Popping with the sounds of holiday cheer

There's no need to travel outside New Hampshire for first-rate holiday pops symphony and choral performances.

Here are some of our favorite picks for the 2016 holiday season.

The NH Phil and Pinkerton Academy Chorale

Take a “sleigh ride” with Leroy Anderson. Let visions of sugar plums float through your heads with "Nutcracker" selections from Tchaikovsky. Welcome members of the Pinkerton Chorale as they sing their favorite Holiday selections. Finally, get into the spirit by joining Conductor Mark Latham and the Orchestra while we sing along to Finnegan favorites!

What: Holiday Pops!
When: November 26 at 7:30 p.m. November 27 at 2 p.m.
Where: Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy
5 Pinkerton St., Derry
Tickets: $12-$50, student tickets are $10.
More information

Strafford Wind Symphony

Kick off the holiday season with the annual Strafford Wind Symphony Holiday Pops Concert, featuring familiar favorites such as “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “White Christmas” along with many others.

What: Annual Holiday Pops Concert
When: December 3 at 7 p.m.
Where: The Rochester Opera House
31 Wakefield Street, Rochester
Tickets: $12 and $7 for children 12 and under.
Tickets and more information

Greater Keene Pops Choir

The Greater Keene Pops Choir is a unique performing ensemble that sings popular American music in all its many styles. Under the direction of Diane Cushing and accompanied by Walt Sayre, the “Pops” will be singing holiday music from around the world. Audience participation may also be included.

When:  December 4 at 3 p.m.
Where: Colonial Theatre
95 Main Street, Keene
Tickets: $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show.
More information

Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra

What: Holiday Pops Concert
When: December 10 at 7:30 p.m. and December 11 at 3 p.m.
Where: Inter-Lakes high School Auditorium
Laker Lane
NH Route 25, Meredith
Tickets: $15 for adults and $8 for students
More information

Boston Pops

Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart has conducted nearly 1,700 Boston Pops concerts in his twenty-year tenure, making him the second longest-tenured conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since the orchestra's founding in 1885. Lockhart is loved and admired by audiences for his inimitable style, expressed through his consummate music-making and unique ability to speak directly to the audience about the music he is so passionate about. Lockhart has led the orchestra on 40 national tours to 134 cities in 33 states, as well as four international tour to Japan and Korea.

What: 15th Annual Holiday Pops
When: December 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: SNHU Arena
555 Elm Street., Manchester
Tickets: $77, $57, $47 and $42
More information

Symphony NH

Jonathan McPhee, music director and principal conductor. Sing along to all of your favorite Christmas carols and songs with Symphony NH, and enjoy the spirit of the holidays in New Hampshire. This concert appeals to audiences of all ages and is sure to fill you with holiday cheer.

What: Holiday Pops!
When: December 10 at 8 p.m.
Where: Keefe Center for the Arts
117 Elm Street, Nashua
More information

What: Holiday Pops!
When: December 11 at 2 p.m.
Where:Concord City Auditorium
2 Prince Street, Concord
More information

Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra

This year the Orchestra invites special musical guests Taylor O’Donnell and Chris Klaxton to celebrate the season with beloved holiday songs old and new. A part of the annual Vintage Christmas series of events hosted by The Music Hall and Strawbery Banke Museum.

What: Family Holiday Pops
When: December 20 and 21, 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Music Hall
28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth
Tickets: $25 regular; $22 seniors; $12 students.
More information

Capital Jazz Orchestra

If you're a Big Band lover then don't miss the Capital Jazz Orchestra, along with special guests Patty Barkas, Laura Daigle, and CJ Poole. They'll perform holiday favorites like “The Christmas Song,” “Let It Snow,” “Jingle Bells”, and “Sleigh Ride.” NHPR’s Laura Knoy will also be reciting the beloved “The Night Before Christmas.” Festivities also include a traditional sing-along to put the entire family into a holiday spirit.

What: Holiday Pops!
When: Sunday, December 18, 4 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 South Main Street, Concord
Tickets: $20-$45
More information

More Holiday Performances and Concerts

This year's Christmas Revels is a French-Canadian winter solstice celebration. December 15-18 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover.

Ed Gerhard's Holiday Concerts

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Ed Gerhard will perform soulful arrangements of well-loved carols, as well as his own concert favorites. Fans of guitar music and Christmas alike will want to be a part of these memorable shows.


  • December 3, 7:30 p.m. at the The Belknap Mill
  • December 16, 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church
  • December 17, 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church

Where: The Belknap Mill
25 Beacons St. East, Laconia
Unitarian Church
292 State St., Portsmouth
More information

NH Gay Men's Chorus Holiday Concert Series

This talented (and handsome!) group of men wants to serenade you with their 2016 holiday concert series, Holiday Music to Warm the Heart.  The sweetest sounds of Christmas, Hanukkah, and the holiday season await you around the Granite State in early December.

