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Posted on November 01, 2023

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Experience holiday magic @KimmelCC (Twitter/X)/@KimmelCulturalCampus (Facebook/Instagram) with returning favorites and new traditions. The season of giving kicks off with annual @WMGK Turkey Drop and runs through @philorch #NewYearsEve and Lunar New Year celebration. Info at  


Press Contacts:

Lauren A. Woodard Hall                                                             
[email protected]                               




From the signature sounds of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s holiday programs to the dazzling spectacle of Cirque Dreams Holidaze; and beloved traditions like A Soulful Christmas, Philadelphia Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®,
and film classics like Elf™ in Concert


Plus, give back with us: mark your calendars for expanded WMGK Turkey Drop benefiting CityTeam on Tuesday, November 21



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (November 1, 2023) – The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Cultural Campus celebrate the 2023 holiday season with an array of joyful events reflecting the broad interests of the diverse region. 


“The magic of togetherness is alive on our Campus this holiday season,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center. “With an array of presentations, from orchestral to dance, jazz to gospel, and more, we are a home for transformative artistic experiences as we look ahead to a bright 2024.”


The seasonal celebration kicks off this year with the annual WMGK Turkey Drop, as the station broadcasts live from the front of the Kimmel Center building on Broad Street (November 21); expanded this year to run 6 a.m. – 12 p.m., all are invited to donate frozen turkeys in-person that day or make monetary donations, benefitting neighbors at CityTeam. Later that week, the Kimmel Cultural Campus returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway – once again taking part in the 6ABC Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 23), with performances from an array of Campus programs: from the Broadway tours of Disney’s Frozen, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, to a very exciting guest appearance from the Broadway tour of Mrs. Doubtfire, the artistry of our esteemed Resident Company & Philadelphia’s own, PHILADANCO!, and a special performance from The Philadelphia Orchestra led by Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.


The Philadelphia Orchestra presents a variety of holiday events, including Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (November 24 – 26); The Glorious Sound of Christmas (December 14 – 16); Children’s Holiday Spectacular (December 16), Messiah (December 20 – 21); Elf™ in Concert (December 22-23); the annual New Year’s Celebration (December 31); and Lunar New Year (January 12).


Philadelphia Ballet proudly presents the return of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (December 8 – 30), a dazzling holiday classic brought to life by more than 70 world-class, professional dancers and the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra.


Holiday memories abound in a rare opportunity to witness “The Queens of Christmas” (Entertainment Weekly) in the internationally acclaimed The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show (December 8). A Very Philly Christmas (December 1 – 23) brings together new vibrant renditions of holiday classics and pop favorites in an unforgettable Philly-style holiday concert with music from the No Name Pops. Seasonal favorite A Soulful Christmas (December 13) returns for its 10th anniversary; the evening is filled with Gospel favorites, regional choirs, inspirational messages, and ends with the “Finale of Lights”. A two-time GRAMMY® Award-winner and one of jazz’s newest sensations comes to celebrate the holidays with Samara Joy: A Joyful Holiday featuring The McLendon Family (December 22). Cirque Dreams Holidaze (December 26 – 31) returns this season by popular demand as a part of the Broadway series – with their Broadway-style production around an infusion of contemporary circus arts that is sure to dazzle.





November 22, 2023, 6:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. • Kimmel Cultural Campus. Outside Broad Street doors of Kimmel Center building


Join the WMGK air staff as they broadcast live on the Kimmel Cultural Campus outside of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. They will be collecting frozen turkeys and monetary donations for CityTeam Philadelphia, an organization that provides holiday meals to less fortunate families in the Philadelphia region. Warm up with hot chocolate and coffee provided by Garces Events when you stop by to make your donation.


Checks should be made to: CityTeam Philadelphia. No food other than turkeys will be accepted.



