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Columbus Symphony and Chorus blend classics with pop in holiday concert

Courtesy of Randall L. Schieber

‘Tis the season for the Columbus Symphony and Chorus’ annual Holiday Pops performance of songs and carols.

Conducted by Ron Jenkins , the Columbus Symphony and Chorus is scheduled to present its 29th annual Holiday Pops concert 8 p.m. Friday at Ohio Theatre. The concert is slated to run through Sunday.

Jenkins said small changes are made to the performance each year, but he believes this year’s show will stand out among others.

“I think this year’s (performance) is the best one yet,” Jenkins said. “I really like the blend of the music we have.”

The show will blend classic holiday songs, representing Christmas and Hanukkah, in the first half of the performance, with current pop songs in the second half. The performance is set to feature 19 songs.  

“In the second half we will have a lot more audience participation. There will be a sing-along, dancers, a children’s chorus and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus,” Jenkins said. Sing-along songs include “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “The First Noel” and “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.”   

The event is also set to include performances by the Columbus Children’s Choir, dancers Justin Gibbs and Joanie Evans, narrator Steven Crawford and performers from BalletMet.

The show’s variety is not limited to its acts and music. It also combines special lighting effects with a telling of “The Night Before Christmas” by Crawford and an orchestra.

“(The concert) is not just for the ear, it’s also for the eye,” Jenkins said.  

He also said he enjoys this show because it mixes classical with sing-along tunes in one show.

“There are concerts all over town that are pop, sacred music or classical, but this is the only one to my knowledge where you can get all of that,” Jenkins said.

At the performance, there is a raffle for children in kindergarten through high school in which they have a chance to come up on stage and conduct the orchestra if their ticket is drawn.

“This is a really fun thing to do, we have gotten some extremely talented children who are able to come up and do a good job,” Jenkins said.

This year the Columbus Symphony is celebrating its 52nd season and its 30th year with Jenkins as director.

Aron Wolfson, a third-year in marketing, said although the Holiday Pops concert isn’t something she would go to, she would enjoy seeing how BalletMet dancers are included in the performance.

“I think the dancing is something that would be really cool,” Wolfson said.

Kelli McGuire, a second-year in speech and hearing sciences, said this is something she would enjoy going to.

“I would like to see the new pop section of the performance,” McGuire said. “It sounds like something fun that’s not a routine activity.”

Ohio Theatre is located at 39 E. State St. Tickets for the concert range from $25 to about $76 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center or through Ticketmaster.

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