When: Sat., Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m.
For 40 summers the Compton Heights Concert Band has been rocking Tower Grove Park with Sousa marches and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, complete with cannon blasts. But the band also performs one show every winter: its Holiday Pops Spectacular. Joined by special guests Hugh K. Smith (tenor, pictured) and St. Louis' own Gina Galati (soprano), the band performs a family-friendly program of Christmas carols and sacred classics. The big finish is the best bit of Handel's Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus, with all hands on deck and additional vocal reinforcements in the form of the East Central College Combined Choirs. Powell Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard; www.chband.org) is the only building in town that won't get its roof blown off during the crescendoes, so that's where the concert takes place. The Holiday Pops Spectacular starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $30 to $75.