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Happy Holidays from the Pops

By Rick Pender · December 10th, 2003 · Fine Tuning

If you're planning to attend the BOAR'S HEAD AND YULE LOG FESTIVAL in early January at Christ Church Cathedral, you need to make your move on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the downtown church (318 E. Fourth St.). Performances (Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. and Jan. 4 at 2:30 and 5 p.m.) are several weeks off, but you need to get your tickets ahead of time -- and they fly away faster than Christmas cookies. Each adult in line early on Saturday can get two free tickets, as long as they last. Tickets are designated for a row in Christ Church's beautiful sanctuary. The Boar's Head from England is one of the oldest continuing festivals of the Christmas season, dating back to the 14th century. The 64th annual Cincinnati celebration is not a church service, although it features seasonal music and medieval pageantry. The performances are presented as the Church's seasonal gift to the people of Cincinnati. Info: 513-621-BOAR or www.boarsheadfestival.com ...

Once you have your Boar's Head tickets in hand, you might want to hear some inspiring seasonal music this weekend.

Handel's Messiah, written in 1742, is a holiday tradition, and you won't find a better rendition than the one by CINCINNATI BAROQUE, presented three times: Friday at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes in Western Hills; Saturday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine; and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Kenwood. The ensemble's director, Thomas Juneau, will conduct a performance that uses instrumentation typical of the 18th century. Tickets ($25; $17 seniors; $5 students): 513-351-1615. ...

Also performing this weekend is the area's premier professional 24-voice chamber choir, THE VOCAL ARTS ENSEMBLE. Their annual holiday choral concert, including excerpts from Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, will also be presented three times: Friday at 8 p.m. at St. Boniface in Northside; Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Athenaeum of Ohio in Mount Washington and Sunday at 2 p.m. at St. Barnabas in Montgomery. Tickets ($20; $10 students): 513-556-4183 or www.vaecincinnati.org. ...

If you prefer your seasonal music with a bit more kitsch, you'll want to be at Music Hall this weekend for the Cincinnati Pops HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE POPS program Thursday-Sunday. Broadway star LEE ROY REAMS (who came through Cincinnati on tour with The Producers a year ago) will be joined by performers from CCM's musical theater department, creations from Madcap Puppet Theatre Productions, a steel band from Miami University, plus dancers and the May Festival Chorus. Tickets: 513-381-3300. ...

And if that show appeals to you, then HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (same musicians, but this time in their Cincinnati Symphony configuration) at the Taft Theatre on Dec. 19-21 is probably your cup of eggnog. The show was jeopardized by budget, but a handful of sponsors -- WKRC-TV, Clear Channel Entertainment, Thriftway and Procter & Gamble -- stepped up to make it happen for another year. Order your tickets through Ticketmaster: 513-562-4949.



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