Bruce Denton, owner of the Senate Building, watches as people flood the building business’s during Gallery Walk on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Bruce Denton, owner of the Senate Building, watches as people flood the building business’s during Gallery Walk on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Get into the holiday spirit with Holiday Pops

Songs in annual concert range from solemn to silly

Pop into Egan Library or the Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Saturday or Sunday for holiday tunes.

The annual Holiday Pops concerts will be at the University of Alaska Southeast’s library at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 and at the JACC at 4 p.m., Sunday Dec. 16. The doors open a half hour before the show, and a brass quartet will play as audience members take their seats.

“You don’t want to miss the brass,” said Sally Smith, who has directed Holiday Pops since it began over a decade ago. “People get to enter the hall to really fun brass. We open with the brass, and we finish with the brass fanfare.”

In between there will be about a dozen pieces of music ranging from the silly, like “Nuttin’ for Christmas” to more spiritual, solemn holiday songs and even a selection in Spanish.

On the sillier side, “Nuttin’ for Christmas” will be performed by Glacier Valley Elementary School second-grader Viviana Flores. Glacier Valley fourth-graders and fifth-graders will also serve as a chamber choir for some pieces, said Lorrie Heagy, music teacher for Glacier Valley.

Heagy will also be the accompanist on piano throughout this year’s concerts, and she said the songs the children will sing are among her favorite pieces in the concert.

“I think the two pieces we’re working on about peace are my favorite, we sure could use that,” Heagy.

In past years Heagy has split piano accompaniment duties with Laurie Clough, who is still assisting with preparations but will not be available for the performances.

The disparate tone of musical selections is deliberate.

“This is a pop culture concert,” Smith said. “There is going to be a variety of styles and pieces. It’s going to have a hometown feel. It’s just your friends and neighbors, it’s not an organized group that performs the rest of the year.”

That everyone’s welcome mentality means there will be 75 voices in this year’s pops concert.

Tickets to the show are kept relatively cheap at $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for children and UAS students.

“This is designed as a gift to the community,” Smith said.

That sense of community is the reason Heagy said she’s stayed involved with the annual show. Both Heagy and Smith also cited the production team as part of why they love the show, too.

“I love the music,” Heagy said. “It gets you into the spirit of the holidays and the fact that it’s a gift by the community for the community. I think we have about 50-60 members and no audition process. Everyone who wants to sing is welcome. It reminds me of what Juneau is all about. We make things happen here because of the second lives everyone has. By day, we have a 9-5 job, but by night we’re doing something to contribute to the fabric of this amazing community, and Holiday Pops is an example of that.”

Know & Go

What: The annual Holiday Pops concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Doors open 30 minutes before shows.

Where: University of Alaska Southeast’s Egan Library Saturday and Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Sunday.

Admission: $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for children and University of Alaska Southeast students. Tickets can be purchased at the JACC, Centennial Hall, Hearthside Books and online through and by callng (907)586-2787.

• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or

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