Cincinnati Pops Orchestra performing Holiday Pops on stage (photo by Mark Lyons)

Cincinnati’s ‘Holiday Pops’

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra welcomes special guests and brings new versions of familiar favorites to the Music Hall stage.

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra welcomes special guests to perform with them on the Music Hall stage each holiday season. In 2021, it was baritone Michael Preacely, singer and trombone soloist Aubrey Logan and the Cincinnati Studio for Dance.

“We invite all sorts of different artists to join us,” says John Morris Russell, conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. “This year, we have a fantastic band — the Annie Moses Band — and they are as unique as the Pops.”

The family of musicians from Oklahoma plays bluegrass, gospel, Celtic and rock ’n’ roll music. Operatic tenor Bernard Holcomb will also take the stage, performing traditional Christmas favorites with the orchestra during the “Holidays Pops” shows, Dec. 9 through 11.

Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark built in 1878 and located in the city’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, further enhances the audience experience. Each year, the venue is elaborately decorated for the Pops’ run of holiday shows.

“It is an extravaganza … It’s as much of a splendid visual feast as it is a musical feast,” Russell says.

Concert goers can expect traditional English carols, a “groovy” version of “We Three Kings” and a Cincinnati-centric rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” among the Pops’ selections. Russell says the annual concert is an ode to the different ways people mark the holidays.

“It’s also a celebration of the diversity of the American musical experience,” he adds, “and how that diversity of experience celebrates those things [that] we all have in common: hope, peace, faith, love.” 

For more information, visit