  • December 3: First Baptist Church of Nashua, 121 Manchester Street, Nashua at 7:30 p.m.
  • December 4: Rochester Opera House, 31 Wakefield Street, Rochester at 5 p.m. (This is a FREE show, courtesy of TD Bank.)
  • December 10: Wesley United Methodist Church, 79 Clinton Street, Concord at 7:30 p.m.
  • December 11: Derryfield School, 2108 River Road, Manchester at 4 p.m.

Tickets: $20 ages 13-64, under 13 and older than 65 are $18 and students are $15.

Click here for more information.

"A New England Christmas"

Pontine Theatre presents it's original production, "A New England Christmas." To celebrate the holidays, Pontine Theatre brings seasonal stories and poems to the stage written by some of New England's favorite authors. This year, Pontine is pleased to present two witty wonders to life, "Cap'n Eli's Best Ear" and "The Romance of a Christmas Card".


  • Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 10 at 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m.

Where: Seacoast Science Center
570 Ocean Boulevard in Rye
Tickets: $24
More information

"Twelve Days of Christmas"

The Twelve Days of Christmas features over 100 talented performers from across New Hampshire and includes students of Eastern Ballet Institute, Concord Community Music School’s Purple Finches Children’s Chorus, live musicians and aerial dance artists. Complementing the vivid choreography and costumes will be a spectacular eighteen-foot, light-up pear tree with a dancing partridge in her nest, as well as everyone’s favorite holiday tunes. From the “Partridge in a Pear Tree” to the “Twelve Drummers, Drumming,” this is a unique holiday performance not to be missed!


  • Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m.

Where: The Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $17.50 for adults and $13.50 for seniors and students.
More information

"The Ragpicker's Dream"

Get in the spirit of the season with Kent Stephens’ Stage Force’s holiday celebration of stories, laughter, poetry and song - featuring new material and old favorites from a wide array of both classic and contemporary sources. Audiences will love the intimate feeling of this readers’ theatre.

When: December 17 at 1:30 p.m. and December 20 at 7 p.m.
Where: The Music Hall
28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth
Tickets: $15
More information

The Christmas Revels: A French-Canadian Celebration of the Winter Solstice

Celebrate the holiday season with festive Québécois-inspired music, dance and pageantry.


  • December 15 at 6 p.m.
  • December 16 at 7 p.m.
  • December 17 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • December 18 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Where: Hopkins Center for the Arts
4 East Wheelock Street, Hanover
Tickets: $7.50 - $46
More information

"A Charlie Brown Christmas"

The Heather Pierson Jazz Trio will bring its popular "Charlie Brown Christmas" show to Pitman's Freight Room. One of the most endearing Christmas tales ever told, "Charlie Brown Christmas" has proven itself to be an enduring classic. Originally telecast in December 1965, the program was an instant hit with audiences who connected with "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schultz’s cast of characters – especially with its rounded-headed hero Charlie Brown, his woefully scrawny Christmas tree, and his typewriter-wielding dog Snoopy. Nearly given the ax by CBS studios at the time of its release, this beloved holiday classic resonates with both children and adults of every generation. Though more than four decades old, the story of commercialism run rampant echoes clearly to this day.

When: Sunday, December 11 at 8 p.m.
Where: Pitman's Freight Room
94 New Salem St., Laconia
Tickets: $15
More information

"Amahl and the Night Visitors" Children's Opera

Opera North is excited to present "Amahl and the Night Visitors" at Lebanon Opera House. One of the most popular operas of all time, "Amahl and the Night Visitors" tells the story of how a crippled young shepherd boy’s life changes forever when he sees an amazing star “as big as a window.” When three foreign kings (who are following the star in their search for a wondrous child) encounter Amahl and his mother, the result is a timeless and inspiring message of how faith, charity, unselfish love and good deeds can work miracles.


  • Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 17 at 5 p.m.

Where: Lebanon Opera House
51 North Park Street, Lebanon
More information

Rocking Horse Studio

Following the success of an Emmy-nominated television program and sold-out shows in 2014 and 2015, The Rocking Horse Christmas show returns to the Capitol Center for the Arts in 2016. Join Rocking Horse Studio, New Hampshire’s premier music production and recording facility, as it presents an evening of traditional and contemporary Christmas music performed by some of New Hampshire’s finest singers and musicians. Inspired by 2013’s Emmy-nominated television program, “A New Hampshire Chronicle Christmas at Rocking Horse Studio,” which originally aired on WMUR-TV Channel 9 in December 2013, this shows feature popular New Hampshire acts, including Dusty Gray, Anna Madsen, Justin Cohn, Stephanie Tonneson, Jack Polidoro, Steve Blunt, and many others.

What: Christmas with Rocking Horse Studio
When: December 16-17
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 South Main Street, Concord
Tickets: $20
More information


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