Holiday POPS!


UMW-CSO Holiday Pops 07 Ghosts of Christmas Past


Holiday POPS 2009

Classics rock and rock gets classical at Christmas Then & Now

Dec. 3 and 4, 2009

Don’t miss the children’s Fiddlestix Instrument Petting Zoo before Dec. 3

FREDERICKSBURG, Va., Nov. 4, 2009 – This holiday season, rock around the Christmas tree with a special concert featuring the up-tempo music of Mannheim Steamroller performed by the University of Mary Washington-Community Symphony Orchestra.

Holiday POPS: Christmas Then & Now will delight young and old with Mannheim Steamroller’s unique blend of modern rock arrangements and well-loved carols. The group’s popular Christmas album, now celebrating 25 years, has sold more than 9 million copies and become the best-selling Christmas album of the past quarter century.

This year, the theme of the UMW-Community Orchestra is mixing historic and newly discovered music. In October, more than 1,100 people filled Dodd Auditorium to hear a long-lost Haydn symphony being performed for the very first time in two centuries! In keeping with that theme, Holiday POPS: Christmas Then & Now will mix rock and roll on electric bass, guitar, drums, and keyboard with the classic sounds of the season.

Demand is so great for the UMW-CSO Holiday POPS that the ensemble has added a second holiday performance this year. Audiences may enjoy the Holiday POPS both Thursday, Dec. 3 and Friday, Dec. 4 at Dodd Auditorium in University of Mary Washington’s George Washington Hall.

Director Kevin Bartram is thrilled with the community’s enthusiasm for the free holiday shows. “Holiday POPS has become one of the most popular events of the season in Fredericksburg,” he said. “It’s great Christmas music for the whole family, and since there is no charge, it’s easy for all ages to be part of the fun.”

UMW-CSO even has a special event for youngsters. The annual Fiddlestix Instrument Petting Zoo –Have a Fling With a String! Get to Know an Oboe!” happens Thursday, Dec. 3 in Dodd Auditorium, just before Holiday Pops. From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., musicians will meet personally with youngsters who want to get close and try the instruments. And there is no admission fee, so the whole family can attend.

 “More than ever before, classical music programs are attracting a new generation, including young professionals and college students,” Bartram said. “This concert is sure to appeal to a wide variety of ages.”

For additional information or to receive the orchestra’s season brochure, visit, or call 540/654-1024. Join the Friends of the Orchestra for special rates on celebrity concerts, reserved seating, and parking. 

Businesses wishing to advertise in concert programs should contact Michael Morley at 540/654-1024 or


Holiday POPS 2007

Ghosts of Christmas Past


Holiday Pops program cover of a lsmall child opening the secret box


In this room where shadows live
And ghosts that failed learn time forgives
Welcome friends, please stay awhile
Our story starts with one small child
Who spends this night in an attic dark
Where dreams are stored like sleeping hearts…

  • Paul O’Neill from The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, available online at

Message from the Music Director

The Holiday POPS 2007 “Ghosts of Christmas Past” is an original production loosely based on Paul O’Neill’s (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) story of a young runaway who finds herself in an abandoned theater on Christmas Eve. In O’Neill’s version, the caretaker of the theater pities the girl in her distress and decides to awaken a ghostly orchestra to revive her faith in Christmas.

Our runaway, however, enters the attic of the Fredericksburg Area Museum on a wintry Christmas Eve to find shelter. In distress over her personal problems, she stumbles in the dark over artifacts until she finds an old trunk. She is led to open the trunk by the unseen spirit of the caretaker, Revolutionary War hero and Fredericksburg native Brigadier General George Weedon.  Weedon, who in reality never had children of his own, decides to create a magical evening for the child. He wants her to grasp that a hero is someone who overcomes great odds. With courage and conviction, anything is possible, even for her.

The girl is asked to pull out documents one by one from the trunk, which, as it turns out, are all faded letters from Fredericksburg icons. Weedon has her read each artifact, and then he summons the original author, who, with the help of the orchestra, brings to life the message of hope. It is only with the surprise appearance of the final ghost, however, that we finally understand her grief, and can, along with our heroine, find peace.

Great care has been taken to be historically accurate with regard to the letters. All documents are authentic correspondences, although a few artistic liberties were taken in some cases. Letters borrowed courtesy the James Monroe museum, George Washington’s Fredericksburg Foundation, and the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop. Other sources include the Journal of Jane Howison Beale, the autobiography of James Farmer- Lay Bare the Heart: The Civil Rights Movement, and Duty Honor, or Country: General George Weedon and The American Revolution, by Harry W. Ward, courtesy of Charles McDaniel. 

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Show by: Kevin Bartram

Text: Paul O’Neill, Kevin Bartram

Lighting & Stage Design: Douglas Noble & Dodd Auditorium staff

Cast of Characters (in order of appearance)

Runaway-Christa Sorrentino

General George Weedon-Skip Nolan

Mary Ball Washington-Diane Nolan

Col. Fielding Lewis-Bob Bailey

James Monroe-Jay Harrison

Hugh Mercer-himself

Jane Howison Beale-Helen Marler

Civil War soldier-Bill Buser

James Farmer-Xavier Richardson

Final Ghost-Kevin Perry


Scene 1: The Caretaker

[Brigadier General George Weedon (17834-1793) was one of the most colorful figures of the Revolutionary War. Weedon was largely responsible for the security of Northern Virginia in the war, and it was his command at Yorktown that prevented Cornwallis from escaping across the York River, sealing the fate of the British. a Fredericskurg native and eventually mayor, he owned and operated the most popular tavern in town. Weedon was also the brother-in-law of Hugh Mercer, and his home, called The Sentry Box, still stands.

