The RPO describes its annual Gala Holiday Pops concert as "Rochester's most popular holiday musical tradition," and barring various "Messiahs" and "Nutcrackers," they may be right. Certainly this concert has been a favorite for at least a couple of decades now. This year, Michael Butterman conducts the festivities instead of Jeff Tyzik, but the musical mix is comfortably familiar: a little pop, a little classical, a lot of favorite Christmas carols, and an appearance by the hand-picked Festival High School Chorale, featuring some of the best teenage vocalists in the area. Joining the orchestra and chorus are soprano Sarah Jane McMahon and the RPO's principal tuba player, W. Craig Sutherland.
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will present Gala Holiday Pops on Friday, December 19, and Saturday, December 20, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 20, and Sunday, December 21, at 2 p.m. Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street. $16-$95. 454-2100, rpo.org.