Savannah Philharmonic Chorusmaster Monica Dekle says this year marks her fourth Holiday Pops concert and of all the shows the chorus does with the orchestra, this is the most fun.

"You can see the joy on everyone's faces when they are singing. These songs are full of joy and it shows - they all look so happy when they are singing."

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus returns with their popular Holiday Pops concert at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Johnny Mercer Theatre. Because this show is so popular, they added another full show at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

Dekle says guests can expect to hear a variety of holiday favorites from Handel's "Messiah" to their signature medley of tunes, "Christmas on Broadway." Guests will be invited to sing along to some of their favorite carols as well.

Dekle laughs and says Savannah Philharmonic Conductor and Artistic Director Peter Shannon does a great job encouraging the audience to really belt out the lyrics. "That's one of my favorite parts of the concert."

Find even more Savannah holiday concerts in our roundup here.

Another special highlight of the series is the guest performances. The Savannah Children's Choir will be at the family matinee on Dec. 9, and American Traditions Vocal Competition's 2017 Gold Medalist Julie Benko will perform as a guest soloist with the chorus during the evening shows Dec. 8 and 9.

"We have so many people tell us that it doesn't feel like Christmas until they hear the Holiday Pops concert. Or that the holidays don't even begin until we perform Holiday Pops," Dekle says.

While the concert has become a tradition for so many families in the community, it's important to note that the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus is made of nearly 100 volunteers, not paid performers, Dekle adds.

"It's great to point that out because it shows that our chorus is a combination of people from all walks of life and they really represent the Savannah community. We have everyone from professional musicians to hobby singers ⦠and it shows we can all work together, no matter our backgrounds."

She says a beautiful, collaborative concert is what everyone needs this holiday season.

"With everything that is going on in the world today, we all need to hear this message this year."


What: Savannah Philharmonic Presents Holiday Pops

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9

Cost: $15-$80; $15 matinee

Where: Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.