Envoy, one of the hottest, up-and-coming musical groups in the region, will be among the featured guests in the spotlight for Eugene Jelesnik's annual holiday Salt Lake Philharmonic pops concert on Friday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Hotel grand ballroom.

The philharmonic's year-round program of free public concerts are a tradition going back more than 40 years - and the organizations's roots go back 75 years to 1915 - considerably older than two of the young groups being featured for the first time with the orchestra.Envoy is a hip, young trio specializing in tight harmony. Members of the group are Kary Burns, James Marsden and Danny O'Very, who already have one album in release ("Come Back Home") and are busy working on a second one.

Another new group for pops concert fans will be Miss Margene's Creative Generation, performing a medley of Christmas and holiday songs.

Concertgoers are likely more familiar with Jelesnik's third featured guest - honkytonk pianist Lee Fugal, who gained fame as an entertainer in Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe revue and at Knott's Berry Farm. He's also performed on the Princess "Love Boat" cruises and for Sitmar Cruise Lines.

Longtime Philharmonic favorites, soprano Billie Loukas and pianist Bob Davis, will also be on the program, which includes a variety of light classical and contemporary instrumental and vocal selections.

The philharmonic's program will include Bizet's "Carmen" suite, Johann Strauss' "Wine, Women and Song," an adaptation of Mozart's "In an Eighteenth Century Drawing Room," a few Broadway show tunes.

Steve Hart, general manager of the Marriott, said, "We are pleased to donate our Marriott Hotel facilities for this holiday concert and we're looking forward again to work with Maestro Jelesnik."

Concertgoers should be forewarned that Friday evening is also the same night that the lights are turned on at Temple Square. This annual event, along with Jelesnik's concert, traditionally signal the start of the Christmas holiday season in the city.

But the two events also lure thousands of people into downtown Salt Lake City, creating a monumental traffic jam - not unlike "New Year's Eve at Times Square Meets the L.A. Freeway System During Rush Hour."

One year it took my wife nearly an hour just to maneuver our car less than three blocks. I was luckier. Since I work downtown, I just walked.

The thing to do is get down town as early in the evening as possible so you're not bucking a 6:30 p.m. traffic jam.

The concert, as usual, is free of charge.