The Boston Pops Bring the Holidays to Jorgensen

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By Evan Burns Life

Kicking off the holiday season here at UConn, the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts hosted its annual performance by the world-famous Boston Pops Orchestra. The Pops’ conductor, Keith Lockhart, opened the show with a short speech on the value of keeping the Christmas spirit alive in these times of division and uncertainty, closing with a moving sermon by American author Henry Van Dyke Jr., titled “Keeping Christmas”:

“Then you can keep Christmas. And if you can keep it for a day, why not always? But you can never keep it alone.”

The performance was a true extravaganza of incredible music, exuding holiday cheer in every note. Crowd favorites included the opening performance of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” the finale of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece “The Nutcracker” and the Boston Pops’ own iconic piece, “Sleigh Ride.” They even managed to accomplish the almost insurmountable feat of making the incessantly annoying carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” not only tolerable but a highlight of the night’s selections (something which, I believe, has never before been done by man). The particular arrangement performed by the Pops added new life to the piece by setting each verse to the tune of iconic piece of music, ranging from The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things” to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, changing the lyrics slightly each time to fit the tone of the current tune. This arrangement is destined to become a holiday classic in its own right.

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