Annual benefit a family feast

Holiday Pops the season at Strom

Dec 05, 2012
Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest Maine Pro Musica conductor Janna Hymes is making a set list and checking it twice for the annual Holiday Pops concert Saturday, Dec. 15.

Rockport — Friends and neighbors are invited to gather for the fourth annual Holiday Pops Concert Saturday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. in the Strom Auditorium of Camden Hills Regional High School, Route 90. The concert, which has become a treasured holiday tradition, is a benefit for United Mid-Coast Charities.

The Pops tradition was begun by and features the Maine Pro Musica Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of professional musicians who perform year-round throughout the state. Joining the MPM will be the chorus singer of Camden Hills Regional High School, directed by Kimberly Murphy; Midcoast soloists Erin Chenard, John Adams and Dagney Ernest; dancers from the Rockport Dance Conservatory; and, yes, Santa Claus.

“It is such a fun concert! It runs an hour 15 without intermission, which is great for families,” said Maine Pro Musica founder and musical director Janna Hymes of Rockport.

On this year’s program are orchestral favorites such as “Sleigh Ride,” a number of Christmas medleys with favorites both sacred and secular, choral numbers, solos, a tap dance special and an audience sing-along. The chorus will sing everything from “Hallelujah” from Handel’s “Messiah” to an a cappella calypso carol. This year also will see the concert’s first Hanukkah number, “Candles and Dreidels,” which was a big hit for Hymes’ other orchestra, the Williamsburg Symphonia in Virginia.

“The concerts there are a much smaller deal that the one at the Strom, but the music really speaks for itself,” said Hymes, who said if she had the funding, she would make the Midcoast Pops into an even bigger extravaganza.

“Wouldn’t it be great to have balloons come down from the ceiling at the end or something like that? The auditorium always looks so beautiful, thanks to Anna Remsen at Seasons Downeast — she’s so talented,” said Hymes.

Holiday Pops raises funds to support the life-improving work of 50 agencies that provide social services and care to people of all ages in Knox and Waldo counties including medical, physical, social, psychiatric or community educational services. Established in 1942, United Mid-Coast Charities is an all-volunteer organization, distributing 100 percent of every dollar raised.

Concert tickets are $35 and $20, depending on seating location; $10 or $8 for children. They are available at or by calling 236-2299. Tickets also are available at The Green Store in Belfast, HAV II in Camden and the Grasshopper Shop in Rockland. Snow date for this year’s concert is Wednesday, Dec. 19.

For more information about United Mid-Coast Charities, visit For more information about Maine Pro Musica or Hymes, visit — where Hymes’ recent interview with MPBN’s Suzanne Nance may be enjoyed — or

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or

Erin Chenard and John Adams will bring their vocal gifts to this year's Holiday Pops. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
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