A Tale of Christmas Past – Bob Lauver

It has been quite a while since my last post, many things have
transpired.  The tour happened and was covered wonderfully by Stephanie
and Chuck, last week we were treated to an incredible Mozart concerto
played by our principal clarinetist Mike Rusinek along with a rousing
Beethoven 4th Symphony conducted by Peter Oundjian.

This week begins our annual foray into the holiday season with our
first Holiday Pops concert tonight.  As you might imagine, lots of
traditional Christmas melodies, The Mendelssohn Choir, and the best
Santa Claus in the business. 

This Santa has got to be the real one, any fake Santa who has been
put through what the PSO has put this guy through wouldn’t be coming
back year after year.  Sometimes when we are in the groove of the
festive holiday season there’s a thirst for some inside humor and
frankly, we can’t hear the terrific banter that Santa always has with
our audience from our position toward the back of the stage.  Several
years ago the pops program involved a skit where Santa sat in his big
chair at the front of the stage and listened to a group of kids tell
him their Christmas wishes.  Before one particular perfomance, an
unnamed musician placed a whoopie cushion on Santa’s throne. Santa sat
down and without missing a beat said (with his trademark glee), "I
think some little boys and girls behind me are going to be getting COAL
this year…..HO, HO, HO!"

Oftentimes after the rehearsals of the Holiday Pops concerts and
before the concerts themselves, there is a revised program posted by
the elevator on the way up to the locker rooms.  It’s the time when we
find out exactly what pieces will be played and in which order for the
night. Sometimes there is other pertinent information like an alert
about Steelers traffic, or another event which might affect our arrival
time at Heinz Hall.  The year following this famed spontaneous moment,
there was a never before seen bulletin next to the elevator door:


hee hee hee!!!

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