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InTune: Winter 2023 December 04, 2023

Celebrating 50 Years of Holiday Pops

As we usher in the chilly winter weather, we also welcome the iconic Holiday Pops season, now in its 50th year. Originally called “A Pops Christmas Party,” the Holiday Pops started in 1973, and since then, audiences have been transported to a winter wonderland of joy each year, embracing traditions, old and new.

Throughout its time, the Holiday Pops has stood as a beacon of holiday cheer, inviting music lovers from far and wide to join in the jubilation. Traditional holiday narrations, including “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg and selections from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss, have been shared for many years, and today are enhanced by beautifully projected illustrations. These visuals create a fuller sensory experience, particularly for younger attendees. More than 200 narrators have participated in the Holiday Pops over the years!

Though many of the musical numbers have remained consistent, the Holiday Pops program books serve as signs of the times. The artwork featured on the program book covers have included elegant wreaths, whimsical illustrations, graphical snowflakes, and even Keith Lockhart himself alongside Santa. Check out this slideshow of Holiday Pops program books over the last 50 years!

The buzz in the Hall during Holiday Pops has grown exponentially over time. Folks who began attending the Holiday Pops in the 1970s now come with their children and grandchildren. People who once participated in the sing-a-longs as parties of one or two people, now nudge their tiniest family members to join the fun. Families and friends have established annual gatherings around the Holiday Pops, and the dedication, generosity, and nostalgia of these traditions is magical.

Your support has enabled the Holiday Pops to thrive over the last five decades, and we’re deeply grateful for your passion and commitment. We hope the Holiday Pops will continue as a cherished tradition that unites the community in the spirit of love, laughter, and music.