SPRINGFIELD, MA — The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will ring in the holidays with its popular Holiday Pops performance, “Jolly Holiday,” on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 4 p.m, at Springfield Symphony Hall that includes singer and American Idol finalist Michael Lynche. Tickets are on sale, starting at $25, on the SSO website, SpringfieldSymphony.org, or by calling the Box Office at (413) 733-2291.
The 4 p.m. matinée concert will feature vocalist Michael Lynche, who was a Top 5 finalist on season 9 of American Idol. Lynche is described as “a new breed of soul singer with completely classic influences,” with traces of Donny Hathaway, Al Green, Luther Vandross, Sam Cooke and James Brown combined.
The Springfield Symphony Chorus will also be part of the performance, along with Cantor Elise Barber, members of the Extended Family Choir and students from the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts.
The family-friendly concert will highlight musical sounds of the holidays, from soulful R&B versions of Christmas classics to Hannukah melodies. There will also be a Christmas sing-a-long and a visit from Santa Claus.
The afternoon performance will be led by guest conductor William Waldrop, who is a Broadway Music Director, Conductor and Pianist who most recently served as the Associate Conductor for Broadway’s longest running musical, The Phantom of the Opera.
Waldrop, who has been associated with The Phantom of the Opera since 2008, currently serves as the Associate Musical Supervisor for the new production in South Korea (2023). In 2017 Waldrop finished a highly celebrated run as Music Director and Conductor of the Broadway revival of Cats at the Neil Simon Theatre. He also completed a 30-city tour as the Music Director and Conductor of the revival of Evita (Broadway National Tour) and conducted the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Washington, D.C. for the tour’s final performances.
Lynche has performed at a range of venues, from intimate jazz & blues clubs to 20,000-seat arenas. After his time on American Idol and touring throughout the U.S. as part of the American Idol LIVE! Tour, Lynche released two studio albums. He also toured as an opening act for Boyz II Men, Lalah Hathaway, Faith Evans and Lyfe Jennings.
According to Paul Lambert, President and CEO of the SSO, “Holiday Pops is one of our most popular and cherished performances of our season and we are happy to offer this as a matinée performance so that more families with children can attend. As we continue to find new ways to grow the love for symphonic music in our region, we are particularly enthused to have American Idol finalist Michael Lynche perform accompanied by our world class musicians.”
SSO “Jolly Holiday”
The SSO has also partnered with the American International College baseball teams to accept canned food items at the December 9 concert as part of AIC’s HomeRun for the Hungry campaign. The collection will be in the Symphony Hall lobby from 2 p.m. through the concert’s intermission, and monetary donations will also be accepted via cash or Venmo. All donations go to Square One and Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry.
The 2023-24 SSO season marks 80 years for the Orchestra, and features at least six Classical and two Pops performances. In addition, the SSO plans to host its second annual Juneteenth celebration in 2024, and will also bring back the hosting of educational performances for public school students.
Upcoming concerts of the season include “Classics & Jazz–A Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration” on Saturday, January 13, 2024, featuring Damien Sneed as guest conductor; “Havana Nights” on Saturday, February 10, 2024 featuring Nick Palmer as guest conductor and the Mambo Kings; “Fantasias” on Saturday, March 9 featuring Adam Kerry Boyles as guest conductor, Quynh Nguyen as guest pianist and the Springfield Symphony Chorus; “An American Celebration” on Saturday, April 6 featuring Peter Boyer as guest conductor and Jeffrey Biegel as guest pianist; and “Magic and Glory” on Saturday, May 18, featuring Tania Miller as guest conductor and Rachel Barton Pine as violin soloist.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the 2023-24 season’s concerts, visit www.springfieldsymphony.org. Season subscriptions are also available at www.springfieldsymphony.org/subscribe-today.