The New York Pops
A Frank and Ella Christmas
This program is also being performed Saturday, December 21.
The New York Pops
Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor
Tony DeSare, Guest Artist
Capathia Jenkins, Guest Artist
Essential Voices USA
Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor
Program to include:
VARIOUS Holiday Overture
POLA / WYLE "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (arr. Steven Reineke)
TRAD. "O Come, all ye Faithful"
BERNARD / SMITH "Winter Wonderland"
COOTS / GILLESPIE "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"
LIVINGSTON / EVANS "Silver Bells"
KENT / GANNON "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
BERLIN "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm"
MARTIN / BLANE "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
CAHN / STYNE "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!"
BEAL / BOOTHE "Jingle Bell Rock"
JUDITH CLURMAN / DAVID CHASE "Eight Days of Light"
TONY DESARE "Christmas For You and Me"
CAHN / VAN HEUSEN "The Secret of Christmas"
LOESSER "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
PIERPONT "Jingle Bells"
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Sponsored by KPMG LLP
In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.
The New York Pops
The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City that specializes in popular music. Led by Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series at Carnegie Hall, and is among the venue’s most presented ensembles. The New York Pops’ annual birthday gala is celebrated each spring, raising funds for the orchestra and its education programs. The New York Pops performs annually in Queens, New York, at Forest Hills Stadium, a 14,000-seat historic concert venue. Now in its 37th season, The New York Pops celebrates the diversity of popular music’s evolving songbook. Every concert is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with influences that range from Broadway melodies to film scores, jazz, rock, pop, and everything in between. Under Mr. Reineke’s dynamic leadership, The New York Pops continues to reimagine orchestral pops music.
Through its PopsEd music education programs, The New York Pops fulfills its dedication to lifelong learning by collaborating with public schools, community organizations, and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun.
The New York Pops is committed to serving all members of the community. Through its Kids in the Balcony and Kids in the Stadium programs, thousands of children and their parents have had an opportunity to see The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and Forest Hills Stadium free of charge.
The New York Pops was founded by Ruth and Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America’s rich musical heritage through presentation of concerts and education programs of the highest quality. The New York Pops is a nonprofit organization supported solely through the generosity of individual donations, institutional grants, corporate sponsorships, and concert income.
Follow The New York Pops on Facebook (facebook.com/thenewyorkpops), Instagram (@thenewyorkpops), and Twitter (@thenewyorkpops).
Steven Reineke has established himself as one of North America’s leading conductors of popular music. In addition to serving as music director and conductor of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Reineke is principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and his extensive North American conducting appearances include performances with the orchestras of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Edmonton, San Francisco, and Sarasota. On stage, Mr. Reineke has created programs and collaborated with a range of leading artists from the worlds of hip-hop, R&B, Broadway, television, and rock, including Maxwell, Common, Kendrick Lamar, Cynthia Erivo, Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, Wayne Brady, Peter Frampton, and Ben Folds, among others. In 2017, he was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, leading the National Symphony Orchestra performing live music excerpts between news segments—a first in the show’s 45-year history. In 2018, Mr. Reineke led the National Symphony Orchestra with hip-hop legend Nas, performing his seminal album Illmatic on PBS’s Great Performances.
As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently across North America. His Sun Valley Festival Fanfare was used to commemorate the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s pavilion, and his Festival Te Deum and Swans Island Sojourn were debuted by the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C. L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands worldwide.
A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband, Eric Gabbard.
Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness, and robust musicality. Named a Rising Star Male Vocalist in DownBeat magazine, Mr. DeSare has won critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances across North America and abroad. From jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas, headlining with Don Rickles and major symphony orchestras, Mr. DeSare has brought his fresh take on old-school classics to audiences around the globe. He has three Billboard top-10 jazz albums under his belt, and has been featured on CBS’s The Early Show, NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, and The Today Show. His music has been posted by social media celebrity George Takei, and he has also collaborated with YouTube icons Postmodern Jukebox.
