Press Room

Tony Award Nominee Megan Hilty and the Houston Symphony Chorus Join the Orchestra for Very Merry Pops Extravaganza

HOUSTON (Nov. 15, 2017) – Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke and the Houston Symphony welcome back Tony Award nominated actress and singer, Megan Hilty, this holiday season for the annual Very Merry Pops extravaganza at Jones Hall Dec. 1-2, 8 p.m. and Dec. 3, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Best known for her role as Ivy Lynn in NBC’s hit series Smash, Hilty will perform beloved holiday classics, including special arrangements from her new holiday album, A Merry Little Christmas. Hilty made her Broadway debut as Glinda in Wicked and has earned nominations for a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award.

Reineke will lead the orchestra and the Houston Symphony Chorus in this special program that is being built as a commissioned project in conjunction with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. This will be Reineke’s first Very Merry Pops concert as Principal POPS conductor of the BBVA Compass POPS Series.

The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

Due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey on Jones Hall, the Theater District Parking Garage is closed until further notice. For a list of nearby alternatives, visit https://www.houstonsymphony.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Directions-Parking/jones

VERY MERRY POPS
Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Steven Reineke, conductor
Megan Hilty, vocalist
Houston Symphony Chorus
    Betsy Cook Weber, director

About Steven Reineke
Steven Reineke has established himself as one of North America’s leading conductors of popular music. In addition to being Principal POPS Conductor at the Houston Symphony, Steven is the music director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the posts of principal pops conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto Symphony Orchestras and associate conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Steven is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Seattle, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Ottawa (National Arts Centre), Detroit, Milwaukee and Calgary.

On stage, Steven has created programs and collaborated with a range of leading artists from the worlds of hip hop, Broadway, television and rock, including Common, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, Wayne Brady, Peter Frampton and Ben Folds, among others. In 2017, he was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered leading the National Symphony Orchestra—in a first for the show’s 45-year history—performing live music excerpts between news segments.

As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Steven’s work has been performed worldwide and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America, including performances by the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic. His Sun Valley Festival Fanfare was used to commemorate the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s pavilion, and his Festival Te Deum and Swan’s Island Sojourn were debuted by the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops Orchestras. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands worldwide.

A native of Ohio, Steven is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned Bachelor of Music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband, Eric Gabbard.

About Megan Hilty
Megan Hilty is most recognizable for her portrayal of seasoned triple-threat Ivy Lynn in NBC’s musical drama Smash. She followed up the series with a starring role on the comedy Sean Saves the World. Last spring, Hilty received critical acclaim for her role of Brooke Ashton in the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of Noises Off. She earned nominations for a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award and won a Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite Featured Actress in a Play. Her television credits include guest-starring roles in Melissa & Joey, Bones, The Closer, Desperate Housewives, CSI, Shark, Ugly Betty, Eli Stone and The Suite Life of Zach & Cody. Hilty regularly performs with orchestras and symphonies across the country and her solo show—including her sold-out Carnegie Hall debut—has received critical acclaim. She recently released an album of songs from her recent concert tour entitled Megan Hilty Live at the Café Carlyle and a Christmas album entitled A Merry Little Christmas with Megan Hilty. A native of Seattle, Hilty moved to New York City after graduating from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, and quickly made her Broadway debut as Glinda in Wicked. She went on to perform the role in both the national tour and in Los Angeles.

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560, vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org
Mireya Reyna: (713) 337-8557, mireya.reyna@houstonsymphony.org

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