The splashiest, most festive seasonal presentation in recent years was the Baltimore Symphony's Holiday Spectacular, famed for its tap-dancing Santas. Although that costly production is on hiatus, the orchestra has a new venture for 2012 called Holiday Pops Celebration.

"It is a different kind of product," said Matthew Spivey, the BSO's vice president of artistic operations, "but it's in the same feel-good, family tradition. There will still be holiday decorations, lighting and snow."

Robert Bernhardt will conduct a program of secular and pop music of the season featuring vocalist Daniel Narducci and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.

Those choristers will also have the spotlight in the 29th annual Christmas with Choral Arts. The event is usually held at the Baltimore Basilica, but repairs going on there have necessitated a move to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

"This is not a holiday concert," said Choral Arts music director Tom Hall. "We are not being coy. We are not trying to acknowledge all the other different traditions at this time of year. It's a Christmas concert, and a classical concert."

A rich assortment of works by the likes of Bach, Handel and Mendelssohn is scheduled, along with contemporary pieces by Dave Brubeck, a Nigerian carol by Babatunde Olatunji and "a lovely setting of 'Ave Maria' by great African American composer Nathaniel Dett," Hall said.

BSO Holiday Pops Celebration, Dec. 13-16 at Meyerhoff Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. 410-783-8000,

Christmas with Choral Arts, Dec. 4 at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St. 410-523-7070,

More holiday concerts:

Canadian Tenors Friday through Nov. 25 and the Vienna Boys Choir Dec. 8 at Meyerhoff Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. 410-0783-8000,

Annapolis Chorale Celebration of Christmas, Dec. 6-7 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. 410-280-5640,

Annapolis Symphony Swingin' Season's Greetings with Tony DeSare, Dec. 14 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. 410-263-0907,

Concert Artists of Baltimore Christmas Cheer, Dec. 15-16 at Engineers Club, 11 W. Mount Vernon Place. 410-625-3525,

U.S. Army Field Band Sound the Bells, Dec. 10 at Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St.

Maryland State Boychoir, 22nd annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Dec. 16, 22-23 at Center for the Arts, 3400 Norman Ave. 410-554-8644,

Grace United Chancel Choir Annual Christmas Concert, Dec. 9 at Grace United Methodist, 5407 N. Charles St. 410-433-5540,

More holiday productions

'A Christmas Carol'

The grandfather of all Christmas stories, the one with Scrooge, ghosts and Tiny Tim, too, has frequently been adapted for the stage. Area audiences can check out several versions of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," including:

•A version with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, through Dec. 30 at Toby's Dinner Theatre, 5900 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia. 410-730-8311,

•The Nebraska Theatre Caravan offers an adaptation by Charles Jones, Dec. 16 at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. 410-547-7328,

•One-man version adapted and performed by Paul Morella, Nov. 30 through Dec. 20 at Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road. 301-924-3400,

Michael Wilson's adaptation through Dec. 30 at Ford's Theatre, 511 Tenth St., N.W., Washington. 202-347-4833m

'Irving Berlin's White Christmas'

National touring production of the Broadway musical, Dec. 11 to Jan. 6; and Washington National Opera's production of Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel," Dec. 21-23; both at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St., N.W. 800-444-1324,

For more Baltimore-area holiday performances, go to

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