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The Boston Pops at Christmas: How do you make it new?

The Boston Pops at Christmas: How do you make it new?
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Lockhart’s expectation? “Kind of like being the parent who bought the shiny new bicycle and watching the kid unwrapping it,” he replies.

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus has been a longtime collaborator with the Pops, and last year its standout hit was “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The chorus will reprise it this year. It’s a very familiar song that Lockhart jokes could sound like “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” if not done well. The chorus’s nontraditional, virtuosic version got a deserved standing ovation last year after its first Symphony Hall performance.

“It’s a great Irish stew with everything in there,” says Lockhart. “There are quotes from The Nutcracker and the ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ but the funniest of them all is when [Queen’s] Bohemian Rhapsody comes in. That’s the point where the audience absolutely loses it.”


Lockhart will conduct 22 of the Pops’ Symphony Hall performances; three other conductors share the remainder. (Check for the schedule.) Lockhart and the Pops also have 11 out-of-town dates, which began November 30 in South Carolina. In New England, there are six non-Boston concerts:
December 6 at Jorgensen Auditorium in Storrs, Connecticut
December 13 at Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut
December 14 at Verizon Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire
December 20, two shows, at Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts
December 21 at DCU Arena in Worcester, Massachusetts.


View a video of Keith Lockhart talking about the Pops and other concerts from last summer.

Read more about arts and culture in the Boston area at

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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3 Responses to The Boston Pops at Christmas: How do you make it new?

  1. Jane Franks December 2, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    My family has always loved the Boston Pops. I live away from the region now and want to catch the Christmas program on TV. I believe PBS airs it. Do you know when it will begin showing on PBS? We will eagerly watch! It is an important part of our Christmas celebration. Thanks.

  2. Ann Blaine December 3, 2008 at 7:10 am #

    I too live away from the region and LOVE the Boston Pops. I would also like to know when and if it will air on PBS. Especially during times such as now do we pull on our traditions as a way to get through our trials. What a more wonderful way than the beautiful music of our past?? Thanks Boston Pops and Keith.

  3. Stephanie Lynam December 5, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    I also would like to know when the Boston Pops will air on PBS. I live down in Kentucky….and so will not be in the Boston area

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