Claire Fox Hillard conducts a past Peppermint Pops concert at Albany Municipal Auditorium. Hillard has been reinstated as the music director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
ALBANY, Ga. — In Southwest Georgia, few things ring in the holiday season like cooler temperatures and the Peppermint Pops.
Since 1992, the Albany Symphony Orchestra and, later, the Albany Chorale, have put on the area's signature Christmas and Hanukkah season performance event, inviting the community to join them in immersing themselves in the holiday spirit in a fun, family-friendly event.
This year's installment will be no different, symphony conductor Claire Fox Hillard says.
"As we begin our third decade of Peppermint Pops, I have invited some special guests to this year's concert. The world-renowned Boston Brass will join the orchestra for upbeat holiday favorites with a swinging flavor. The concert is wholesome, affordable entertainment for the entire family," Hillard wrote in an email to The Herald.
The Boston Brass, a group with a 26-year-long repertoire of blues, jazz and classical standards, will join the symphony and chorale Saturday to put this year's performance over the top.
There will be two showings Saturday at the Albany Municipal Auditorium — one at 2:30 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 to $10 and can be purchased online at albanysymphony.org or at the door.
In addition to all of the typical holiday favorites, concertgoers will likely hear singles from the Boston Brass' two Christmas albums, "Christmas Bells are Swingin' " and "The Stan Kenton Christmas Carols."
The symphony and chorale are slated to perform a variety of music as well including music from Anderson's "Christmas Festival," a Hanukkah medley and a multitude of holiday singalongs.
Tickets are available online at albanysymphony.org or at the door. Prices range from $5 to $10.
For the first time since 1994, the event won't be televised.
Pops sponsor WALB-TV won't air this year's event because station officials said notice given too late that the symphony would go ahead with the event.
WALB-TV General Manager Jim Wilcox said in an email to The Herald that the notice about the event wasn't given until the second week of November. "In past years, our staff had met months in advance with symphony representatives to plan the event. We hope to get a much earlier start next year," Wilcox wrote.
Jim Bullion, president of the Albany Symphony Association, said that the fact the Pops won't be televised is regrettable.
"We regret that the Pops will not be televised by WALB and regret any misunderstandings," Bullion said in an e-mail to The Herald.
Patrons who wish to attend this year's performance are asked to bring a canned food item which will be donated to a local charity.