22 Nov
METRMAG Spotlight On: Keith Lockhart returns to the Hanover Theatre with "The 2023 Boston Pops Holiday Tour" (Worcester, MA.)

(Cover Photo: Conductor KEITH LOCKHART and the BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA returns tThe Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, MA. for one performance only on December 2, 2023. Photo Courtesy of the Hanover Theatre and BSO.org)

METRMAG Spotlight On: Keith Lockhart returns to the Hanover Theatre with "The 2023 Boston Pops Holiday Tour"

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts





One Night Only!


December 2, 2023 at 8:00pm  

Presented at the HANOVER THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 

For More Information:  

877-571-SHOW (7469) info@thehanovertheatre.org


Tickets are $69, $85, $109 and $149 depending on seat location. Please contact the box office at 877-571-7469 for more information.



Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information.

(Photo: Conductor KEITH LOCKHART and the BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA returns tThe Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, MA. for one performance only on December 2, 2023. Photo Courtesy of the Hanover Theatre and BSO.org)

METRMAG Spotlight On: Keith Lockhart returns to the Hanover Theatre with "The 2023 Boston Pops Holiday Tour"

The holidays in Massachusetts just would not be the same without the exceptional BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA under the expert guidance of Conductor KEITH LOCKHART

LOCKHART chatted with METRMag about his life, his career since taking up the baton, about the upcoming holiday event at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester on December 2nd, and what exactly he thinks makes the event, at least as advertised, "sparkling."

First of all, there won't be a lot of details about his career as the man has more credits to his name than some deities that shall remain nameless.

So, let's all just agree to stipulate that the extensive resume posted for MR. LOCKHART on the BSO.org website is 100% accurate.  

With that said, there are a few things about LOCKHART'S early life which the site also provides which are germane to the overall premise and approach taken for this interview:

Born in November, 1959 in Poughkeepsie, NY, LOCKHART (Happy belated birthday, by the way) began his musical studies on piano at the age of 7, and holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University.

LOCKHART also holds honorary doctorates from the Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Northeastern University, Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University, among others. 

LOCKHART was also the 2006 recipient of the Bob Hope Patriot Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and recipient of the 2017 Commonwealth Award, Massachusetts’ highest cultural honor.  

LOCKHART was one of two children growing up in a household with parents who, according to LOCKHART, never discouraged their sons' passion for music. 

And that's where our chat begins.

Q – I read that your parents were involved in the computer industry. So, did they, at any time, ask you about your "backup plans" in case this “music thing” didn’t work out? 

KL - "They were both 'IBM-ers' from way back in the 50s/60s," says LOCKHART. "They gave us both music lessons - something that was denied most post-depression kids. They told me, and to their credit, to ‘do whatever it is you love and if you are good enough you could just make a living it.’ But they also added, ‘You should know that you are not going to conservatory – so, have a back- up plan, just in case.’"

Q – Can you actually speak a little about your family life and what first sparked your interest in music and, ultimately, what prompted you to lift the baton for that first downbeat? 

KL - "Really, it all kind of snuck up on me," LOCKHART recalls. "My dad was actually a very musical person. I just took that and ran with it a bit more.  A lot of my peers had parents who were musicians. Mine worked in computers. But I also had parents who were loving and supportive. I was an undergrad but I thought I was headed to law school. I guess that didn’t work out." 

Q – Were your parents or brother similarly musically proficient? Anyone in the family? 

KL - "My brother (Paul) is also a fine musician. He works as an historian – I guess we both got the liberal arts side of the gene pool. Paul still plays piano and guitar, but he does those more for any ‘de-stressing’ moments."

Q – You’ve worked with a multitude of musical geniuses, including the much-beloved composer, conductor, and pianist John Williams. Are there those who still amaze or inspire you with their work today? 

KL - "There are a great number of artists who I still work with and who still inspire me, LOCKHART says. "I am always pleased to be enjoying working with extraordinarily talented people - and some of the younger people coming up, as well, are incredible. I think Jon Batiste is an amazing talent." 

Q – Leaping ahead to today: You now have three sons: Aaron (20), Kellan (13) and Christopher (11). All still very young, of course, but are any of them musically inclined or do you see their life passions perhaps taking them in different directions, like maybe (harkening back to those "IBM-ers" in Poughkeepsie) computers

KL - "Funny thing is that the oldest boy, Aaron, IS actually studying computers," LOCKHART says with a laugh. "He also plays cello and piano. The other two boys are also good musicians (playing piano & trumpet). I don’t think I would recommend (being a professional musician) as a career because it is so much harder these days and because music distribution has changed so much – but, I'd also probably say to them that: IF there’s nothing else that your heart will let you do, then we’ll support them." 

Q - Speaking of family: Do you consider yourself to be a "soccer or football dad?" I’m sorry but, for some reason, I just can’t picture you showing up to one of your kids’ football games without carrying a baton, ready to lead the school band along the sidelines. 

KL - "Funny thing about that is, when my workload was way down as a result of the pandemic, I was one of the assistant coaches on one of my kids’ baseball teams. I love that part of things." 

Q – As mentioned, your credits are massive - you are active not only with the Boston Pops but also served (up until 2020) as Chief Guest Conductor for the BBC Concert Orchestra and are still Artistic Director of the Brevard Music Center of North Carolina. But where is home for the LOCKHART  family these days? Where are your holidays normally spent? 

