New Philharmonic proclaims the beauty of life and music in New Year's Eve concerts

  • Guest bass-baritone Ted Allen Pickell joins Maestro Kirk Muspratt and the orchestra in New Philharmonic's three New Year's Eve concerts.

    Guest bass-baritone Ted Allen Pickell joins Maestro Kirk Muspratt and the orchestra in New Philharmonic's three New Year's Eve concerts. Courtesy of Ted Allen Pickell

Updated 12/22/2021 4:41 PM

We are a generation chosen to live through unprecedented times. With so much going on we manage to smile and enjoy our lives. Music is a miraculous tool that helps us to keep going. As Plato said, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

Maestro Kirk Muspratt is ready to prove once again that the beauty of music can save this world. Under his baton, the New Philharmonic presents an inspiring and entertaining New Year's Eve concert program featuring a young and talented guest bass-baritone, Ted Allen Pickell.


The program will be presented in three concerts at 1:30, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31 at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn.

This concert program will help you to immerse in waves of Viennese classics, music favorites, artistic excellence, and delicious champagne. Considering the unbeatable energy that always comes from Maestro Muspratt once he steps on the podium, these three New Year's Eve concerts are a must see. If you can't attend in person, consider purchasing streaming tickets to view the 1:30 p.m. Dec. 31 performance live; then on demand Jan. 1-2.

"Ring in the new year with New Philharmonic as we welcome back baritone Ted Allen Pickell, who sang the title role from our production of The Mikado on our stage," says the MAC website. "Maestro Kirk Muspratt conducts waltzes, polkas, arias, light classical and pops … reflecting back and propelling you forward as only music can. New Philharmonic's gift to you for the new year!"

Passionate and talented, Pickell is happy to share his musicality and mastership with Chicago area audiences. Pickell has been a three-time winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions districts, the first place winner in the Opera NEO Vocal Competition, as well as a named winner in the Loren L. Zachary Competition, the winner of the Anne Ferraro Stone Memorial Award from the Bel Canto Foundation, the Musical Merit Foundation Award, and the recipient of scholarships for excellence in vocal performance from Northwestern University and the University of the Pacific.

Pickell's performance credits include such prestigious venues as Opera Iowa, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Point Loma Opera Theatre, Palm Beach Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Northwestern University Opera Theatre, Opera Academy of California, and University of the Pacific Opera Theatre. Featured in New Philharmonic's 2017 sold out production of "The Mikado" as the Mikado, Pickell is a highly anticipated guest artist at the MAC.

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Pickell will be showcased in several famous compositions. One of them, the aria of Lensky "Ja lyublyu vas, Olga" (Russian for "I love you, Olga") from the opera "Pique Dame" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, will impress you with its sincere and tender melody and expression. This piece gives the singer an opportunity to not only demonstrate his bright artistic skills, but also his outstanding vocal abilities. A popular song "If I Were a Rich Man" by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock from "Fiddler on the Roof" will impress the audience with its interesting melody and sensitive emotion. It's repetitive "Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby" will make you clap and sing along with the singer.

"Bella notte" (Italian for "Beautiful Night") by Sonny Burke and Peggy Lee, a romantic love song from Disney's "Lady and the Tramp," will bring a touch of romance and some Italian mood. Another piece that Pickell is going to present is a special rendition of the theme song to the classic TV series "Rawhide" by Dimitri Tiomkin. Written in 1958, this song was chosen by the members of the Western Writers of America to be one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. We all are excited to hear Pickell's version of it. Scottish traditional folk song "Auld Lang Syne" might make some of the audience members sing along with Pickell.

The selection of orchestral works will definitely impress everyone. The program will include a playful composition "Stürmisch in Lieb' und Tanz" ("Tempestuous in Love and Dance") by Johann Strauss, Jr. This light and happy piece will make you want to dance! Also, the composer's energetic "Furioso-Polka" (quasi Galopp) will definitely set up a happy mood. Overture to "The Beautiful Galathea," a two-act operetta by Franz von Suppé, is a popular concert piece. Under the baton of Maestro Muspratt, it will sound majestic.

The audience will also have a chance to enjoy elegant selections from "Semiramide Overture," the final Italian opera by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto by Gaetano Rossi is based on Voltaire's tragedy "Semiramis," which was based on the legend of Semiramis of Babylon.


Among other pieces that will be performed are "The Mission Suite" by Ennio Morricone and "Star Trek" Medley featuring the composition talents of Michael Giacchino, Jerry Goldsmith, Leonard Rosenman and Cliff Eidelman. The uplifting "Captain America March" by Alan Silvestri will create an enthusiastic and happy mood - that's exactly the mood that we need to welcome the new year of 2022 and to overcome all the obstacles that we might face in the future.

We will overcome them, and you know why? Because we never forget about things that are immortal - the beauty of music, the beauty of this world, the beauty of people and their talents, and the strength of our spirit. All these composers created their compositions with passion and love and imbued them with power, energy, love for life, and endless joy. They pass them to us, and we take them with gratitude.

For tickets or more information, visit or call (630) 942-4000. The box office is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. and one hour prior to performance. For in-person performances, the tickets are $67 or $65 for seniors. Special gold circle table seating is $77. Streaming tickets are $67 per household. A streaming ticket offers a one-time access for a household to view the 1:30 p.m. Dec. 31 performance live; or on demand 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2.

This beautiful program is sponsored by STG Divorce Law. McAninch Arts Center values the safety and health of the audience, staff and artists, and is following the CDC, state and local health department safety guidelines.

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