Rockapella Holiday Day 2
Sunday, December 4, 2011 2:00 pm
Show 1 -- Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
C.W. Post Campus / Long Island University
Greenvale, New York
OK, that's a long header. I apologize. This may be helpful information in the future, though. Really. Read on.
We got up and somehow found the hotel breakfast area, which was located below the hotel lobby. Breakfast wasn't that exciting-looking, so I got a bowl of way too much cereal to start. I eventually woke up and saw the hard-boiled eggs and was happy to have protein. We figured out how to get back to Jersey, since we worried that taking the train would cut our time very close to the 2nd show. Then we took the hotel shuttle to Penn Station NJ. We had just missed the train, so we sat for awhile, and realized that both KP and I were wearing reindeer earrings. We also realized that we would have lost The Amazing Race because we didn't catch the other train.
|Waiting for NJ Transit|
At Penn Station NYC, we figured out how to take the Long Island Rail Road to Greenvale, thanks to someone who actually cared. The train conductor was very helpful, too. KP had reserved a cab to pick us up at the Greenvale station, and there it was! We arrived at the Tilles Center in plenty of time before the show, and visited with fellow cruisers Jill and Elisa for a bit before taking our seats.
Ever since Rockapella announced that they would be performing holiday shows with the Boston Pops this year, I wanted to see the show. I was thinking that I might miss out because they were only playing back East, but when we found the cheap airfare on Southwest, we jumped at the chance, making sure that we could see more than one show in order to maximize our Pella time for the weekend. We were especially excited because Scott had arranged songs that we had never heard them sing before, so this was promising to be quite the experience.
So here we were, at the first show of the day (yup! 2 shows in one day!). Our seats were on house right, next to the wall, about 4 rows up in the second section of seats. We saw Ross walk by and one of my companions said, "There's Ross." So I yelled, "ROSS!!!" and he heard me and waved. Yeah, I'm not obnoxious at all. I think that I was just really excited to see him. Because, you know, I'm never excited at a Rockapella concert. He took a picture of us. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure that it's lovely.
The orchestra finished their warm-up, the concertmaster took the stage, and they tuned. I beamed. It's been a long time since I last saw an orchestral concert, and watching one always makes me miss my violin. Sigh. I love hearing an orchestra tune. I'm such a geek that way. I actually almost stood up with the orchestra when Keith Lockhart entered the stage. The announcer guy from the Tilles Center advised us that the program was incorrect, and there would be no intermission, "because once these guys start, they can't stop."
A Christmas Festival by Anderson/Courage (Boston Pops only -- BP)
This was a medley of songs that included "Joy to the World". We could see Scott in the wings, watching the orchestra, and glowing in his white shirt and blondness. I saw Santa hats on some of the chairs in the bass section, and wondered what that was about.
Soprano Kathryn Skemp Moran (KSM) then joined BP on the stage for the next couple of songs.
I Wonder As I Wander -- Traditional, arranged by Sebesky(BP + KSM)
Her voice is lovely. I can't sing that high and still sound lovely, at least not anymore.
Trois pour Noel -- Trad., arr Sebesky (BP + KSM)
- Il est ne, Fum, Fum, Fum and Quittez Pasteurs
Yay, French! Nice accelerando on the 1st piece, and I've always liked Fum3.
Suite from The Nutcracker -- Tchaikovsky (BP)
- March, Trepak, Waltz of the Flowers
Time for Pella!
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Calkin/Longfellow, arr Leonard (Rockapella only --R)
Yes, that's Scott Leonard, the fabulous arranger. :) JT can't wear a tie. Neither, APPARENTLY can Geo or JKB. They were all wearing silver "bowtineers" (that's Wendy's word). JT's hair is getting longer. I like it. Oh, the song: gorgeous, and always the perfect opener for their holiday shows.
They did their roll up, showing off their different voice parts, with "Zip". Scott said, "We didn't need any help, the crutch of the instrument, but when the Boston Pops called and invited us to sing, we said, "oh, yes, we do!"