November 23, 2023, Times Vary • Benjamin Franklin Parkway


This annual Philadelphia tradition on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will once again feature appearances from Kimmel Cultural Campus’ touring shows, including Disney’s Frozen, Company, and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, plus, expect a very special guest appearance from the Broadway tour of Mrs. Doubtfire. Plus, the artistry of esteemed Resident Company & Philadelphia’s own, PHILADANCO!, and a special performance from The Philadelphia Orchestra led by Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.



The Philadelphia Orchestra

November 24 – 26, 2023, Times Vary • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Pumpkin King Jack Skellington longs to spread the joy of Christmas! But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere in Tim Burton’s stop-action animation classic. Your Philadelphia Orchestra performs the brilliantly evocative Danny Elfman score live as the film plays on a giant screen above the stage—an unforgettable holiday season treat.


Conductor: Constantine Kitsopoulos

Elfman The Nightmare Before Christmas (complete with film)


This performance is part of the Kimmel’s Family Discovery Series, generously sponsored by Dietz & Watson. The Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concerts are funded in part by the Zisman Family Foundation.


FREE pre-concert entertainment in the Plaza is planned for this performance. Ticket holders for The Nightmare Before Christmas on November 25 are invited to a pre-concert holiday celebration from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Commonwealth Plaza. Holiday fun for families includes live jazz by John Dimase and Lora Sherrod, an arts and crafts station, and family photo opportunities with Santa Claus AND Jack Skellington!



December 1 – 23, 2023, Times Vary • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Enrico Lopez-Yañez, a conductor renowned for his showmanship and flair, leads The No Name Pops orchestra along with a talented cast of Broadway vocalists, dancers, and local choirs. And of course, expect a visit from the jolliest one of all, Santa! It’s a multi-generational, one-of-a-kind artistic experience this holiday season.


Philly does everything better, and that includes the holidays! You'll hear holiday classics and pop favorites in sparkling new arrangements; the No Name Pops deliver sizzling, swinging, and soaring renditions of your favorite holiday tunes, including "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "All I Want for Christmas Is You," "Winter Wonderland," "Go Tell It on The Moutain," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Jingle Bells," (and some surprise new favorites).


Each holiday event is an extravaganza, with cameos from beloved Philadelphia mascots, a dancer kick line, incredible vocal performances, and magical moments for children of all ages. Some lucky kids may even be called up onstage with the performers! Plus, come early to write your letters to Santa, enjoy some fun and free pre-concert entertainment, and indulge in seasonal treats.


Conductor: Enrico Lopez-Yañez




Presented in association with Live Nation

December 1, 2023, 8:00 p.m. • Miller Theater on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Named one of Variety's “10 Comics to Watch,” Matt Rogers is a multi-hyphenate creative on the rise with undeniable talent and charm. Rogers most recently headlined his debut comedy special based on his sold-out live show of the same name, Have You Heard of Christmas?, premiering to much praise on Showtime.


This success was on the heels of his standout performance in the revolutionary queer romantic comedy, Fire Island, opposite Bowen Yang and Joel Kim Booster. The groundbreaking film earned the Ensemble Tribute at the 2022 Gotham Awards and several award nominations, including the 2023 PGA Awards, 2023 Emmy Awards, and the 2023 GLAAD Media Awards. That same year, he was heralded for his scene-stealing performance in the Showtime comedy series, I Love That For You, created by Vanessa Bayer and Jeremy Beiler.


Rogers is also the host of the widely popular podcast "Las Culturistas" alongside Yang, which recently won “Podcast of the Year” at the 2023 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. The duo recently hosted their second annual Culture Awards at the Lincoln Center in New York in front of a live audience spanning over 3,000 people – with guest appearances that included Cate Blanchett, Ariana Grande, and Andy Cohen



Philadelphia Ballet

December 8 – 30, 2023, Times Vary • Academy of Music on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Toast the season with George Balanchine’s treasured classic—a whimsical remembrance of good tidings gone by. The Nutcracker leaps from the stage with prize-fighting mice, gallant toy soldiers, dancing candy canes, and waltzing flowers. Tchaikovsky’s glorious score guides young Marie and her Prince through a fantastical dreamworld in this beloved holiday tradition.


Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky



Presented in association with BenDeLaCreme Presents

December 8, 2023, 8:00 p.m. • Miller Theater on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


You better watch out, you better not cry, because “The Queens of Christmas” (Entertainment Weekly) are coming to town with a brand-new edition of the internationally acclaimed The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show!


Another holiday season brings another year of fabulous spectacle, whip-smart comedy, brand new songs, and annual favorites. Join the sugary DeLa and spicy Jinkx for an evening The New York Times says is “sure to lift your spirits and make you howl with laughter”.


VIP packages available at



December 12, 2023, 7:30 p.m. • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


The 10th annual A Soulful Christmas returns to bring together some of the area’s finest churches and community choirs for a night of soul-stirring music, spoken words and movement.


Creator and Director Dr. J. Donald Dumpson returns to lead the inspiring, uplifting gathering of regional choristers and clergy, sharing holiday spirituals, gospel favorites, and inspirational messages of good-will. The program culminates in a spectacular closing to the evening with a visually mesmerizing “Finale of Lights.” This year, the event is held in honor of Dr. J. Donald Dumpson, Creator and Director, for 50 years in music ministry.


Participating choirs include African Methodist Episcopal Church Mass Choir, Arch Street Presbyterian Church, Deliverance Evangelistic Church, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Gospel Music Preservation Alliance, Mount Carmel Baptist Church, PA Commonwealth C.O.G.I.C. Mass Choir, Philadelphia Catholic Gospel Mass Choir, Philadelphia Heritage Chorale, and the A Soulful Christmas Youth Mass Choir.


Citywide Praise Dancers and Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble will electrify the audience with movement and sounds borne of the African diaspora. Austin Woodlin is the evening’s music director, with Evelyn Simpson Curenton on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial pipe organ and Brian LeNair Williams on saxophone.


Donald Dumpson is the President of Diverse Arts Solutions, Minister of Music and Arts at Arch Street Presbyterian Church, and the founder of Philadelphia Heritage Chorale. He has served with the faculties at various places like Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia’s School District High School for Creative and Performing Arts. In 2018, Dr. Dumpson was the Artistic and Music Director for “The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul” sponsored by the Pew Foundation. He was also the chorus master of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s premiere of Healing Tones by Hannibal Lokumbe with Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the conductor.


A Soulful Christmas 2023 will be hosted by Patty Jackson (WDAS 105.3 FM) and Craig Hayes (WIMG, 1300 Trenton, NJ).


Each year, A Soulful Christmas honors a musical legend, and the 2023 honoree is Carol Antrom. Christan, Servant of The Lord Jesus Christ, Gospel Songwriter, Church Musician, Choir Director, Singer, and Elementary School Teacher. These are some of the many facets, the many aspects, the many dimensions of Carol Diane Antrom. Read the full bio here.


A Soulful Christmas is generously sponsored by PECO.



The Philadelphia Orchestra

December 14 – 16, 2023, 7:00 p.m. • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


You can almost hear the stamping of the reindeer hooves on the roof with these concerts, beloved by fans since the iconic Glorious Sounds of Christmas® recording with Eugene Ormandy and the Orchestra was released in 1962.


One of Your Philadelphia Orchestra’s favorites guest conductors—and a favorite with orchestras around the world—William Eddins returns to lead this rousing celebration, and the Orchestra’s own Charlotte Blake Alston adds charm and history to the occasion. Order early to reserve the best seats for a joyful holiday celebration with family and friends!


Conductor: William Eddins

Speaker: Charlotte Blake Alston

Chorus: Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia




The Rock School

December 15 – 17, 2023, Times Vary • Miller Theater on Kimmel Cultural Campus


Classical Nutcracker is a “treat for the whole family!” as its ushers in the spirit of the holiday season by bringing young Clara’s fairytale to life on the Miller Theater stage. Celebrate with the Silberhaus family and friends in the warmth of their home and watch the surroundings magically transform before your eyes. Toy soldiers come to life and battle enchanted mice under the tree in the drawing room until an enchanted snowstorm transports Clara to a mystical Land of the Sweets ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy.


