2011 Holiday Pops Season with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Opens Wednesday, December 7

One of New England’s most beloved holiday traditions, the Holiday Pops season, under the direction of Keith Lockhart, opens on Wednesday, December 7, and runs through Saturday, December 24, at Symphony Hall. On Saturday, December 3, at noon on the Christian Science Plaza, Keith Lockhart will celebrate the opening of Holiday Pops with a pre-season kick-off event, inviting the greater Boston community to a holiday carol sing-off in an attempt to achieve a new Guinness Book world record for the most carolers gathered in one place. Among the celebrities and performing artists visiting Symphony Hall this season, comedian/actor/musician Jim Belushi and pop vocal act Rockapella will join Keith Lockhart and the Pops at “Company Christmas” on Wednesday, December 14. New Kid on the Block’s Joey McIntyre will also appear as a guest vocalist with members of the Pops to raise the holiday spirits of patients at the Boston Pops Annual Children’s Hospital concert on Tuesday, December 20.

Each of the season’s 37 Holiday Pops concerts features a performance of A Visit from St. Nicholas (“’Twas the Night Before Christmas”) with different guest narrators and projections from Jan Brett’s newly-released audio DVD book (featuring musical accompaniment by the Boston Pops and narration by Jim Dale) above the stage of Symphony Hall. Ms. Brett will narrate the work herself during Opening Night at Holiday Pops on Wednesday, December 7, at 8 p.m., a performance that will also feature Peter Fiedler—son of the legendary Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler—as a guest conductor on the ever-popular Sleigh Ride. In addition, Santa Claus will make a special guest appearance on opening night and at each of subsequent the Holiday season performances, which take place at Symphony Hall, festively decorated to evoke the unique charm of a New England holiday season.

Additional highlights of the 2011 Holiday Pops season include White Christmas, the Boston Pops’ signature Sleigh Ride, the inspiring Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah,” and a popular rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas featuring the majestic voices of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, who will join the orchestra until the last performance on Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24. The Boston Pops will also perform How the Grinch Stole Christmas with local actors Will Lebow and Jeremiah Kissel as guest narrators. Each concert concludes with A Merry Little Sing-Along giving the audience a chance to join in with the Pops to sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Let it Snow!, Winter Wonderland, and Jingle Bells.

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