Billings Arts

Celebrate the Holidays with Holiday Pops, featuring Coloratura Pops Soprano Diane Penning

The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale celebrates the holiday season with our annual Holiday Pops concert featuring Coloratura Pops Soprano Diane Penning, Saturday, December 15 at the Alberta Bair Theater. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and Concert Cues, an interactive pre-concert discussion with Tom Singer, begins at 6:45 p.m. Celebrate the season with Santa and the Billings Symphony.

Diane Penning’s Coloratura Pops Soprano voice, is described as having “clear, free flying and of exciting timbre” “thrilling…exquisite…with gorgeous top notes.”

Equally at home in classical repertoire and pops, Diane has performed with over thirty orchestras around the country in programs of each genre.

 "I have had the pleasure of performing with Anne (Harrigan) on a number of occasions with the Battle Creek Symphony in Michigan and the Lafayette Symphony in Indiana. This will be my first appearance with the Billings Symphony and I'm very excited to perform with them!
Holiday orchestra concerts evoke a real sense of community, and each time I join an orchestra for a program like this, I feel like I'm grafted into another wonderful family. The Holiday favorites that we perform connect us with memories of loved ones and with each other like only music can. I tend to be an eclectic singer--crossing over from classical to pops-- so Holiday concerts are right up my alley and really fun for me.  In our house growing up, the excitement of anticipating Christmas was made palpable by two things. The arrival of the Sears and Roebuck catalog and playing Holiday records like the Firestone Tires Longines Symphony recordings and so many others... Nat King Cole, Barbara Streisand, Julie Andrews...I'll be singing "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" which I fell in love with listening to Andy William's Christmas Album. I think I gained an appreciation for all kinds of music--classical and popular-- listening to these records as a little girl.
Vocal selections include classic holiday favorites like "I wonder as I wander", "O Holy Night", and Bach-Gounod's "Ave Maria" along with the ever popular "Let it Snow" and others. I hope that hearing these Holiday favorites will be like the excitement of opening a whole bunch of wonderful presents. I am so looking forward to joining Anne again and singing with the Billings Symphony!" – Diane Penning

Her musical theatre credits include Cunegonde in Candide, Marian in The Music Man, Amalia in She Loves Me, and Maria in the concert version of West Side Story as well as “the grouch” in Robert Kapilow’s Green Eggs & Ham. Diane’s work in oratorio includes David Fanshaw’s African Sanctus, Bach’s Bm Mass and Christmas Oratorio; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mass in C minor; Fauré’s Requiem; Handel’s Messiah; Haydn’s Creation, Harmonie Messe and Lord Nelson Mass; Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass; Orff’s Carmina Burana; Poulenc’s Gloria; Rutter’s Magnificat and Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, with such organizations as the Apollo Chorus in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the Kalamazoo Bach Festival. Her opera roles include Adele in Die Fledermaus, Frasquita in Carmen, Musetta in La Bohéme, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Pamina, Papagena and Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute.
Along with the performance of Holiday Pops on Saturday, December 15 at the Alberta Bair Theater, Diane Penning and the Billings Symphony Orchestra will perform for our southside neighbors at Riverside Middle School on Friday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m. This is a full orchestra performance and is free to the public.

Holiday Pops featuring Diane Penning is proudly sponsored by our Energy Night Sponsors: Cloud Peak Energy, Spence Accounts, CHS, Holiday Station Stores, Hohn Engineering, Sands Oil Company/Bill & Liz Fulton, Signal Peak Energy, Ballard Petroleum Holdings, Conoco Phillips, KGH Operating/Tom & Kim Hauptman. Our guest artist is sponsored by: Dona & Paul Hagen. The 2018-2019 media sponsor for the Symphony is KTVQ-2. The season host hotel is The Northern Hotel. The 2018-2019 season is proudly sponsored by The Oakland Companies.

For more information about Holiday Pops:
For more information about Diane Penning:

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