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Boston Pops and Five by Design Ring in Holiday Season at Jorgensen Tonight

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The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra with Conductor Keith Lockhart will bring its sparkling holiday fare, complete with an audience carol sing and a visit from Jolly Old St. Nick, to Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts tonight, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m.

But that’s not all. The nationally acclaimed vocal group Five by Design, whose style embraces unforgettable melodies, lush harmonies, and swinging rhythms, joins “America’s Orchestra” for a unique take on classic holiday favorites and brand new originals. The evening will also include an orchestration of “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” narrated by new dean of the UConn School Fine Arts, Brid Grant, and the Pops’ signature “Sleigh Ride.”

In 1995 Keith Lockhart became the twentieth conductor of the Boston Pops, and has since presided over 1,400 concerts, 12 recordings, 73 television shows and 35 national tours, as well as performances at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, and overseas in Japan and Korea. Building on Arthur Fiedler and John Williams’ traditions, he has commissioned new works and garnered the orchestra’s first Grammy nomination. Currently serving as principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London, he led the June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II, and serves as artistic director of the Brevard Music Center summer institute and festival in North Carolina. Back home he reigns supreme at the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, broadcast nationally on CBS to 10 million viewers.

Five By Design’s signature harmonies have withstood the test of time in a career that stands out on America’s musical landscape, spanning more than fifteen years. The quintet has been the choice of symphony orchestras and performing art centers, delighting hundreds of thousands. The Minnesota-based Five By Design includes Lorie Carpenter-Niska, Sheridan Zuther, Kurt Niska, Michael Swedberg, and Terrence Niska. Four of the five members have been singing together since 1986. The group’s familial ties include brothers Terrence and Kurt Niska and the husband-wife duo of Kurt and Lorie Niska and childhood collaborator, Michael Swedberg.

Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. Regular tickets are $35, $55 and $65. For tickets and information, call the Box Office at 860.486.4226, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., or order online at jorgensen.uconn.edu. Convenient free parking is available across the street in the North Garage.

Pictured: Keith Lockhart. Photo courtesy of CAMI.

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