A welcome from conductor Morihiko Nakahara, and what to expect at Long Beach Symphony’s Holiday Pops.

Give your friends and family the gift of music this season and spend the most wonderful time of the year together with the hap-hap-happiest holiday songs at Long Beach Symphony’s annual Holiday Pops concert on Saturday, Dec. 17.

“We deck our December concert with some serious holiday cheer, fitting for the most wonderful time of the year,” Long Beach Symphony President Kelly Ruggirello said.

Long Beach Symphony, she noted, is proud to be joined on stage this year by the Long Beach Camerata Singers and local church choirs, who will lead the audience in sing-alongs to celebrate the season. After all, Santa’s elves say the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing out loud for all to hear.

The symphony and carolers will perform under the direction of award-winning guest conductor Morihiko Nakahara, a Japanese-born music director for the South Carolina Philharmonic and resident conductor of the Spokane Symphony. This will be his first time leading the Long Beach Symphony.

Christmas favorites being performed include John Williams’s Academy Award-nominated “Home Alone” 1990 film score, Franz Xaver Gruber’s circa-1818 “Silent Night,” and music from George Frideric Handel’s nearly 300-year-old “Messiah” oratorio, among many others that are sure fill the audience with sentimental feelings. The concert also will feature a spirited rendition of “Hanukkah Festival Overture” arranged by Lucas Richman.

“Holiday Pops is different every year, but it also has a familiarity to it—the festive concert is a Long Beach tradition that builds upon and creates new family memories,” Ruggirello said.

Holiday Pops will make the symphony’s 88th season bright at the Long Beach Arena on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m., with the doors opening at 6:30 for audiences to bring their food, libations, and even decorations, for a party of symphonic proportions with picnicking and dancing.

Individual concert tickets start at $30, and three-concert sample packs start at $99. Tickets for this show and others in the 2022-23 season (which fit snugly in stockings) are available now online at LongBeachSymphony.org or by calling 562-436-3203, ext. 1.