Album info



Label: Fanfare Cincinnati

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Artist: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra & John Morris Russell

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912), Franz Gruber (1826-1871), Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovich (1877-1921), Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847), Bernard de la Monnoye (1641-1728)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


Formats & Prices

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FLAC 96 $ 13.20
  • 1Christmas Overture (Live)05:49
  • 2Pat-a-Pan (Live)03:27
  • 3Silent Night (Live)04:41
  • 4Mis zeh Hidlik (Behold the Lights) (Live)04:05
  • 5Joy! (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring) (Live)02:42
  • 6A Christmas Scherzo (Live)03:42
  • 7Joy to the World (Live)02:49
  • 8Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Live)02:33
  • 9Blue Christmas (Live)05:46
  • 10The Bells of St. Michael (Live)03:32
  • Total Runtime39:06

Info for JOY!

The Cincinnati Pops announced the release of its newest recording, JOY!, led by Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell. JOY! will feature recordings of live performances from the Orchestra’s popular Holiday Pops programs, including a diverse and eclectic collection of favorite holiday classics in new arrangements. The latest release will include a new recording of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Christmas Overture,” which is complemented with creative new takes on traditional melodies like “Silent Night” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” folk tunes like “Mis zeh Hidlik” and “The Ukrainian Bell Carol,” as well as contemporary songs like “Blue Christmas” featuring singer and trombonist Aubrey Logan.

“We’ve put together an eclectic album of favorite carols and songs in snappy new arrangements that promises to liven up any gathering,” said Russell. “It’s what we love to do at the Pops—sharing the holiday spirit and bringing folks together through inspirational music, performed with virtuosity and panache. All of the music on this album was inspired by the hundreds of holiday recordings I’ve collected over the years. Though all of the tracks represent beloved traditional tunes, the arrangements are anything but traditional, and we can’t wait to share JOY! with everyone this holiday season.”

JOY! extends the Orchestra’s prolific recording legacy, which includes more than 200 commercial recordings that have sold over 10 million copies worldwide. It also adds to the Cincinnati Pops’ tradition of holiday recordings, which began with its 1990 album Christmas with the Pops led by Erich Kunzel. JOY! is the Pops’ fifth holiday album and the seventh Pops album led by Russell. In 2012, the Cincinnati Pops released Home for the Holidays, the first recording on the Orchestra’s own Fanfare Cincinnati label. In 2015, the Pops released American Originals, which received widespread acclaim for its reimagining of the Stephen Foster songbook, followed by the release of American Originals: 1918, which received a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Classical Compendium.” Other Pops albums with Russell include Superheroes! (2013), Carnival of the Animals (2014), and Voyage (2019).

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
John Morris Russell, conductor
Aubrey Logan, vocals, trombone

John Morris Russell
2012-2013 marks John Morris Russell’s sophomore season as the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, to which he has brought both creative artistry and boundless energy. Consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, he was recently named Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He completed his role as Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada at the end of the 11/12 season whereupon he was named that orchestra’s first Conductor Laureate.

With his position at the Pops, Mr. Russell leads performances at Cincinnati’s Music Hall and the Riverbend Music Center; additionally he conducts the orchestra in concerts throughout the Greater Cincinnati region as well as on tour—serving as a musical ambassador to help cultivate the reputation of the Cincinnati region as one of the world’s leading cultural centers. No stranger to Cincinnati audiences, for many seasons John Morris Russell served as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He was recognized for his innovative programming and commitment to attracting new and diverse audiences to orchestral music, creating the Classical Roots: Spiritual Heights series, which brought the music of African-American composers and performers to thousands of listeners in area churches, and was also the co-creator of the Christmas spectacular, Home for the Holidays.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Russell has worked with many of North America’s most distinguished ensembles, leading Canadian orchestras that include Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Kitchener-Waterloo and Orchestra London. In the US he has conducted the orchestras of Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, Louisville, Miami’s New World Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Colorado Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New York Pops, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival. Abroad he conducted at the famed Musikverein in Vienna in a concert that featured the Harlem Boychoir, the Vienna Choir Boys and the actor Gregory Peck. The performance continues to be televised throughout Europe, Japan and in the USA on PBS.

2011-2012 marked Mr. Russell’s eleventh and final season as Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. While at Windsor he fostered a decade of unprecedented artistic growth and invigorated the musical life of the Windsor-Essex region. Under John Morris Russell’s baton, the WSO made seventeen national broadcasts on CBC Radio 2; the most recent broadcast recording of Aurora Borealis by Jordon Nobles, was selected to represent Canada in June, 2010 in the 57th annual International Rostrum of Composers in Lisbon, Portugal. The WSO’s first nationally televised production was created with Mr. Russell for the CBC Television series Opening Night, and subsequently won the Gold Worldmedal for “Best Performance Program” at the New York Festivals Awards for Television and New Media, as well as a Gemini Award Nomination. In 2006 the Windsor Symphony Orchestra released Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf narrated by the internationally acclaimed actor, Colm Feore, and Last Minute Lulu, composed by WSO Composer-in-Residence, Brent Lee, with text by the Newbery Medal winning author, Christopher Paul Curtis. The recording won Mr. Russell and the WSO its first Juno nomination for Best Children’s Album in 2008. Mr. Russell helped nurture many new voices in Canadian music, conducting numerous Windsor premiers of important Canadian works and over 45 world premiers of commissioned compositions. He created the WSO’s first multi-year composer-in-residence position, and was deeply involved in the production of the annual Windsor Canadian Music Festival, described by CBC producer David Jaeger as, “one of the most exciting and innovative developments to appear lately in the Canadian musical scene.” A two-time recipient of Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts, as well as the Ontario Arts Council’s Vida Peene Award for Artistic Excellence, in 2010 Mr. Russell received the prestigious Herb Gray Harmony Award by the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, in recognition of the WSO’s programming and outreach activities. In October of 2010 he was honored as the first recipient of the Arts Leadership Award by the Windsor Endowment for the Arts, in recognition of the enormous contribution he has made to the region’s cultural life. And in the spring of 2011 the University of Windsor awarded John Morris Russell an Honorary Doctor of Law degree.

John Morris Russell is widely considered one of North America’s leaders in orchestral educational programming. From 1997 to 2009 he conducted the “LinkUP!” educational concert series at Carnegie Hall, the oldest and most celebrated series of its kind, created by Walter Damrosch in 1891 and made famous by Leonard Bernstein. The “Sound Discoveries” series Mr. Russell developed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra remains a leading model for educational concerts. In Windsor, his commitment to education was evidenced by his creation of concert series and projects that included Peanut Butter n’ Jam, Family Jamboree and One Community—One Symphony plus he spearheaded the creation of The Windsor-Essex Youth Choir and the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestra.

John Morris Russell has also served as associate conductor of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, director of the orchestral program at Vanderbilt University, and music director with the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He received a Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Williams College in Massachusetts. He has also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock, Maine.

Booklet for JOY!

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