as well as great orchestral works across the symphonic repertoire and lively Pops programs. He is also an integral part of the Cape Ann Symphony Youth Outreach programs to area schools.
Cape Ann Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert is Saturday, November 24 at 2 pm at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School on 134 High Street, Ipswich, MA; Saturday, November 24 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 25 at 2 pm at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Single ticket prices are $43 for adults, $38 for senior citizens, $15 for Students of any age; $5 for youth 12 years old and under. For tickets and information, call 978-281-0543 or visit www.capeannsymphony.org.
Photos by Jeph Ellis