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America

Published on December 15th, 2013 | by Chris Kocher -PSBChrisKocher

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Philharmonic’s holiday concert features community talent

The Christmas season is all about getting together with family and friends to have a fun time — and that’s the spirit behind the Binghamton Philharmonic’s holiday pops concert Saturday. In addition to the symphony — conducted by music director José-Luis Novo — the evening’s program at the Forum will include performances by (and collaborations with) soprano Jill Gardner, the Madrigal Choir, the Basically Bach Ensemble and the Binghamton High School Steel Drum Band.

Before the concert, Jim Ford will perform holiday favorites on the Forum’s 1926 Robert Morton theater organ. “Our whole focus in the philharmonic is community — we’re trying to give more to the community and serve the community,” said Heidi J. Kelley, the philharmonic’s executive director. “So we thought this was a perfect opportunity to do that.”

The Madrigal Choir, fresh off of its annual “Lessons and Carols for Christmas” performances, will share a suite from “The Many Moods of Christmas,” a popular 1963 album from the Robert Shaw Chorale arranged by Broadway orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett. Bruce Borton, the Madrigal Choir’s artistic director, recalls buying the LP while in college and making it part of his holiday tradition. “Christmastime is prime time for choral music, and there’s a ton of it,” said Borton, also a music professor at Binghamton University. “There’s so much beautiful music themed around the holidays.”

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