Holiday Pops had it all. There was the Grinch, in his ugly green mask, slithering down the aisle of the Chapel by the Lake, as Guy Warren sang, "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch, and the rest of us laughed at John Clough's new role.
There was fun. Lillian League sang, "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," her own front teeth missing. She partnered with Cheryl Bschor, who played the doddering old lady who lost her own front tooth. It was hilarious.
There was playfulness as Anja Akstin tried to convince John Haywood to stay with her for the evening, a reversal of roles for the wolf and the mouse, in "Baby It's Cold Outside."
There was diversity with two lively Hanukkah tunes. And there was drama, with an exciting concluding festival of carols with the Juneau Douglas High School Brass Ensemble, the children accompanied by their teacher, also playing "brass," while the sixty or so singers lifted our spirits. In fact, the whole evening was just plain fun, the performers enjoying themselves as much as the audience was.
Thank you, Sally Smith, director and organizer, and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, for Holiday Pops. What a fun concert and sing-along. You brought us the spirit of Christmas embodied in song. The evening was skillfully orchestrated to feature many talented individual singers as well as the rich, full sound of the combined chorus. I loved the diversity of selections and voices. I loved the energy and talent of the performances. I loved watching these fellow Juneauites celebrate the warmth and joy of the holiday season - and then singing along, part of it all. Holiday Pops is what the Christmas spirit is all about-sharing, belonging, community. We all need a little Christmas.
Mary Lou Gerbi