An annual Columbus tradition since 1983, the CSO’s Holiday Pops is the creation of chorus master and conductor Ronald Jenkins who has led all 108 performances to date. In 2018, Jenkins, the musicians of the Columbus Symphony, and the 130 members of the Columbus Symphony Chorus, will be joined by more than 100 voices from the Columbus Children’s Choir, dancers from the BalletMet Academy, narrator Steven Crawford, and of course, Santa Claus for this heartwarming holiday spectacular.

The Columbus Symphony presents Holiday Pops at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $26 to $69 and can be purchased in person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at www.ColumbusSymphony.com, or by phone at (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.

The 2018 Holiday Pops program will begin with Hess’ “Christmas Overture,” followed by Handel’s “For Unto Us a Child Is Born” from Messiah. Then the program will feature CSO concertmaster Joanna Frankel playing the first movement of Vivaldi’s “Winter.” The orchestra will continue with Stephen Main’s serenely beautiful “Fantasy on an Appalachian Carol.” The chorus and orchestra will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer, conductor, and educator Leonard Bernstein with the “Chichester Psalms” featuring countertenor Arthur Marks. The first half will conclude with Craig Courtney’s brilliant and humorous setting of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

The second half will open with the audience joining in singing “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Silent Night.” The choruses will continue a new work by Dan Forrest, his arrangement of the old English carol, “See, Amid the Winter’s Snow.” A child will be selected from the audience to guest conduct the orchestra in the annual holiday favorite, “Sleigh Ride,” which will lead into a reading of The Night Before Christmas” by narrator Steven Crawford accompanied by BalletMet Academy dancers and the music of Randol Bass.

Santa will make his 35th appearance as part of the annual Holiday Pops celebration, closing out the program in grand holiday style. He will also be available for photos in the lobby after both matinee performances.

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