Holiday cheer

Holiday cheer is sure to fill Barbados when maestro Thomas Wilkins conducts the Classical/Pops All-Star Orchestra, a wonderful chorus, and special guests as they inaugurate a new seasonal tradition at Apes Hill. High-flying fantasy and wonderment is expected to soar throughout the festival grounds, turning the concert into an entertainment extravaganza on December 12 and 13.

Enjoy beloved songs, classical masterpieces, glorious gospel music, traditional holiday favourites, and special surprises that capture the magic of the holiday season performed by members of America’s premier orchestras and vocal superstars!

Event coordinator Michael Aikens says the orchestra members are the backbone of the festival and are not only some of the greatest musicians, but also some of the most interesting.

Event coordinator Michael Aikens.
Event coordinator Michael Aikens.

“We are fortunate to gather an all-star orchestra comprising 65 members of the world’s premiere symphonies from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to the New York Philharmonic,” he says.

On Friday, December 12, join one of the most decorated and recorded jazz musicians of his generation, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield. He along with the sizzling 18-piece ensemble will deliver soulful and swinging testimony to that great city’s rich musical heritage and thriving present.

Barbadian superstar vocalist Alison Hinds performs as a special guest like you’ve never seen her before. Known as the Queen Of Soca, Hinds is one of those prodigious talents whom many claim to have seen at her earliest performances and of whom they foretold a lifetime of gracing the world’s most prestigious stages. But her love of soca drew her in a different direction to stardom, leaving those who witnessed these dalliances with jazz and pop to rue what might have been.

Wilkins and renowned soloist Tai Murray are scheduled for the Orchestra Gala Opening Concert –– a celebration of the music of the silver screen. Watch it come alive with an all-star orchestra comprising members of the world’s best symphonies in a vibrant atmosphere that is bound to provide a cinematic and musical paradise. This multimedia evening is produced by the award-winning film-maker Susie Dangel, who is known for creating magical film nights at the Boston Pops.

On Saturday, December 13, harpist Ann Hobson Pilot, violinist Tai Murray, and Argentinian bandoneon player and composer JP Jofre collaborate to perform the music of Astor Piazzolla. Special guest dancer Lil Buck adds his unique improvization and intricate freestyle footwork.

The concert features an extraordinary improvised tango-inspired dance performance by Memphis-raised Lil Buck, who wowed Yo-Yo Ma and introduced mainstream audiences to jookin, a street dance born in his hometown.

With a voice “spun of pure 24 karat gold”, soprano Alison Buchanan has thrilled audiences around the world. A remarkably versatile artist, Buchanan’s extensive repertoire includes opera, lieder, chamber music, orchestral vocal works, and cabaret.

Often seen performing Proms concerts throughout Britain donned in a dress made out of the Union Jack with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic and The BBC Concert Orchestra, Alison brings Proms to Barbados while exploring her rich Barbadian family history.

Sir Charles points to the area where the various     orchestras will be performing.
Sir Charles points to the area where the various orchestras will be performing.

Carnegie Hall honoured Broadway choral director/arranger Chapman Roberts has created a special surprise for Holiday Pops! Although an esteemed actor who has had innumerable on and off Broadway appearances, it’s his critically acclaimed vocal arrangements that can be heard on eight original Broadway –– and West End –– cast albums of shows that garnered 25 Tony nominations that has inspired this performance.

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