New Christmas Show Airs on PBS

International Musician, November 2013 | Go to article overview

New Christmas Show Airs on PBS


Bob Christianson of Local 802 (New York City) is known for his themes and scoring behind TV series like Sex and the City and Gimme a Break, and anthems for ABC Sports, HBO, and ESPN. He's written jingles for more than 2,000 commercials and numerous film scores. He's conducted on Broadway and the Saturday Night Live band, and recorded with Aretha Franklin and Dianna Ross.

This December, his latest project, A Christmas Carol-The Concert will be broadcast on PBS as a 90-minute special. It's big, even by his standards-there's a symphony orchestra with a rock band at its core, a large chorus, vocalists who can act, and a narrator to present the story, which is a retelling of the classic tale.

"To me the orchestra is the epitome of ensemble, of what music can do. When you add a rhythm section it brings it up another notch. Add a choir even more. Lead singers. It's a huge sound. Orchestra concerts need to be events," concludes Christianson. "I wanted to create something that orchestras will enjoy playing, and that would bring in new audiences."

"It's sort of pop orchestral, quasi-classical, rock, R8cB, and film scoring," he says, trying to describe the diverse project. "To be sure it is very classically motivated. It's not a play, a film, or a musical, it's a hybrid-a dramatic concert And most importantly it makes you feel something. If you're going to bring a new audience in, you've got to impress them."

The show was first performed live in Baltimore last year and the audience's reaction was one of the reasons that Christianson decided the show should be brought to television. …

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