Arts » Classical Music

Review: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Yuletide Celebration



Yuletide’s 29th annual edition dazzles with a fast-paced combination of something old, new, borrowed and blue, presided over by diva Angela Brown and Broadway star Ben Crawford, conducted by Jack Everly and populated by a cast and crew of 160, many with Hoosier roots.

We expected the return of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” Yuletide Jukebox and the Dancing Santas, but there's a surprise element to each. New to this edition are medleys from Broadway favorite Elf: the Musical and Disney blockbuster Frozen.


Also new: Concertmaster Zach DePue has left his usual front row spot to perform alongside Time for Three colleagues Nicolas Kendall and Ranaaan Meyer. The “hybrid ensemble” teamed with “hybrid artist” Kristen Noonan for an awesome, hybrid Frozen segment.

Blue is the color of Ms. Brown’s choir-robe-esque gown that’s so perfect for her magnificent rendition of the spiritual Rise Up, Shepherd. And blue is also the color of the suits worn by the Yuletide Gentlemen, who stopped the show on opening night with their ringing harmony.

Everly, celebrating his 20th Yuletide conducting anniversary this year, is backed up a by a veteran crew, including Ty A. Johnson, in his 29th year of producing the IPL-sponsored program. It’s the combination of staff continuity along with infusions of new talent that leads to backstage and onstage excellence for the run of the show.

Come early to meet the live reindeer outside the front entrance, snatch photo-op moments inside the lobby by cozying up to the costumed holiday mascots and the massive tree, and hear the stirring organ music delivered by Justin Stahl.


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