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  • WDCH
  • DECK THE HALL BEGINS WITH THE HOLIDAY ORGAN SPECTACULAR AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
  • Dec. 12, 2007
  • Featuring Organ Master David Higgs, Soprano Lisa Vroman and Trumpeter James Wilt

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2007, AT 8PM

    The mighty Walt Disney Concert Hall organ rings in the annual Deck the Hall series with the return of spirited organ master David Higgs, Wednesday, December 12, at 8 p.m. Luminous soprano Lisa Vroman and the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Associate Principal trumpet James Wilt bring their wide-ranging talent to the stage as guest soloists and join Higgs in selections on this glorious ride through holiday music sure to kindle everyone's festive spirit.

    The program delights with a combination of sacred and holiday organ music, including solo organ works by Bach and Messiaen and Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" from The Nutcracker, as well as rapturous carols such as "O Holy Night." The audience joins in with beloved favorites "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," "Joy to the World" and more.

    Deck the Hall, presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, is a series of festive performances throughout the month of December (including two concerts on New Year's Eve) featuring an array of exceptional artists offering seasonal music. Other performances include The Blind Boys of Alabama, December 17; A Chanticleer Christmas, December 18; The Count Basie Orchestra, December 20; and Belinda Carlisle and Rufus Wainwright in Paris à Go-Go, December 31.

    DAVID HIGGS, chair of the Organ Department at the Eastman School of Music, has inaugurated many important new instruments, including those at St. Stephan's Cathedral, Vienna; the Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas; and the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City. His performances with ensembles have included the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chanticleer, the Orpheus Ensemble and the Empire Brass. In 1987, he made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony and for 12 years played annual Christmas recitals to capacity audiences at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall. Higgs appears frequently at major national and international organ festivals. Recent engagements have included the International Organ Festivals of Calgary, Naples, Redlands, San Anselmo and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, as well as Summer Organ Academies of the Interlochen School for the Arts and Mt. Royal College-Conservatory in Calgary. In England, he has appeared several times at the Oundle International Festival, the St. Albans International Festival and the Cambridge Summer Festival. A native of New York City, Higgs earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Manhattan School of Music, and a Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. His teachers have included Claire Coci, Peter Hurford, Russell Saunders and Frederick Swann. A sought-after teacher himself, Higgs is a frequent lecturer and master-teacher for conferences, workshops and festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. He was appointed to the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music upon graduation from that institution and was later the Director of Church Music Studies at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. He was appointed to the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in 1992, and since that time his students have won major competitions and hold many of the top positions in the United States. Higgs has recorded for Delos International, Pro Organo and Gothic Records.

    LISA VROMAN starred as Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, in a record-setting run in San Francisco and most recently at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. She sang the role of Laurey in Oklahoma for the BBC PROMS festival 2002, and was seen as Johanna in Stephen Sondheim's Emmy award-winning PBS special Sweeney Todd in concert with the San Francisco Symphony, George Hearn and Patti LuPone. Vroman's Broadway debut was in Aspects of Love, and she was the first to play Fantine and Cosette in Les Miserables. Her numerous roles include Laurie in Aaron Copland's The Tender Land with conductor Marin Alsop, Josephine in HMS Pinafore with Utah Opera, Eliza in My Fair Lady, Maria in West Side Story and Guinevere in Camelot. Vroman has been a frequent guest artist with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony as well as symphony orchestras including Chicago, National, Vancouver, Dallas, Detroit, Portland, Phoenix, Utah and Orange County's Pacific Symphony. She has sung for Queen Elizabeth, former President Clinton and former Vice President Gore on separate occasions, and her first solo CD Broadway Classic features 47 of San Francisco's finest symphonic players. Highlights of the 2007/08 season include performing with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, the New York Festival of Song (March '08) in two new comic opera commissions by composers William Bolcom and John Musto, and starring in Kiss Me Kate at Glimmerglass Opera July/Aug 2008.

    JAMES WILT joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in March 2003 as associate principal trumpet. Prior to this, Wilt spent 14 years as the associate principal trumpet of the Houston Symphony. Wilt has also held positions with New York Philharmonic, the Denver Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and Dayton Philharmonic. Wilt has recorded with all of these orchestras and with the Eastman Philharmonia and Wind Ensemble. Although primarily an orchestral musician, Wilt has performed a wide range of solo and chamber music, including three solo appearances with the Houston Symphony and appearances on the New York Philharmonic's chamber music series. Since joining the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he has performed regularly as part of the Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series. Wilt was most recently featured with the Philharmonic in June of 2004, playing the solo trumpet part of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1. He has also performed with Da Camera and the Greenbriar Consortium and has participated in the Grand Teton and Colorado music festivals. In 1999 and 2002, Wilt traveled to Japan to perform as principal trumpet of the Super World Orchestra at the Tokyo Music Festival as part of an orchestra of musicians selected from around the world. Wilt graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Eugene Blee. His graduate work was done at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Charles Geyer. He has taught at the University of Northern Colorado and at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2007, AT 8PM
    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles

    Holiday Organ Spectacular

    DAVID HIGGS, organ
    LISA VROMAN, soprano
    JAMES WILT, trumpet

    Tickets ($23-$69) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at LAPhil.com, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full-time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. Tickets make great gifts! For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422, acrane@laphil.org; Lisa White, 213.972.3408, lwhite@laphil.org; Leah Price, 213972.3406, lprice@laphil.org; For photos: 213.972.3034