Good evening, and welcome to The New York Pops' annual holiday celebration. We're delighted to be joined by one of my favorite leading ladies, Ashley Brown. While you may know her best as Broadway's original Mary Poppins, I've had the pleasure of working with Ashley during orchestra concerts across the country, including several performances with The New York Pops right here at glorious Carnegie Hall. With such a shining talent, capable of singing everything from soprano standards to theater classics, I knew Ashley was the perfect guest artist to headline this year's program.
When Ashley and I first started talking about this program, we knew we wanted to feature some of our favorite tunes, the songs that our families always enjoyed at this time of year. In that spirit, you'll hear everything from traditional carols to movie music to radio hits, each one capturing the magic of this season.
No holiday celebration is complete without friends, both old and new. This weekend we're joined once again by the fantastic Essential Voices USA, under the direction of Judith Clurman. In addition, making his New York Pops debut is Gary Griffin, who has been our wonderful stage director for this program.
From all of us at The New York Pops, we wish you heartfelt Season's Greetings and a joyful New Year!