The First Noel…………………………….Traditional
Wesley Hockaday, Piano

Christmas Rocks at the Pops…………….Traditional, arr. Ralph Ford

Scene 2: Mary Ball Washington at her Meditation Rock

[Mary Washington’s favorite retreat for reading the Bible and quiet religious thought. Situated under the sh
ade of a beautiful grove of oak trees just back of her monument, across from Kenmore. Mary Washington’s scene was taken directly from her very own meditation book, courtesy of Mary Washington House. This passage was marked by Mary Ball in the inside jacket as her favorite, and she also placed a star around this quote.]

Stille Nacht…………………………………………….Franz Gruber, arr. Chip Davis & Calvin Custer
Emily Forsyth-Queen, cello

Scene 3: Col. Fielding Lewis at Kenmore

[Col. Fielding Lewis was married to George Washington’s sister Betty. Fielding moved to Fredericksburg as a young man, in 1746, to learn the business of running his father’s store, which he inherited in 1754 upon his father’s death. As a planter and importer/exporter, Fielding became wealthy in his own right. He started construction of the new Lewis mansion (which would only be named Kenmore many years later) in 1769 and the family moved into the house in the fall of 1775. While not a participant in the Revolutionary War, he helped finance the war effort by loaning large sums of money to the state. His patriotic zeal, however, ruined him financially, as this letter attests.]

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing………………..Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, arr. Ricketts

Scene 4: Lt. James Monroe, December, 1776

[In his first offensive success of the Revolutionary War, Washington’s Continental Army boarded boats and crossed the icy Delaware river on Dec. 26, 1776. It is not true, as many people believe, that the Hessians were too drunk from celebrating Christmas to fight. They were, however, exhausted from being on round-the-clock alert for several days. With the aid of bad weather, the Americans completely surprised the Hessians. Facing superior American artillery, the German commandant and his lieutenant were both mortally wounded. Lt. James Monroe, later to be president of the United States, was wounded in a heroic attack on the Hessian guns. The Hessians eventually surrendered.]

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen……………..Traditional, arr. Larson & Adams

Scene 5: General Hugh Mercer, 1777

[During the night and into the early hours of January 3, Washington ordered a surprise evacuation of Trenton and headed north toward Princeton. As an aide to Washington, it was Fredericksburg native Brigadier General Hugh Mercer  who suggested the earlier Christmas crossing of  the Delaware. At daybreak, British troops encountered American forces under Mercer. With any hope of surprise dashed, Mercer’s soldiers sought refuge in a nearby orchard but were pursued by the British. Mercer was surrounded and bayoneted seven times, mortally wounded. However, Washington, who was with the main force advancing on Princeton, heard the exchanges and rode to the battle, securing an American victory.]

Christmas Day in ’76……………………………. George Weedon

President Monroe’s Waltz……………………..arranged by Nikos Pappas

Carol of the Bells…………………………………..Leontovich-Wilhousky, arr. Hayman



Scene 6: Jane Howison Beale, Fredericksburg April 1862

[Jane Beale, widowed in 1850 at the age of 19, began writing her famous journal for self-therapy. Her detailed accounts of the Civil War, and the Battle of Fredericksburg in particular, are some of the most treasured narratives of the 19th century.]

Ashokan Farewell………………………………..Jay Ungar
Megan Bevill, violin

Angels Sing Glory!………………………………..Vivaldi, Handel, arr. Shackley
Colonial Forge High School Madrigals

Scene 7: Union Soldier, the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 1862

[The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought on December 13, 1862, in miserable weather conditions. The Union army, under Gen. Ambrose Burnside, threw themselves at Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Marye’s Heights and Prospect Hill. Many of the Union wounded were left overnight to die of exposure on the frozen battlefield.]

The Snow at Fredericksburg………………… Anonymous

Away in a Manger………………………………….Murray & Kirkpatrick, arr. Hogan

Away in a Manger………………………………….Murray & Kirkpatrick, arr. Kirkland
Colonial Forge High School Madrigals

Scene 8: James Farmer, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1946

[Dr. James Farmer retired from Mary Washington College as Distinguished College Professor of History and American Studies in 1998. Farmer was a Civil Rights leader, who in 1942 established The Congress Racial Equality (CORE ). He served as the National Director of CORE from 1961 to 1966. Mr. Farmer served as assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Nixon administration. In 1987, Mr. Farmer was presented the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award, and in 1998, President Clinton presented Dr. Farmer the Presidential Medal of Freedom. On July 9, 1999, Dr. Farmer died peacefully at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia.]

Nutcracker Suite……………………………Tchaikovsky, Duke Ellington, arr. Strayhorn, adapted by Tyzik

  • Overture
    Jeremy Cooper, Alto Sax
  • Toot Toot Tootie Toot (Dance of the Reed Pipes)
  • Dance of the Floreadors (Waltz of the Flowers)
    Lindsay Cosgrove, Clarinet
    Teagan Snyder, Trumpet
    Douglas Haas, Trombone
  • Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy)
    Jeremy Cooper, Tenor Sax
    Ross Marshall, Drums
  • Peanut Brittle Brigade (March)
    Teagan Snyder, Trumpet
    Lindsay Cosgrove, Clarinet
    Jeremy Cooper, Alto Sax

Scene 9: Finale-The Final Ghost

O Holy Night……………………………………Adolphe Adam, arr. R.L. Smith
Kevin Perry, Tenor

White Christmas…………………………….. Irving Berlin, arr. Chase