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 2018 holiday season.

The Boston Pops perform at Manchester's SNHU Arena on December 15.

The NH Phil

A holiday-themed concert filled with old favorites and the traditional audience sing-a-lon​g. Enjoy the 23rd Annual Holiday Pops concert for an evening of holiday music, good company and plenty of holiday spirit! The theme this year is “Heart of the Holidays:" a night centered around that special feeling that comes only during the holiday season. The music will focus on family, friends, and old fashioned holiday cheer. 

What: Holiday Pops
When: December 1, 2018 at 7 p.m. and December 2, 2018 at 2 p.m.
Where: Seifert Auditorium
44 Geremonty Dr., Salem
Tickets: $5-$25
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 Performances
When: November 25, 2018 at 6 p.m., December 2, 2018 at 6 p.m. and December 16, 2018 at 7 p.m.
Where: November 25: The Strand, 20 Third St., Dover
December 2: Emmanuel Church, 24 Eastern Ave., Rochester
December 16: The Rochester Opera House, 31 Wakefield St., Rochester
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 music from around the world celebrating the holiday season.

What: Holiday Pops
When: December 2, 2018 at 3 p.m.
Where: Colonial Theatre
95 Main St., Keene
Tickets: $12 in advance and $15 day of the show
More information

Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra

Holiday fun featuring traditional and popular songs of the Christmas season. This year's featured singer is Broadway-style sensation Seraphim Afflick, who will be singing a variety of popular and favorite holiday selections.

What: Holiday Pops Concert
When: December 8, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and December 9, 2018 at 3 p.m.
Where: Inter-Lakes high School Auditorium
1 Laker Ln., Meredith
Tickets: $20 for adults and $10 for students
More information

Boston Pops

Join the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Conductor Keith Lockhart for this annual, beloved Holiday Pops concert. Attendees can look forward to their favorite holiday songs and crowd sing-a-longs.

What: Boston Pops Annual Holiday Concert
When: December 15, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: SNHU Arena
555 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $78, $58, $48 and $43
Available in person at the box office, via Ticketmaster or by phone (800) 745-3000
More information

Symphony NH

Join Symphony NH for an Irish Christmas featuring the music of Ireland and its Celtic influences around the world, all in celebration of the holiday season.  

What: An Irish Christmas
December 8, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and December 9, 2018 at 3 p.m.
Where: Keefe Center for the Arts (December 8)
117 Elm St., Nashua

Concord City Auditorium (December 9)
2 Prince St., Concord
Tickets: $32 and $52
More information

Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra

The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra’s Family Pops Concert is a favorite tradition in Portsmouth’s holiday season. This concert will feature many holiday favorites with new twists, a blend of the old and new with a special performance from artist-in-residence Billy Butler. A holiday favorite, “Sleigh Ride,” will feature guest conductors.

What: Family Holiday Pops
When: December 18-19, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Portsmouth Music Hall
28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth
Tickets: $15-$30
More information

Capital Jazz Orchestra

Ring in the holiday season with the annual yuletide program featuring the Capital Jazz Orchestra and guest vocalists CJ Poole and Laura Daigle, along with narrator Laura Knoy of NHPR who will be reciting her traditional version of “The Night Before Christmas.”

What: Holiday Pops
When: December 23, 2018 at 4 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: Starting at $27.50
More information

More Holiday Performances and Concerts

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.

When: December 1, 7, 14-15, 2018
Where: The Belknap Mill, Laconia (December 1), Sunapee Methodist Church (December 7), Unitarian Church, Portsmouth (December 14-15)
Tickets: See website for information

NH Gay Men's Chorus Holiday Concert Series

NHGMC is giving four performances of the 2018 Holiday Concert Series "Don We Now Our Gay Apparel"

When: December 1-2 and 8-9, 2018
December 1: First Baptist Church of Nashua at 7:30 p.m.
December 2:
South Church, Portsmouth at 4 p.m.
December 8: Wesley United Methodist Church, Concord at 7:30 p.m.
December 9: Derryfield School, Manchester at 4 p.m.
More information

“A Victorian Christmas”

Pontine Theatre’s Co-Artistic Directors, Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers, celebrate the holidays with a program of Victorian-era Christmas stories. The centerpiece of “A Victorian Christmas" is an original toy theatre adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Toy theatre is a form of miniature theatre that was popular in the Victorian era. This is an entirely different way to experience a familiar Christmas story.

When: December 6-9, 2018
December 6 at 3 p.m., December 7 at 7 p.m., December 8 at 3 p.m. and December 9 at 2 p.m.
Where: Pontine Theatre
1 Plains Ave., Portsmouth
Tickets: $27
More information

The Christmas Revels

Each year, Revels North explores the holiday traditions of a different country and time. This year’s performance is titled "A Venetian Celebration of the Winter Solstice,” where it’s the height of the Renaissance, and the vibrant city of Venice is bursting with excitement. La Vigilia di Natale, Christmas Eve, is fast approaching. The Doge, overwhelmed with governing the city and organizing its Feast of the Seven Fishes, has lost perspective. Will a tatty troupe of comedians, fresh off an unsuccessful European tour, remind the Doge to embrace the magic of his city at this most festive time of the year?

When: December 13-16, 2018
December 13 at 6 p.m.
December 14 at 7 p.m.
December 15 and 16 at 1 and 5 p.m.
Where: The Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College
4 E. Wheelock St., Hanover
Tickets: Prices vary and range up to $48
More information

Eric Mintel Quartet's "Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas"

"Charlie Brown" jazz includes the legendary "Linus and Lucy," "Skating," "Christmas is Coming," "Christmas Time is Here" and many reworked holiday favorites. Featuring Eric Mintel on the piano, Nelson Hill on the sax and flute, Jack Hegyi on the electric bass and Dave Mohn on the drums.

When: December 7, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Where: The Palace Theatre
This show will be in the new Spotlight Room
80 Hanover St., Manchester
Tickets: $29
More information

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" Performed by the Heather Pierson Trio

Heather Pierson is a pianist, singer/songwriter and performer based in Conway. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was originally telecast in December 1965 and was an instant hit with audiences who connected with Peanuts' creator Charles M. Schultz’s cast of characters – especially with its round-headed hero Charlie Brown, his woefully scrawny Christmas tree and his typewriter-wielding dog Snoopy.

When: December 16, 2018 at 4 p.m.
Where: The Tillotson Center
14 Carriage Ln., Colebrook
Tickets: $10 and $5 for students
More information

Categories: Featured Events, Holiday Guide Events