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Classical 101

Holiday Performances in Columbus

Columbus Symphony Holiday Pops concert
Columbus Symphony
The Holiday Pops concerts by the Columbus Symphony is one of many holiday performances in Columbus this year.

No matter how much any of us love family members who come home for the holidays, at some point we are all going to be stir-crazy and need some diversion, both tuneful and beautiful.

Here's a guide to some of Columbus' most-loved holiday offerings filling our theaters and concert halls over the next few weeks.

Capital University Conservatory of Music: Tidings of Comfort
Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Mees Hall

This year's Capital University Christmas festival presents performances by the Chapel Choir, Choral Union, Women's Chorus, the Chordsmen, a cappella group Philomel and instrumentalists.

​Ohio State University School of Music: 25th Annual Music Celebration Concert
Friday, Dec. 1 8 p.m., Mershon Auditorium

Well over 300 musicians fill the stage at Mershon Auditorium for this annual concert, showcasing the best of Ohio State's outstanding School of Music. Offerings range from seasonal to jazz, world music, Broadway and classical.

Columbus Symphony: Holiday Pops
Dec. 1-3, Ohio Theatre

A family favorite, Holiday Pops returns with Ronald Jenkins conducting the Columbus Symphony and Chorus in a concert of classic holiday songs and carols — plus, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus!

BalletMet: The Nutcracker
Dec. 8-24, Ohio Theatre

The Nutcracker is often a point of entry for people young and old who come to love ballet. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker was first danced in 1892 at the court of Tsar Alexander III. His worship was reportedly unimpressed. 

We don't have tsars anymore, but Nutcracker has been loved around the world since, well, 1892! BalletMet presents Gerard Charles' gorgeous production at the Ohio Theatre, with live music by the Columbus Symphony.

Columbus Gay Men's Chorus: Joy! Make the Yuletide Gay
Dec. 8-9, King Avenue United Methodist Church Dec. 10, Lord of Life Lutheran Church

The Columbus Gay Men's Chorus sings traditional carols and holiday favorites with a twist for their annual Joy! concert. Expect a Handel's Messiah "Hallelujah" chorus sing-a-along and some surprises. If we're very lucky, the CGMC will perform their take on Gregorian chant — skillfully done, with humor and love.

New Albany Symphony Orchestra: Santa and the Symphony
Saturday, Dec. 16 11:30 a.m., McCoy Center for the Arts

As part of its Saturday at the Symphony sensory-friendly series, the New Albany Symphony presents a holiday-themed show. These shorter concerts are designed for anyone needing an extra bit of TLC. Move around, sing, dance, leave for a bit and come back — do what you need to do to enjoy the show!

New Albany Symphony Orchestra: Holiday Spectacular

Sunday, Dec. 17 3 p.m., McCoy Center for the Arts

I'm delighted to have worked with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra since their first concerts 10 years ago! The New Albany Symphony, conducted by Luis Biava, presents a seasonal show with Opera Columbus and the Center Stage Singers.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.