8 questions with a Miss America ‘Coming Home for Christmas’ to OKC


Susan Powell is “Coming Home for Christmas” with plenty of fond Oklahoma memories, abundant anticipation for reuniting with a dear friend and a jazzy version of “Jingle Bells.” 

“It’s fun and fast. … Barbra Streisand recorded it, and I’ve done it with the (Oklahoma City) Philharmonic in ‘The Christmas Show’ there a couple times,” Powell said of the latter. “I love the philharmonic. It’s my home orchestra … so I’m excited to be back there.” 

An Elk City native, coloratura soprano and television personality who was crowned Miss America in 1981, Powell will return to her home state to perform alongside Grammy- and Emmy-nominated entertainer Michael Feinstein —known as “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” — as the special guests for the OKC Philharmonic’s new holiday Pops program “Coming Home for Christmas.”  

Performances are 8 p.m. Dec. 2 and 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at Civic Center Music Hall.  

An Elk City native, coloratura soprano and television personality, Susan Powell was crowned Miss America in 1981.

The new yuletide program will replace “The Christmas Show,” which Joel Levine, the orchestra’s retired founder and music director emeritus, and Lyn Cramer, University of Oklahoma professor of musical theater dance, teamed to create for the past 16 years. 

“It was more like Radio City Music Hall, like a revue or a Broadway musical almost, which is wonderful. … But we wanted to go a little bit more intimate, heartfelt and classical — and see how this goes with something a little bit different,” said OKC Philharmonic Music Director Alexander Mickelthwate, who will conduct the holiday shows

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