Columbus' 2018 Holiday Concert Highlights

Nov 29, 2018

Do you love your visiting relatives but, after 24 hours, enough is enough and if they won’t leave, you will? The arts community in Columbus gives friends, foes and family many opportunities to escape into holiday beauty, passion, drama and fun.

No reason to stay home and listen to the bickering or pick through Aunt Marge's tuna noodle casserole. Grab a slice, put on your coat and come with me:

You have four chances – from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 – to join in the fun with the Columbus Symphony Holiday Pops in the Ohio Theatre. Our superb orchestra is joined by the wonderful (all volunteer!) Columbus Symphony Chorus.

Ronald Jenkins conducts and acts as Master of Ceremonies and All He Surveys and Santa stand-in. The real Santa does show up later, and maybe you can win the drawing to conduct the orchestra.

Sing along to carols or sit down, sip a brewski or an eggnog (you can bring them into the theater – God bless you, Bill Conner!) and enjoy! You don't have to bring Aunt Marge.

BalletMet presents The Nutcracker, with the Columbus Symphony conducted by Luis Biava, from Dec. 7 through 23 in the Ohio Theatre.

Every year you say you won't miss this and every year you miss this. Be a kid again. The music is sensational, and the story is a fantasy fit for kids of all ages.

The Nutcracker was first danced in front of the Tsar in 1892. He liked it, and so will you.

This wonderful production is by Gerard Charles and Robert Post. We have a stunning ballet company in Columbus, led by the wonderful Edwaard Liang. Go for the spectacle, and the beauty, this year.

Choirs and instrumental ensembles from the Conservatory of Music at Capital University are on stage at Mees Hall during Abide With Us, the 2018 Capital University Christmas Festival. This is a (top) professional-quality holiday offering.

There are multiple performances – from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 – and they all sell out. Check it out now. Remember these are all undergrads, and the music making is glorious.

Not just for the holidays but not to be missed is The Ohio State University School of Music's 26th annual Music Celebration Concert, Nov. 30 in Mershon Auditorium.

This popular music extravaganza showcases the school's many performing groups: the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Band, Jazz ensembles, Men’s Glee Club, Women’s Chorus, Percussion Ensembles, soloists and much more. It's one night only in a non-stop college setting.

Bring your voice. Bring Aunt Marge, if she can sing. Come even if you can’t sing. ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's annual Messiah sing-along is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7.

Scores are available, or just listen. This is an evening of lusty singing of the world's most loved music. Robert Ward hosts this year. He's director of choral studies at Ohio State.

Now in its 10th season, the New Albany Symphony's Holiday Spectacular sells out every year. Join the New Albany Symphony, Una Voce and artists from Opera Columbus at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 at the McCoy Center for the Arts. Carol and dance favorites for the holidays. Come early for the fabulous holiday gift basket fundraiser!

For anyone wanting a more relaxed concert experience, the New Albany Symphony performs a sensory-friendly program featuring Santa at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.

The King Arts Complex hosts a Columbus Kwanzaa celebration from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. Presented in the spirit of Umoja (unity) and Imani (faith), the weeklong event encompasses educational programs,  celebrations and vendors.