Children of all ages delight in the charm, beauty, and grandeur of this beloved holiday classic featuring a cast of over 100 performers and award-winning dancers from around the world. Classic Nutcracker features timeless music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by The Rock School’s own Peter Stark after Marius Petipa’s original.


Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Choreography: Peter Stark



The Philadelphia Orchestra

December 16, 2023, 11:30 a.m. • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Do you hear the sleigh bells jingling? Ring, ting, tingling too? The holidays are finally here and so is everyone’s favorite family tradition! Celebrate with Your Philadelphia Orchestra and fill your Saturday with sing-alongs, sounds of the season, and special guests! And make sure you listen closely—you never know who might pay a special visit to the Verizon Hall.


Conductor: Austin Chanu


Recommended for ages 5-12.


This performance is part of the Kimmel’s Family Discovery Series, generously sponsored by Dietz & Watson. The Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concerts are funded in part by Zisman Family Foundation.




With the Notre Dame Glee Club and Symphony Orchestra

December 19, 2023, 7:30 p.m. • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


For the first time, after many years of sellout performances on campus, the University of Notre Dame Men’s Glee Club and Symphony Orchestra will present their annual holiday program Christmas From Notre Dame on tour, with concerts in Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York City. The wide-ranging program will include selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite as well as other traditional and contemporary music for the season, singalong carols, and popular holiday favorites from the Great American Songbook. Don’t miss this unique and memorable family evening of musical cheer—the best holiday entertainment value in town!


The concert is a benefit for Feeding America, with all proceeds from a collection and merchandise sales to be directed to a local food bank.     



The Philadelphia Orchestra

December 20 – 21, 2023, 7:00 p.m. • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


For fans of Handel’s most famous work, it’s hard to imagine a more fascinating character to conduct than Nicholas McGegan—unless, of course, you could raise Handel himself to do the job. McGegan is regarded as one of the foremost scholars of early music, and out of his prolific 100+ recording discography, he has released more than 50 albums devoted to the music of Handel. His scholarly obsession with Baroque music informs his wonderfully witty writings and stage commentary, making him a favorite of audiences. Experience this beloved classic in the hands of a master, a joy to be shared this holiday season.


Conductor: Nicholas McGegan 

Soprano: Sherezade Panthaki 

Countertenor: Reginald Mobely 

Tenor: Thomas Cooley 

Bass-baritone: Dashon Burton

Chorus: Philadelphia Symphonic Choir


Handel Messiah



The Philadelphia Orchestra

December 22 – 23, 2023, Times Vary • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Buddy was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. This holiday season, relive this heartwarming holiday classic on a giant screen as The Philadelphia Orchestra plays every note of John Debney’s wonderful score live to picture in Elf™ in Concert!


Conductor: Justin Freer

Debney Elf (complete with film)


Recommended for ages 8+.


ELF and all related characters and elements © & ™ New Line Productions, Inc. (s23)


This performance is part of the Kimmel’s Family Discovery Series, generously sponsored by Dietz & Watson. The Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concerts are funded in part by Zisman Family Foundation.



A Joyful Holiday featuring The McLendon Family

December 22, 2023, 7:30 p.m. • Miller Theater on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Samara Joy, one of jazz’s newest stars, celebrates the holidays on the Kimmel Campus!


Grammy Award winning vocalist Samara Joy, one of jazz’s newest stars, celebrates the holidays on the Kimmel Campus! Her voice, rich and velvety yet precociously refined, has already earned her fans like Anita Baker and Regina King, along with appearances on the TODAY Show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CBS Mornings, MSNBC, The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Jennifer Hudson Show, and more. In addition, she’s earned millions of likes on TikTok - cementing her status as the first Gen Z jazz star. Joy comes from a musical family with deep roots in Philadelphia, and for this Joy-ous occasion she is joined members of her talented musical family to deliver a joyful holiday celebration that blends jazz, gospel and R&B. 


