Unwrap the Season with the Grand Rapids Symphony

Media Contact:
Samara Napolitan
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 110

When you think of the holidays, you think of snow, twinkling lights, a crackling fire, and of course, holiday music. This season, the Grand Rapids Symphony is offering their own take on the holiday season with an offering of festive concerts. 

The Snowman   

The award winning children’s book “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs comes to life in an exciting storytelling performance of music and film. The DTE Energy Foundation Family Series concert captures a magical night as a boy and his snowman friend go soaring and exploring in the snow. The music is accompanied by video that is sure to entertain the whole family. "The Snowman," conducted by John Varineau, will take place on Saturday, November 21 at 3 p.m. in the DeVos Performance Hall. Tickets are $5 for children and $15 for adults. 

Holiday Pops   

The Fox Motors Pops Series Holiday Pops concert is an annual tradition by the Grand Rapids Pops that features classical and popular Christmas tunes in a symphonic setting. This year, the Symphony will be performing such favorites as “Sleigh Ride" and Handel's “Hallelujah Chorus,” as well as some new surprises like selections form the "Home Alone" soundtrack. The performance will also feature the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus conducted by Pearl Shangkuan, as well as the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus conducted by Sean Ivory. The concert will be conducted by Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt for the first time in his tenure. It will also feature the renowned soprano soloist Mela Dailey. Performances of the Holiday Pops will take place December 3 through 6 in DeVos Performance Hall. Concert tickets start at $18 and at select performances only $5 for kids and students. 

Families can enhance their Holiday Pops experience at Holiday Pops Spectacular prior to the Saturday matinee performance. From 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. children can enjoy festive treats, arts and crafts, games, caroling, family photos, an instrument petting zoo and much more in the DeVos Hall Monroe Rooms. Tickets are $20 and include admission to the 3:00 p.m. concert. Children one year and under are free to attend. Tickets are available on GRSymphony.org/Holidays or by calling GRS Ticket Services at 616.454.9451 x 4. 

Michael W. Smith: The Spirit of Christmas,  Presented By Cracker Barrell Old Country Store   

What better way is there to ring in the Christmas season than by celebrating with one of contemporary Christian music’s biggest superstars, Michael W. Smith! Hear inspiring songs like “Christmastime,” “The Promise,” and “All is Well” from Michael W. Smith’s holiday-themed albums, including “The Spirit of Christmas,” which recently won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Christmas Album of the Year.

He will perform alongside the Grand Rapids Symphony, guest conducted by David Hamilton and accompanied by the Resurrection Life Choir. The performance will take place Tuesday, December 8, at 7:30 at Resurrection Life Church. Tickets start at $25, with a Family 4-Pack at $60. 

Fifth Third Cirque de Noël   

Stunning choreography, thrilling acrobatics, and breathtaking music combine to make-up the annual Fifth Third Cirque de Noël, presented by Fifth Third Bank. The Cirque performers will feature awe-inspiring displays by aerialists, jugglers, contortionists and acrobats, set to the familiar classical and Christmas tunes conducted by John Varineau. Performances of “Cirque de Noël” will take place Tuesday, December 22 and Wednesday, December 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $32. 


Tickets are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available at the DeVos Place Box Office, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster, 800.982.2787, online at GRPops.org or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee. Full-time students of any age are able to purchase tickets for only $5 on the night of Thursday, December 3 and Saturday, December 5, 3 p.m. performances of “Holiday Pops” by enrolling in the Symphony’s Student Passport program. “Holiday Pops” is a MySymphony360 eligible concert.

About the Grand Rapids Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Advisor Larry Rachleff, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 200,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. The Symphony also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony please visit GRSymphony.org.

This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.