In addition to his critically acclaimed turns as a singer-pianist, Mr. DeSare is also an award-winning composer. He won first place in the USA Songwriting Competition, has written theme songs for the motion picture My Date with Drew as well as several broadcast commercials, and composed the full soundtracks for the Hallmark Channel’s Love Always, Santa, and Lifetime’s Nanny Nightmare. Mr. DeSare’s sound is swinging and sensual, but what sets him apart is his ability to write original material that sounds fresh and contemporary, yet pays homage to the Great American Songbook. His compositions include a wide range of romantic, funny, and soulful sounds that can be found on his top-selling recordings.
Mr. DeSare’s forthcoming appearances include performances with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra; Seattle, Omaha, and Kansas City symphonies; Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Minnesota Orchestra; and Gold Coast Jazz Society. Mr. DeSare releases new recordings, videos of standards, and new originals every few weeks on his YouTube channel, iTunes, and Spotify. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe on YouTube to stay connected. Tony DeSare is a Yamaha Artist.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, singer-actor Capathia Jenkins most recently released the critically acclaimed CD Phenomenal Woman: The Maya Angelou Songs with her collaborator Louis Rosen, and they sold out the world-famous Birdland Theater in New York for three nights. She starred as Medda in the hit Disney production of Newsies on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut in The Civil War, in which she created the role of Harriet Jackson, and, in 2000, starred in the Off-Broadway revival of Godspell, in which she wowed audiences with her stirring rendition of “Turn Back, O Man.” She returned to Broadway in The Look of Love and was critically acclaimed for her performances of the hits of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Ms. Jenkins created the roles of the Washing Machine in Caroline, or Change, and Frieda May in Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. In 2007, she starred in the Off-Broadway play (mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. She was also seen in Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore.
An active concert artist, Ms. Jenkins has appeared with numerous orchestras around the world, including The Cleveland Orchestra; the Houston, Seattle, San Diego, and Utah symphonies; the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; the Atlanta, Toronto, and National symphony orchestras; the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra; The Philly Pops; the Minnesota Orchestra; and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops and also sang in a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch at the Library of Congress. Upcoming engagements include performances with The Cleveland Orchestra, the Houston and Seattle symphonies, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
Ms. Jenkins’s television credits include 30 Rock, The Practice, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and The Sopranos. She can be seen in the film Musical Chairs, directed by Susan Seidelman, and she appeared in the broadcast of The Wiz Live! on NBC. Ms. Jenkins can be heard on the film soundtracks for Nine, Chicago, and Legally Blonde 2.
Essential Voices USA
Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA (EVUSA) is one of New York’s preeminent choral ensembles. It performs in many of the city’s iconic venues and at many notable events, and records and premieres works by America’s finest composers and lyricists. It appears regularly on stage with The New York Pops in its series at Carnegie Hall, and performed on NBC’s broadcast of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in 2014 and the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting. The ensemble comprises a talented roster of seasoned professionals and auditioned volunteers, dynamically fitted to the unique needs of each project. EVUSA participated in the presidential inaugural activities in 2013 and held a monthlong residency at National Public Radio. EVUSA has performed with a diverse and impressive array of artists from the world of opera and musical theater, and has premiered works by such composers as Milton Babbitt, Jason Robert Brown, Jennifer Higdon, Nico Muhly, Stephen Schwartz, and Howard Shore. The ensemble has recorded for Acis, Sono Luminus, and Broadway Records.
Judith Clurman is an Emmy- and Grammy-nominated conductor and educator. She is also the musical director and conductor of the Symphony Singers and the Singing Christmas Tree float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She has served as director of choral activities at The Juilliard School, and has taught at the Curtis Institute of Music as well as at Cambridge, Harvard, and Princeton universities. She is currently a member of the musical theater faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and is working on a special choral project with the composition department at The Juilliard School. Her arrangements and compositions have been performed by The New York Pops, Houston Symphony, and the Detroit, Boston, and National symphony orchestras. Her works have been heard for 23 years at Carnegie Hall with orchestras that include the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Juilliard Choral Union, and Boston Symphony Orchestra.