The event, specifically designed to highlight the partnership between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the local business community, included performances by 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski and former American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle. Back this year was a performance by the sponsoring companies’ C.E.O.s as reindeer, which had been on hiatus for a few years.
While the model for the event has endured since its inception—a preshow reception in the venue’s function rooms with stationary and passed appetizers, cocktails, and live jazz music; boxed dinner by Boston Gourmet at each guest’s seat; and a live holiday Pops performance—the design and decor change each year, said Nina Jung, director of development events and volunteer outreach for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
This year, a painting of a Boston winter by artist Kevin Shea served as the inspiration, showing up on invitations, programs, and custom café lamp shades created by Boston Balloon Events on each of the 220 small tables on the floor of Symphony Hall. “We imagined a classic Boston winter and ran with that theme,” said Jung, pointing out the ice blue linens from Be Our Guest, lanterns wrapped in garland, and the snowflakes illuminated on the walls and saturated in blue light. “The elements were economical, but gave a glow to the room.”
To prevent crowding, the preshow reception was held in the venue’s handful of function rooms, and each guest was preassigned to a reception space, which was noted on his or her invitation. Each room’s design was just slightly different than the next, but all maintained an ice blue and white color scheme and included appetizers and a bar. The goal, Jung said, was to allow guests to feel like they were at an intimate celebration with their coworkers, family, and friends and never to overwhelm the space.
Special guests for the concert included 200 children from local children’s service organizations, who attended the performance after a preshow dinner and visit from Santa at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. Following the children’s program, Silver Fox Motorcoaches provided buses to transport the children from the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel to Symphony Hall.
Company Christmas at the Pops was this year co-chaired by William F. Achtmeyer of the Parthenon Group and Richard F. Connolly Jr. of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Lead sponsors included Dick and Ann Marie Connolly, the Parthenon Group, Citizens Bank, EMC Corporation, Putnam Investments, and Suffolk Construction Company.