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Gerald Carpenter: Symphony to Ring in New Year with a ‘Pop’

Its 20th New Year’s Eve Pops Concert will get rockin' at 8:30 p.m. Friday in The Granada

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 20th New Year’s Eve Pops Concert, from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday in The Granada, will for the fifth time feature the popular and entertaining conductor Richard Kaufman, who will treat the festive crowd to Oscar- and Emmy-winning tunes from motion pictures and television.

Richard Kaufman will conduct the Santa Barbara Symphony's New Year’s Eve Pops concert for his fifth time.
Richard Kaufman will conduct the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops concert for his fifth time.

Kaufman’s daughter, vocalist Whitney Claire Kaufman, will join her father on stage to perform “The Trolley Song” from Meet Me in St. Louis, “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio, “The Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas and other favorites.

Speaking as one who attended the first of these concerts, under the baton of the late Maestro Varujan Kojian — as well as most of them since — I can vouch for the ineffable charm and good feeling of these events.

You arrive at the hall before you have had time to do serious damage to your liver, and you depart in time to get to some other, much more frenetic venue, where you’re free to make a total fool of yourself among others doing the same — or, in time to get home and be safely tucked into bed, watching the clock strike midnight on television.

While the concert lasts about two hours, you have little to do but loll about comfortably in your seat, listening to the “sounds and sweet airs/That give delight and hurt not,” basking in the warm spirit of fellowship reigning in the hall, thinking good thoughts about the people around you, and maybe adding your voice to “Auld Lang Syne” as the balloons descend.

You might even start thinking that 2011 might not be so bad after all.

Tickets to the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops Concert range from $35 to $100 and are available at The Granada box office, 1214 State St. or 805.899.2222, or click here to order online.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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