If you are looking to really get into the holiday season, why not grab family and friends and go see the Houston Symphony’s holiday show “Very Merry Pops.”
I had a chance to speak with principal conductor Michael Krajewski about the show.
A Houston holiday tradition, the Houston Symphony and the Houston Symphony Chorus bring their annual Very Merry Pops concert back to Jones Hall December 10, 11, and 12. The always delightful Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski promises a line-up of favorite holiday melodies like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Sleigh Ride,” “O Holy Night,” “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” and even a few sing-alongs! Special guest appearances include international entertainer Dan Menendez, also known as “The Piano Juggler”, showcasing his unique integration of playing the piano and juggling; Boy Soprano Sean Holshouser singing “What Child is This?” and Santa Claus stops by for a special visit.Additionally, the Houston Symphony Chorus marks two special anniversaries with these concerts. Their performance at Very Merry Pops will be their 1,000th concert and their 900th performance with the Houston Symphony. The Chorus is made up of volunteer vocalists from all parts of the Houston metropolitan area and is an important instrument in the Symphony family.
615 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002Friday, December 10, 2010, 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 11, 2010, 8:00 PM
Sunday, December 12, 2010, 2:30 PM
Sunday, December 12, 2010, 7:30 PM
Very Merry Pops
Michael Krajewski, conductor
Sean Holshouser, boy soprano
Dan Menendez, piano juggler
Houston Symphony Chorus
Charles Hausmann, director
Tickets from $25About Michael Krajewski
Cynthia Woods Mitchell POPS at Jones Hall Series
Known for his entertaining programs and clever humor, Michael Krajewski is a much sought after conductor of symphonic pops concerts. He is the principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and the newly named principal pops conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra – the first to hold such a title in Atlanta.
Much in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras across the country, Krajewski has performed with the Boston Pops and the Hollywood Bowl orchestras and has collaborated with an eclectic group of artists including flutist James Galway, mezzo soprano Marilyn Horne, pop artists Roberta Flack, Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel, Doc Severinsen, Al Hirt, Cab Calloway, Mary Wilson, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Pink Martini and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Michael is the conductor of the forthcoming video Silver Screen Serenade with violinist Jenny Oaks Baker that airs worldwide on BYU Broadcasting. On recording he has led the Houston Symphony on two holiday albums: Glad Tidings and Christmas Festival.
With degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Michael furthered his training at the Pierre Monteux Domaine School for Conductors. He was a Dorati Fellowship Conductor with the Detroit Symphony and later served as that orchestra’s assistant conductor. He was resident conductor of the Florida Symphony and for eleven years served as music director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra.
About Sean Holshouser
Eleven year old Sean Holshouser is a regular performer with the HITS Theatre group in Houston under the direction of Joanne Woodard. He has performed several principal roles including “Gavroche” in Les Miserables and “Rum Tum Tugger” in Cats. Holshouser has just finished participating in a performance of Peter Grimes with Houston Grand Opera where he was a supernumerary, and he will be singing the role of “Harry” in a production of Albert Herring with the University of Houston’s Opera Department at the Moores Opera House in late January. He has also been asked to perform at a national meeting of symphony orchestra leagues that is being held in Houston in April.
Holshouser’s primary voice teacher is Jack Beetle, but he has also taken lessons with Lois Alba, Robin Cobb, and Patti Spain. His private acting and theater teacher is Todd Waite, a highly acclaimed principal performer at the Alley Theater of Houston.
Holshouser has grown up in a musical family. His mother, Eileen, and his grandparents were all long time members of the Houston Symphony Chorus, and his father, Scott, is the Principal Keyboardist for the Houston Symphony.
About Dan Menendez
Dan has flown over two million miles performing as “The Piano Juggler.” Dan got his “big break” when he was spotted performing at a Los Angeles comedy club. He was immediately slated to perform on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and that initial appearance was selected for Carson’s primetime “Anniversary Special”. Years of national and international TV appearances followed, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen Degeneres Show, The View, BBC Specials, HBO Specials, and more.
Dan appears in venues all over the world, performing at professional sporting events, banquets, casinos and concerts, including past performances with the Atlanta, Indianapolis and Baltimore Symphonies. In 2001, he won the Daidogei World Cup in Japan, an international entertainment competition. Dan has flown over two million miles performing as “The Piano Juggler.”
About Houston Symphony Chorus
The Houston Symphony Chorus is an all-volunteer chorus founded in 1946 by former Houston Symphony cellist Al Urbach. In addition to frequent performance with the Houston Symphony, they have independently performed in regular concerts with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria (Mexico City), in a BBC Proms concert (London), and in a capella concerts here in Houston. Its members rehearse at the University of Houston’s Moore’s School of Music every Tuesday evening, motivated by the challenge and joy of performing great music and the opportunity to work with the Houston Symphony. For information, contact the Chorus manager at (713) 444-9221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Houston Symphony
The Houston Symphony has played a central role in Houston’s cultural and civic life since 1913. Each year, the Houston Symphony performs more than 170 concerts for approximately 350,000 people, featuring an innovative and broad spectrum of classical, popular, education and community-based symphonic programming. For tickets and more information, please visit http://www.houstonsymphony.org/ or call 713-224-7575