It’ll be a grand night for singing when “Holiday Pops! 2012” comes to town. Featuring guest vocalist Capathia Jenkins, The Pops Festival Chorus, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir and organist Peter Conte, the show is set for Dec. 7-22 in Verizon Hall the Kimmel Center.
In keeping with what Philly Pops Artistic Director Peter Nero calls “a holiday celebration for everyone in the family,” Jenkins says she’ll be singing songs like “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “All I Want For Christmas,” “Joy to the Worldand other holiday classics.
Brooklyn born and bred, Jenkins admits she always wanted to be a singer, growing up in her church always singing in the choir.
“But when I was in the third grade, my music teacher told my mother that I had real talent and that she should nurture that talent. Which she did.”
Jenkins began studying the classics, developing technique in high school and eventually finding her way to Temple University, enrolling in the jazz program there. Later, she made her Broadway debut in “The Civil War,” where she created the role of Harriet Jackson. She then starred in the off-Broadway revival of “Godspell,” where her stirring rendition of “Turn Back O Man” can still be heard on the original recording. She returned to Broadway in “The Look of Love,” and later created the role of “The Washing Machine” in “Caroline or Change.”
Jenkins recently retired from her role as Medda in the hit Disney production of “Newsies “ on Broadway.
She said, “I never saw myself on Broadway until I was there. And because of that, today I like to describe myself as an actor/singer. I say actor first because even though on the surface, when you look at my career, you see I entered as a singer. But I believe in order to be a good singer you have to be a good actor in order to tell the story realistically. To me, the lyrics always come first. I think like an actor and I’m the happiest when I’m on stage. I feel like I’ve been given a divine gift and I have to share it with people all over the world.”
She’s happily displayed some of those acting talents in such TV shows as “30 Rock,” “The Practice” and “The Sopranos.”
On the concert stage, she’s appeared with orchestras around the globe. She has appeared with the Philly Pops before and says she’s happy to be retuning.
“For me, the best thing about what I do is meeting such wonderful people along the way,” Jenkins volunteers. “I’ve worked with the Pops before, so it’s nice to revisit with some of the colleagues I’ve known from before, but it’s also nice to meet some of the new people too, and then be able to get up on the stage and create beautiful music together.”
Making it look easy, Jenkins says people who would want to get into this business have to realize it certainly is not. “The trick is to make it look easy but it’s actually very hard work. By the time you see me on the Broadway stage, I’ve auditioned ten times and been rejected nine times. So be prepared for that and just work as hard as you can. And remember that training is paramount to your success.”
For times and ticket information, call (215) 893-1999.