Holiday Pops

Holiday Pops will include Santa Claus at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus.

COLUMBUS -- 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 112 performances to date.

In 2019, 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.

Holiday Pops in Columbus

Holiday Pops includes lights, music and more at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus.

New for 2019, dancers from The Ohio State University Department of Dance and the Handbell Columbus Ensemble will join this heartwarming holiday spectacular. 

The Columbus Symphony presents Holiday Pops at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday, December 6, at 8 pm; Saturday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25-$78 and can be purchased in-person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at, or by phone at 614-469-0939 or (800) 982-2787.

The 2019 Holiday Pops program will begin with the “Holiday Pops Overture,” followed by Handel’s “Sing unto God” and “Hallelujah, Amen” from Judas Maccabeus.

The program will then debut new music offerings including Vaughan Williams’ “Wassail Song,” which also incorporates song and dance, Main’s “Blessed Be That Maid Mary,” and “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” an African-American spiritual for choir featuring counter-tenor Arthur Marks.

The orchestra will continue with selections from Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and conclude the first half with audience participation in Rutter’s “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

The second half will open with the audience joining in singing “Deck the Hall,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

The program will continue with Courtney’s “Lullabies for the Christ Child,” Gruber’s “Silent Night,” and the Holiday Pops debut of “And Suddenly!” featuring the New World Singers of the Columbus Children’s Choir. A child will be selected from the audience to guest conduct the orchestra in the annual holiday favorite, “Sleigh Ride,” and CSO Concertmaster Joanna Frankel will be featured in “White Christmas.”

This will lead into the annual reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by narrator Steven Crawford accompanied by BalletMet Academy dancers and the music of Randol Bass.

The performance concludes with the program debut of Fry’s “The Day After Christmas,” a humorous take on what happens after Christmas featuring baritone Jared Joseph, and Chase’s “Christmas Memories.”

Santa will make his 36th 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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