New Year’s With the Pops

Champagne and Strauss’ Champagne-PolkaFugue for Tinhorn from Guys and Dolls and party horns from the audience.  Popping balloons at midnight and a night with the Cleveland Pops.  All part of New Year’s Eve at Severance Hall.

While the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Severance Hall aren’t hidden gems, their accolades well known throughout the city, the New Year’s Eve concert can feel like an underrated event.  The event, in its 16th year, provides a unique alternative to sitting at home watching Dick Clark.

The lights went down as the first notes and drum beats of Also sprach Zarathustra, better known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, echoed through the hall.  When the music reached its crescendo, the big 2012 sign hanging over the stage lit up, and set the tone for the night.

This year, The Three Phantoms–Gary Mauer, Craig Schulman, and Ciaran Sheehan–accompanied the Pops in performing songs from Guys and Dolls, Sweeney Todd, Kiss Me Kate, and, of course, Phantom of the Opera.

And Maestro Carl Topilow made sure we in the audience got involved too.  Party horns, provided to everybody, honked along with the brass and winds on Feuerfest Polka.

After the concert, the building opened up for people to roam and chat and snack on cookies and brownies.  A funk band played in the lower foyer and a sextet from the Pops, including Topilow, played in the grand foyer.

At midnight, balloons dropped in the grand foyer as Auld Lang Syne played and hundreds of horns honked in a new year.

Here’s to a safe 2012 for everybody!

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