The Little Drummer Boy (Carol of the Drum) by Davis-Hollenbeck, arr Leonard (BP + R)
This is the song that I most anticipated, and it did not disappoint me one bit! I didn't have their new holiday CD yet, so I hadn't heard it at all before the show. It starts with the rhythm section (of JT, Geo and the orchestra percussion) and rain sticks. I like the "wha wha" of the horns. I also like the Middle Eastern vibe in the instrumentation. JT with the drums (tympani): that was AWESOMESAUCE! That song was seriously worth the whole trip. Amazing.
O Little Town of Bethlehem by Calkin/Longfellow, arr Leonard (BP + R)
This starts with the violin, then all the strings, then the tenors. George joins in on the second verse. I like the pause after "how silently". JT takes a well-deserved rest during this one. I like how Steve brings attention to the concertmaster during the applause. It's just so polite and Steve-ish.
Angels We Have Heard on High Traditional, arr Leonard & Hollenbeck (BP + R)
This is Wendy's favorite Rockapella Christmas song, so we were all happy. How fun to hear bells from the orchestra! Sing that low note, Georgie! That solo was a cappella. Feel the thunder in my heart!
Sleigh Ride by Anderson (BP)
Aha, now is the time for the bass section to wear their Santa hats. Keith reminded them to put them on. I like how he plays with the percussionist during the whip cracks. After the song, the hat was no longer on one of the bass players, and it was instead on the scroll of his string bass.
Glow Worm / It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas arr Leonard/Hollenbeck (BP + R)
Scott did a little dance as he pushed the microphone stand away. John got to do a little soft shoe at the end of the song, too.
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Marks, arr Leonard/Hollenbeck (BP + R)
Scott's whistle is accompanied by the strings playing pizzicato and the rest of the full orchestra. AWESOME! He's so funny grooving around the "O Christmas Tree". JT got to play a little battle with the drum kit guy. Fun!
The Christmas Song by Wells, Torme, Morley (BP)
Nice solo from the concertmaster, with the little bluesy note. The song was arranged by Angela Morley for the Pops as a tribute to the passing of Mel Torme.
A Visit from St. Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas) arr. Reisman
Keith Lockhart recited Clement C Moore's poem, as the orchestra played. Cute little sound effect as he said, "down with a bound".
Rockapella came back to the stage, sans jackets.
Silver Bells by Livingston/Evans, arr Leonard (R)
Ah, pure a cappella. :)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Marks, arr Leonard/Hollenbeck (BP + R)
Lockhart joined in by singing "Santa came to say" during the foggy Christmas Eve. They added "Up on the housetop, reindeer pause" at the end.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Coots & Mason, arr Leonard (BP + R)
This started off with Rockapella singing a cappella, then the orchestra joined in. John now whispers "Get the picture". At the end, Santa entered! Rockapella left the stage as Santa took the spotlight.
Lockhart said, "Santa, we live in a suspicious age. We live in an age of identity fraud", so they needed to do a little test.
Must Be Santa (no info in program) (BP + KSM)
I don't know this song, but it's cute. "Who's got a big red cherry nose?"
Then Lockhart made a wish come true for all of us, as he allowed us to sing with the Pops. Rockapella walked among the audience, having people sing a long, as KSM stayed on stage with BP for A Merry Little Sing-Along, arranged by Reisman
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
- Winter Wonderland
- Jingle Bells
I don't think that the guys could see us where we were sitting. At least I don't remember them seeing us.
White Christmas (BP + R+ RSM)
The concertmaster played while KSM sang, and it built until the audience was singing along, too.
Afterward, we tried to buy CDs, but there were no Pella CDs available. WHAT?! Don't they know that I need to buy 10 of them?! KP almost sold hers to a nice lady that she talked to, but they'll go to the website instead. There was no meet and greet, as the performers all needed to get on their buses and go to Jersey for the 2nd show.
I called the car service (Dial 7) to ask if the driver could pick us up earlier, since we ended an hour earlier than our scheduled pickup time. We waited outside and I took pictures of the beautiful campus.
|Wendy & Karla in front of |
We wanted to have dinner at the hotel in the restaurant, Maize, but there were no tables available. So we ordered room service (same kitchen as Maize). It took awhile, but at least we got to eat dinner before the next show, because we hadn't eaten lunch, and we were hungry.
Next up: Pella Pops II