Morgan James Joins Princeton Symphony Orchestra for Holiday POPS!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 

Pictured Above: Vocalist Morgan James. Photo Credit: Contributed.

Newsroom Post: PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY

 

Princeton, NJ – Enjoy joyful melodies of the season with vocalist Morgan James and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) at the orchestra’s popular December 16 Holiday POPS! concert. The singer lends her soulful voice to holiday favorites, while the Princeton High School Choir carries the traditional carol sing-along, bolstering the audience as they join in. Tickets for Holiday POPS! with Morgan James range from $20-$95; Youths 5-17 receive a 50% discount with an adult purchase. Visit the Princeton Symphony Orchestra website at princetonsymphony.org or call 609-497-0020.

The program includes Steve Allen’s “Cool Yule,” Mariah Carey’s version of “All I Want for Christmas” plus jazz-infused versions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Of course, no Holiday POPS! concert would be complete without Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival and Sleigh Ride! No stranger to the PSO stage, John Devlin returns to Princeton from West Virginia’s Wheeling Symphony Orchestra to conduct both performances at Richardson Auditorium at 3pm and 6pm on December 16.

Pictured Above: PHS Choir and the PSO Holiday Pops! from last year’s concert. Photo Credit: Carolo Pascale. 

Devlin says, “I love returning to one of my favorite musical homes with the PSO, and I know how much our audience loves great Broadway stars! Having worked with Morgan James previously, I know that she
is the perfect fit for this great holiday tradition, blending classic holiday selections with some new
versions that capture the greatness of American music. We can’t wait to celebrate the season with
everyone together, and to share the magic of live music!”

Conductor John Gennaro Devlin is an ardent champion of American music, an innovator of concert
design, and a thought leader in the field of classical music. In his fourth season as Music Director of
the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Devlin is only the ninth conductor in its 90-year history to hold that
title. He was recently named a recipient of the 2023 Georg Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award.
Devlin’s artistry and versatility make him a sought-after guest conductor with major orchestras across
the nation. His engagements include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville
Orchestra, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, the
Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the American Repertory Ballet.

Morgan James grew up listening to everyone from Joni Mitchell to Paul Simon to Prince to Aretha Franklin, cultivating an insatiable love for strong songwriters. After graduating from The Juilliard School with a classical music degree, and performing in the original companies of five Broadway productions, James began writing and recording her own music. Meeting her mentor Berry Gordy, Jr. led to a record deal at Epic Records, where she recorded and released her solo album Hunter in 2014. In addition to her five studio albums, James recorded and released a full album cover of Joni Mitchell’s seminal Blue as well as The Beatles’ White Album to celebrate the 50th anniversary. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Morgan and her husband, Doug Wamble, released two volumes of her fan favorite Quarantunes. Morgan’s music is available on all streaming platforms. Over the last several years, James has established herself as a touring powerhouse, playing with her own band and symphony orchestras all over the world.

The Princeton High School Choir has an unusually rich tradition of choral excellence that is unique among American high schools. The choir has performed extensively in North America and Europe, touring as representatives of Princeton, New Jersey, one of America’s most distinguished communities. One of five performing ensembles, the 85 members of the choir are selected after careful audition of nearly 250 voices in the high school’s choral program.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community and one of New Jersey’s finest music organizations, a position established through performances of beloved masterworks, innovative music by living composers, and an extensive network of educational programs offered to area students free of charge. Led by Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov, the PSO presents orchestral, pops, and chamber music programs of the highest artistic quality, supported by lectures and related events that supplement the concert experience. Its flagship summer program the Princeton Festival brings an array of performing arts and artists to Princeton during multiple weeks in June. Through PSO BRAVO!, the orchestra produces wide-reaching and impactful education programs in partnership with local schools and arts organizations that culminate in students attending a live orchestral performance. The PSO receives considerable support from the Princeton community and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, regularly garnering NJSCA’s highest honor. Recognition of engaging residencies and concerts has come from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the PSO’s commitment to new music has been acknowledged with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and a Copland Fund Award. The only independent, professional orchestra to make its home in Princeton, the PSO performs at historic Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.

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