Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops ready to bring yuletide greetings

Keith Lockhart and his Boston Pops are about to embark on a holiday marathon to rival St. Nick’s annual trip.

Between tonight and Christmas Eve, Lockhart will conduct 44 performances. And this year, the maestro and his elves unwrap some new arrangements.

Lockhart is a master of the genre, and he isn’t shy about it.

“I probably know more Christmas carols than anyone,” Lockhart told the Herald with a chuckle. “Well, there’s Santa Claus. But after him it’s probably me.”

The orchestra will do a version of Satchmo’s “Cool Yule,” a piece called “Blue Christmas Blues” fusing Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” and Dean Martin’s “Christmas Blues,” and a reimagining of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The concert also features a fresh take on “The Christmas Story” prepared by Tony Award-winning, Boston-based orchestrator Bill Elliott.

Along with the new arrangements, the program includes classics such as the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah” and the Pops’ signature piece, “Sleigh Ride.”

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