Cape Ann Symphony Returns


Cape Ann Symphony Returns For Its 70th Season With Holiday Performances In Manchester And Ipswich

After a nearly two-year hiatus, the Cape Ann Symphony will return with two concerts locally to kick off its 70th season and the Annual Holiday Pops Concert, 2 p.m. Saturday, November 27 at the Dolan Performing Arts Center at Ipswich High School and 2 p.m. Saturday, November 28 at Manchester-Essex High School auditorium.

The 2021 Holiday Pops Concert led by CAS Conductor and music director Yoichi Udagawa features the return of the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the direction of Rockport’s Wendy Betts.  

"This is a milestone year for CAS, our 70th anniversary of making music on Cape Ann,” said Cape Ann Symphony Board President Fran White.  “We stayed strong during the pandemic due to the diligence and Herculean efforts.  We are back and ready to make music for you for the next 70 years!"

"The musicians of the Cape Ann Symphony and I are very excited to be back to performing live with a full orchestra for our amazing audiences starting with the Holiday Pops,” said Udagawa.  “The wonderful singers of the Cape Ann Symphony Chorus under the fabulous direction of Wendy Betts will be featured in the concert, and it will be a joyous celebration of the Holiday Season."

The 2021 Holiday Pops program includes Tchaikovsky's Selections from The Nutcracker; Anderson's Christmas Festival, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel Prelude, Hayman's Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Davis/Hayes' Little Drummer Boy, John Rutter's Joy To The World and Candlelight Carol, Mark Hayes' Believe from the hit film Polar Express, John Leavitt's Bashana Haba'ah, and Holcomb's Festive Sounds of Hanukkah.

The Cape Ann Symphony Chorus is a chorale with over 75 voices from the North Shore area. The group performed with the CAS at Holiday Pops Concerts from 2005 to 2019.  Founded in Gloucester in 1951, the Cape Ann Symphony is a professional orchestra of over 70 players from throughout the New England area.  They perform a subscription season of four concerts per year plus several Pops and youth concerts.  The Symphony Board of Directors named Yoichi Udagawa the Music Director and Conductor of the Cape Ann Symphony in the summer of 2000 after a yearlong search. In addition to his leadership of Cape Ann Symphony, he is Music Director and Conductor of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, and the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and a cover conductor at the Boston Pops Orchestra. Frequently invited to guest conduct, Udagawa has worked with many different orchestras including the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Nobeoka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and many others.  

Udagawa is at home in popular and contemporary music as well as the standard symphonic repertoire.  He is known for his relaxed manner and ability to speak from the podium which has helped new audiences as well as enthusiasts gain a greater appreciation for symphonic music.  His programs often include premieres of new works – some specially commissioned for the orchestra — as well as great orchestral works across the symphonic repertoire and lively Pops programs. He is also an integral part of the Cape Ann Symphony Youth Outreach programs to area schools.

Tickets are available now for the Cape Ann Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert.  Single tickets are $45 for adults, $40 for senior citizens, $20 students with a valid ID; $5 for youth 12 years old and under.  Info at

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