Holiday Pops features a piece with lyrics written by lyricist with Jacksonville roots

Behind the Scenes, Program Spotlight

“Jacksonville has always felt like my true home…” — Lee Perry

For many of us, the holidays are a time to celebrate family, friends and the joy the holiday spirit brings. I am no different! In fact, I am brushing off the holiday playlists at the beginning of November; judge as you will. For me, and I’m sure many others, the music of the holidays is the necessary icing on a cake of string lights, pine and tinsel. But for lyricist Lee Perry, music has a different impact on her life.

Lee grew up in Manhattan, but has five generations of family from Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach and Ponte Vedra. “Jacksonville has always felt like my true home. We spend most every summer in Jacksonville while my brothers and I were growing up.” Her father’s first job was with the Florida Times-Union and her grandfather, Olin Watts, was a founder of the Jacksonville Symphony!

With roots firmly planted in our River City, it is no surprise Lee’s musical talent found its way back here. This weekend, on the Symphony’s Holiday Pops program, the orchestra will perform a piece with lyrics written by Lee herself!

“Shines a Star” was commissioned to be a holiday song. The orchestral score was written by composer Mark Carlson. “The words to this piece basically wrote themselves within 20 minutes while I was driving along Sunset Boulevard.  I conceived it as a lullaby to a newborn child of any universe,” says Perry.

One of many pieces on the program to bring about the holiday spirit, Holiday Pops is an annual tradition you just won’t want to miss! Join us this weekend to hear Lee’s beautiful lyrics along with holiday favorites like “White Christmas,” Sleigh Ride, and the Christmas Singalong. And maybe, if you’re good, we’ll get a visit from Kris Kringle himself!

Written by Sydney Schless, Director of Marketing & Communications