As I noted yesterday, last night was the opening of the Pops Christmas concert season. And you know what? It was a lot of fun—maybe the most fun I’ve had at one of these concerts in a long time. Part of it, of course, was Noah Van Neil (the Singing Fullback) and the crowd’s reaction to him (for the first time in the three years I’ve been doing these programs, the student guest soloist got a standing O!). But a big part of it was the repertoire. I mean, I don’t think that two years ago in the midst of the interminable set piece “The Snowman” that I could have imagined that we’d ever be singing Amahl or the Vaughn Williams Fantasia, but they were two substantial highlights of the program last night.
The biggest highlight is mentioned in the Boston Herald review of last night’s opening show, which calls our new “12 Days of Christmas” arrangement a highlight but doesn’t mention that it had the crowd on its feet, screaming, laughing, and clapping before we were actually on day 12. Yes, folks, we killed. Who’da thunk it? (Of course, we had a little help from the arrangement, which was well-nigh Schickele-worthy.)