California Pops To Present Family Christmas At Flint Center

By: Nov. 08, 2018
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California Pops Orchestra, the country's only all-request pops orchestra, returns with its beloved Christmas "Holiday With The Pops" show at Cupertino's Flint Center. Chock full of musical Yule logs and eggnogs, "Holiday With The Pops" performs one time only on Sunday, December 2, 2018, at 3 p.m. Reserved seat tickets ($20-$55, standard ticket service fees apply), are available at ( or in person at the Flint Center box office.

"Holiday With The Pops" has musical fun for kids from 1 to 92: Sleigh Bells, musical memories, toy trumpets, and good cheer; holiday hits from Broadway, TV, Big Band, and Hollywood, as well as traditional Christmas favorites and a carol-sing-along. Children are often delighted to be included in the Pops fun, especially during the holidays. Audiences can get into a warm and toasty holiday mood with plenty of time left over for the holidays themselves! Vocalists Carly Honfi and Matthew Hall add their lyrical singing to the holiday mix.

Conductor Kim Venaas describes the preparations of the annual holiday show this way, "We actually started putting together the 2018 Christmas Show the day after the 2017 show when folks call, email or write in what they liked best, what their kids sang along to the loudest! And they always request songs because, well, that's what we do. We're an all-request symphony orchestra!" The biggest challenge isn't coming up with music. It's deciding what to leave out. Maestro Venaas says, "There is SO much great Christmas music from both the traditional and the pops side of the street that planning usually starts with a list of over 500 songs and medleys, maybe 35 hours of great music I have to winnow it down to just two delightful hours."

Venaas also is not stingy with his praise for his players and vocalists. "This orchestra is the most fun-loving orchestra I've ever had the pleasure of working with. And a big part of that attitude is the music we perform, year-after-year. It's the happiest, most romantic, wackiest, swingingest (is that a word?!) ever written so at the very core of our mission is bringing that joy to every audience member, every time. It's so fulfilling as an artist."

This show will include audience-favorite Carly Honfi in "Twas the Night Before Christmas", a sparkling musical setting with the orchestra sounding out all the reindeer hooves, chimney-descending, pipe-smoke curling action of this heartwarming tale. The kids join Honfi on stage as the sparkling theater actress paints the scene in her trademark vocal style.

Principal cellist, Alicia Wilmunder says, "before each Christmas show I think, 'this is my favorite show'. But then I wind up thinking that about each show because they're so different and so much fun." This is a common feeling among the 75 orchestra players and the audience loves that.

Although many favorite holiday songs and traditional carols originated in Europe in the 1700s and 1800s - and some, dating back as far as the Middle Ages ("The First Noel," 13th century) - American composers came into their own during the time period between the Great Depression through the post-war 1950s and introduced to audiences through movies, radio, and television.

  • Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" made its debut in the 1942 movie "Holiday Inn," and was most famously sung by Bing Crosby. Its initial rendition took only 18 minutes to record - since then, there are reportedly over 500 recorded versions of this song in more than 12 different languages. "White Christmas" remains the biggest-selling Christmas song of all time.
  • Another Bing Crosby favorite, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (1943), was composed during the height of WWII, reflecting the longing of soldiers wanting to return home to be with their loved ones.
  • "Winter Wonderland" was first recorded by Guy Lombardo in 1934, and became a big hit again in 1950 when it was recorded by the Andrews Sisters.
  • "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" was one of the first 'kiddie' songs introduced through the radio, circa 1933.
  • "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was composed in 1944 for the movie "Meet Me In St. Louis," starring Judy Garland

All these, plus Disney's blockbuster hit "Frozen", "Charlie Brown's Christmas", "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer","The Grinch that Stole Christmas" and many other popular carols and songs are sure to fill the audience with the holiday spirit.
For more information, visit About the California Pops Orchestra California Pops Orchestra, celebrating its 30th season conducted by Mr. Kim Venaas, proves that orchestral performances by highly trained and talented musicians do not have to be stuffy affairs! Their high quality popular music repertoire library holds over 10,000 selections from Broadway musicals, television, Hollywood movies, jazz, popular song, comic novelties, and big band. Many pieces are the original orchestrations used by film and radio recording studio orchestras.
The Pops includes many of the Bay Area's leading musicians with training from very distinguished conservatories including Oberlin, Julliard, Eastman and the Berklee Schools of Music. The Pops also draws from talented musicians who also happen to be scientists, educators, engineers, marketers, technology leaders, and other highly creative individuals. This diversity in background plus a single-minded purpose makes the Pops a delight to play with and a never-ending source of ideas, inspiration, and humor.

California Pops Orchestra's musicians and featured guests bring fun, family-friendly shows to the live stage with selections from the full range of the popular music repertoire and this popular music is often scored for a unique set of instruments found in movie and recording studios but not in classical symphony orchestras: so concerts often include flugelhorns, a saxophone section, harmonicas, congas, taxi and car horns, whips, theramins, accordions, marching machines, thunder sheets, sirens and other colorful instruments. For more information, visit


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