American Idol Melinda Doolittle joins Orchestra for Holiday Pops DEC 2-4

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra reprises its annual Holiday Pops concert weekend with conductor John Morris Russell at the Taft Theatre December 2-4. These often sold-out family-friendly events are one of Cincinnati’s favorite holiday traditions, featuring local singers, dancers and other performers in a spirited celebration of the season.

The Pops has added extra matinee performances this season to accommodate demand for these concerts. This year, the Orchestra welcomes American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle in her Pops debut. Ms. Doolittle’s powerhouse vocals will bring new energy to familiar classics like “The Christmas Song” to modern favorites like “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and everything in between. The Cincinnati Pops Chorale, composed of members of the May Festival Chorus and Classical Roots Community Mass Choir will also perform and will help lead a traditional audience sing-along. Dancers from the Studio for Dance and costumed characters in the lobby and on stage add to the festive performances.

Audience members are also invited to donate a wrapped toy for a Holiday Gift Drive to benefit Cincinnati children in need.

This year’s concerts also pay homage to “Home for the Holidays,” a holiday spectacular led by Mr. Russell at the Taft Theatre for several years starting in 1996. “Twenty years later I’m…overjoyed to bring many of the old favorites from ‘Home for the Holidays’ back to life, as well as introduce a handful of new arrangements crafted in the same diverse and eclectic way we did two decades ago,” said Mr. Russell. “We’ll have a wonderful mix of traditional carols, many of which have been immortalized on our three sensational Holiday Pops recordings, alongside new classics like ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,’ Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas Is You,’ and John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas.’”

Tickets for this concert start at just $25 for adults and $15 for kids and are available by calling the Pops Box Office at (513) 381-3300 or visiting

The Cincinnati Pops is grateful to the Pops Series Sponsor, PNC. Major underwriting for the Pops is provided by Mrs. Edyth B. Lindner. The Pops Artist Series Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. The Performance Sponsor for these performances is William D. Stenger, and the Artist Sponsor is Graeter’s.