This show is part of the 2023-24 Jazz Series.


FREE pre-concert entertainment in the Plaza is planned for this performance. Ticket holders are invited to a holiday cabaret featuring the Tim Brey Trio from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Commonwealth Plaza, as well as a cocktail tasting.



Presented in association with The Shubert Organization

December 26 – 31, 2023, Times Vary • Miller Theater on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Cirque Dreams Holidaze dazzles with a brilliant and whimsical family holiday spectacular! This annual tradition wraps a Broadway-style production around an infusion of contemporary circus arts. As lights dim and the music swells, audiences will have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads as a fantastical cast of holiday storybook characters come to life. Broadway World exclaims, “Lose yourself for 90 minutes and go back to those wonderful dreams you had as a kid.”


Featuring an ensemble of aerial circus acts, sleight-of-hand jugglers, fun-loving skippers, breath-catching acrobatics, and much more, the Dayton Daily News proclaims, “A new set of eyes should be added to my Christmas list… there’s no way the stunts I witnessed onstage actually happen as most of them aren’t humanly possible.”


Imaginative and fun for the whole family, Cirque Dreams Holidaze features a world-renowned cast of performers accompanied by an original music score including new twists on the seasonal favorites such as “Deck the Halls,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Singers, dancers, penguins, toy soldiers, and reindeer invoke the dreams behind a child’s eye on the most magical of nights. Amidst a backdrop of new sets, scenery, and storylines, this family friendly production is sure to put a twinkle in your eye!


Recommended for ages 5 and older.


This performance is part of the 2023-24 Broadway Series. This performance is also part of the Kimmel’s Family Discovery Series, generously sponsored by Dietz & Watson.



The Philadelphia Orchestra

December 31, 2023, 7:00 p.m. • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Whether you like donning your fanciest duds or prefer comfortable footwear and a cozy sweater for your holiday celebrations, this concert offers a spectacular way to mark the end of the old year and the dawning of a new one! Leading the program of beloved favorites is conductor Thomas Wilkins (Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra), famed for eliciting “electrifying” sounds from his orchestras, with “musicianship that generates passion and excitement from his players” (Sarasota Observer). Make your plans now for an unforgettable celebration!


Conductor: Thomas Wilkins
Charlotte Blake Alston



The Philadelphia Orchestra

January 12, 2024, 8:00 p.m. • Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus


Join the Orchestra and special guests to celebrate Lunar New Year! This family-friendly performance features repertoire in honor of the Year of the Dragon.


Conductor: Long Yu


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Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at In-person ticket sales can be conducted daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, located at 240 S. Broad Street. Consider the gift of culture this holiday season, and surprise someone with an unforgettable experience of live arts! See for more information. 


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About The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. brings the greatest performances and most impactful education and community programs, in-person and digitally, to the diverse audiences of the city, and beyond. We are reimagining the power of the arts to bring joy, create community, and effect change—to uplift all Philadelphians.


Our Mission

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., share the transformative power of the performing arts and arts education with the widest possible audience.


Our Vision

To inspire and connect humanity with exceptional performances and experiences serving Philadelphia and the world.


Our Values

  • AUTHENTIC: We communicate openly and honestly and act with acceptance, integrity, and respect.
  • COLLABORATIVE: We are conveners, bringing people, institutions, and ideas together.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: We are committed to quality and innovation. We engage our audiences and communities with exceptional experiences.
  • INCLUSIVE: We seek and value diverse perspectives, modeling equity and access in all we do. We pursue diversity on and off our stages.


Our values are based upon our fundamental principles of IDEAS, Accountability, and Fiscal Responsibility.


Learn more about The Philadelphia Orchestra here:


Learn more about the Kimmel Cultural Campus here:



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For a PDF version of this press release, click here.

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