PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philly Pops annual Christmas concert is a holiday tradition and it will go on this year in a virtual way that is a gift to the city.
Karen Rogers has more in this week's 6abc Loves the Arts.
The Philly Pops is taking its annual holiday extravaganza online this year, and as a bonus, it's making it a free show.
"We want to inspire our audience," says David Charles Abell, Music Directorand Principal Conductor.
With festive songs to bring a much-needed dose of holiday cheer this season.
"It's a traditional Christmas concert, but it's also designed specifically for what's happening this year and what people have gone through," Abell says.
Abell is conducting the show for the fifth time. The concert also features Broadway-star Mandy Gonzalez.
She's singing a song from Frozen 2: "Into the Unknown". Now if that's not a song that describes this year. What is," Abell says.
"The audience loves her so much, she's a great entertainer."
Other special guests include pianist Charlie Albrightand trumpeter Terell Stafford. Stafford is the artistic director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. He will play Amazing Grace.
"It is a song that has special meaning for him," Abell says. "I'll tell that story at the concert too."
Around 300 singers from different choirs will all come together virtually for a performance that is sure to be unique and entertaining.
"Making music during the pandemic is a huge challenge," Abell says. "We have audio engineers, and video engineers doing amazing things.
The highlight of the night is Santa Claus, who will read a story for both kids and adults.
"It sounds like a movie of "The night before Christmas" and the orchestra is playing," Abell says. "You hear the sleigh; you hear Santa coming down the chimney. It's such a wonderful illustration.
A Philly POPS Christmas Gift: Spectacular Sounds of the Season | Tickets
Dec. 18-Jan. 1
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Kimmel Center Box Office)
300 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102
Philly POPS playing free virtual Christmas show through New Year
6ABC LOVES THE ARTS