Pops,Spaulding Choir Brighten Holidays

By Seth Daniel

Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart (right) and Vocalist Amanda Carr (left) give a big surprise to Old Santa Claus on Monday afternoon, Dec. 18, during the 7th Annual Boston Pops concert at Spaulding Rehab in Charlestown.

There’s no question that the Boston Pops is anchored at Symphony Hall in the winter, but there’s also no question they don’t mind pulling up anchor once in a while to travel to Charlestown.

For the 7th year in a row, the Boston Pops brought their holiday show to the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown – having become a close friend and ally of the facility – on Monday afternoon, Dec. 18.

With hundreds of patients and staff taking a break from working on their health recoveries and treatments, young and old gathered in the large gym at Spaulding – overlooking downtown Boston – and took some respite from what are certainly all challenging situations.

Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart said they have enjoyed coming to the Spaulding every year. This time around, they brought nearly 20 musicians and joined the volunteer choir from Spaulding – known as the Spaulding Tabernacle Choir, which is made up of staff, former patients and administrators.

“You can tell this music has a profound effect on people, especially people who are not home for the holidays and facing challenging times,” said Lockhart on Monday just before leading a rousing, jazzy version of ‘Sleigh Ride.’ “I’m not saying anything new, but music – and this music – has the ability to make those times just a bit better. You see people react to that in a lot of ways. Some get right into it tapping their feet and singing along and others sit and just have a big smile.”

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