KL - "We live in (Massachusetts) with the two younger kids and we tend to spend the holidays here because I’m usually working every single night of the holidays right up until New Year’s Eve." 

Q – Are you always active in music or do you sometimes need some down time just to get away from it? In other words: Does Conductor "Maestro" KEITH LOCKHART have any non-musical hobbies? Do you like model trains? Are you a sports fanatic? Do you manage ant farms or are you heavy into bee keeping? - things like that. 

KL - "My wife and I like to travel – and I like to ski in the winter and play tennis in the summer. Between those there’s also running after two kids," LOCKHART says.  

(Photo: Conductor KEITH LOCKHART and the BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA returns tThe Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, MA. for one performance only on December 2, 2023. Photo Courtesy of the Hanover Theatre and BSO.org)

Q – How many times have you appeared with the BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester

KL - "I think our first time was pretty soon after it opened (in 2008), while the paint was still fresh on the walls, " LOCKHART remembers, adding, "This will be my 28th Christmas season and we’ve been coming to Worcester almost every year (including times when performing at the DCU Center)." 

Q – In the ad the Hanover uses for the upcoming show are the words “sparkling and beloved” – a very Lawrence Welk-ish type of description. So much so, I automatically imagine bubbles in the air. Now, I have directed some "beloved" musicals over the years but I don't think I have ever used the word "sparkling" to describe any show. But, unlike you, I am not a musician...I’m only a tenor. From your perspective, though, Maestro, how can music be considered “sparkling?” and are there any "sparkling" tunes in your holiday repertoire that may take a few fans by surprise? 

KL - "Oh, I absolutely think that music can be ‘sparkling,’" LOCKHART answers enthusiastically. "it is the effervescence and the nature of the holiday season that make it so – and the music of Tchaikovsky certainly couldn’t be considered anything LESS than ‘sparkling.’ Beyond that - we try to give audiences a great show that has a great ensemble and orchestra. Traditions are important because people expect to hear certain things. But often they also might come away surprised by something they might never have heard before." 

Q – Are there things about performing at the beautiful Hanover Theatre itself, especially at this time of year, which you might find yourself looking forward to? 

KL - Absolutely," says LOCKHART. "One of the things, as we traditionally overlap with the Hanover's production of “A Christmas Carol,” every year the cast of that show always provides us with a narrator, usually dressed in full Dickensian garb to perform with us, as well. We are always happy to play at the Hanover."

Q – Which brings us back to the first question: If this "music thing" doesn’t work out, do you have any fallback plans? Meaning: what are some other things you might like to do or explore, perhaps not even music related? 

KL - "Well, I think its too late for that, " LOCKHART says with a laugh. "However, I have always wanted to write and I remember wanting to write...something...during the pandemic. I love writing for the spoken word almost as much as music. So, back then, I thought maybe it was finally time to write. But the longer the pandemic went on, the more depressed I was from the loss of live music and couldn't wait to get back to that once we could. But I guess, still, someday, I might find myself retreating to some quiet loft high above a bluff someday and write that great American novel." 

Q – Final question. Ultimately, what do you hope folks who attend your December 2nd appearance at the Hanover Theatre will come away with after seeing the POPS perform? 

KL - "It has been 30 years now and the POPS have brought joy to many people," LOCKHART says, reflecting. "We always look at the world around us and what is on peoples minds - their hopes, their aspirations. And, yes, sometimes, it seems, in this world, that some things just continue to get worse. Yet, having done this event, year after year, even at the Christmas just after 9/11 – we still hope that people can come together with us and that, (after watching us perform), that they will leave having more hope for the future and for community. 

"The idea that there is still much to celebrate - even when the news tells us otherwise - is something that I hope they can leave with, " LOCKHART says, adding. "I hope they leave with a good feeling, as if they have been imbued with the Christmas spirit – that same sense of Christmas spirit one might see coming out of a Frank Capra movie."

The "sparkling and beloved" BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA plays at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, MA. for one performance only on December 2, 2023


Please contact the box office at 877-571-SHOW (7469) for more information.

Approximately two hours with one intermission

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) 



(Photo: Conductor KEITH LOCKHART (seen here shaking hands with a friend) and the BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA returns tThe Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, MA. for one performance only on December 2, 2023. Photo Courtesy of the Hanover Theatre and BSO.org)


Join the BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA and conductor KEITH LOCKHART for their sparkling and beloved Holiday Pops concert. 

Capturing the magic of the Christmas season and the winter charms of New England, the BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA will perform holiday classics and new arrangements of seasonal favorites.

They are joined by the Metropolitan Chorale, known as one of Metro Boston’s premier choral ensembles. 

Santa Claus himself will make a guest appearance during the concert’s finale.

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with family, friends and merry music with "THE 2023 BOSTON POPS HOLIDAY TOUR" this December

Performing festive favorites from cultural traditions around the world, conductors KEITH LOCKHART and JAMES BURTON, along with the POPS, will get you in the holiday spirit quicker than you can sing “fa la la la la.” 

Approximately two hours with one intermission


Please contact the box office at 877-571-SHOW (7469) for more information.


Worcester Center for Performing Arts is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which owns and operates The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.


2 Southbridge Street

Worcester, MA. 01608

877-571-SHOW (7469)