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Holiday Guide Calendar

Music

Harborpace & The Gallery
Merry Tuba Christmas At Harborplace Amphitheater Dec. 5.
Charlie Brown's Christmas At Carroll Arts Center Dec. 3-5.

Holiday Guide 2009

Stuffed The 2009 City Paper Holiday Guide

The Gifts That Count The presents that have stayed in our writers' thoughts | By Raymond Cummings, Lauren Bender, Charles Cohen, Alex Epstein, and John Barry

The Wish List Gifts we wish we could afford

Posted 11/18/2009

Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza, 8 p.m. Nov. 27, Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100, strathmore.org, $35-$95. Brian Setzer and his Orchestra return for his seventh annual Christmas spectacular. He may be 50 now, but he still jumps, jives, and wails.

The AMFM Family Holiday Concert, 3 p.m. Nov. 28, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis, (410) 280-5640, mdhallarts.org, $15. Rocknoceros, Doug Segree, Dan Haas, Kevin Martin and the Rock Creek Drum School, and Unified Jazz Ensemble kick-off the Christmas season on Thanksgiving weekend with holiday tunes.

Festive Holiday Music, noon Mondays through Fridays in December, Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St., (410) 685-6169, lexingtonmarket.com, free. School choirs, bands, and other local performers bring holiday music to the World Famous Market for a bit of festive fun for your ears while your tastebuds take a journey through local favorites--don't forget to take some yum to-go.

Brian Culbertson's Soulful Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Ram's Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545, ramsheadonstage.com, $55. Culbertson brings the soul to the stale holiday classics.

Christmas with Choral Arts, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, the Basilica of the Assumption, 409 Cathedral St., (410) 337-6333, baltimorechoralarts.org, $25-$75. Choral Arts and its full orchestra perform classical holiday hits under the tutelage of Rosephanye Dunn-Powell.

Charlie Brown's Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3-4, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 5, Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster, (410) 848-7272, carrollcountyartscouncil.org, $10, members, seniors, and students $8. The Eric Byrd Trio performs Vince Guaraldi's iconic jazz score from A Charlie Brown Christmas while we all resist dancing like Chuck's classmates, right?

Sound the Bells!, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 4, Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., (301) 677-6586, armyfieldband.com, free. Let the Music Ambassadors of the Army serenade you with their pomp and circumstance. Respect.

Handel's Messiah, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000, bsomusic.org, $25-$65; 8 p.m. Dec. 12-13, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100, strathmore.org, $29-$79. The National Philharmonic Chorale and dozens of soloists perform the world's most popular holiday choral piece.

The Polar Express, 11 a.m. Dec. 5, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000, bsomusic.org, $12-$20. We think the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has had it with inappropriate embellishments of children's lit, because this presentation eschews the soulless digitized rendition of Chris Van Allsburg's beloved classic. Instead, the BSO takes Allburg's Caldecot-winning illustrations on its musical trek to the North Pole using Humperdink, sing-alongs, and winter classics for this journey.

Cathy and Marcy's Winter Family Concert, 1 p.m. Dec. 5, Performing Arts Center of Montgomery College, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, (301) 754-3611, imtfolk.org, $12, advance $10. Bonnie Rideout and the Rockville HS Pipe Band kick off this annual family celebration.

Merry Tuba Christmas, 3 p.m. Dec. 5, Harborplace Amphitheater, 200 E. Pratt St., (410) 332-4191, harborplace.com, free. It's the 26th anniversary of these holiday blowhards hitting the Inner Harbor with great fanfare, to the delight of children and high-school music teachers.

College of Notre Dame Concert Choir, 2 p.m. Dec. 6, Marikle Chapel of the Annunciation, 4701 North Charles St., (410) 532-5546, ndm.edu, free. The college's choir performs a Christmas concert, including hymns, in a chapel we hear has great acoustics.

Children's Chorus of Maryland, 3 p.m. Dec. 6, Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills, (410) 494-1480, ccmsings.org, $12-$18. Children spread some holiday cheer by dropping the snowballs and picking up sheet music from Vivaldi, Kodály, Pretorius, Britten, Debussy, and Bach.

Celtic Yule, 8 p.m. Dec. 7, JCC of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, (301) 754-3611, imtfolk.org, $25, advance $20. Revel in your Seasonal Affective Disorder with Al Petteway, Amy White, and Robin Bullock, who promise songs and meditations on the dark days of winter.

Peabody Concert Orchestra, 8 p.m. Dec. 8, Peabody Institute, Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place, (410) 234-4800 peabody.jhu.edu, $15, seniors $10, students $5. Peabody-Hopkins Chorus and Peabody Singers devote their concert to the classical side of Christmas: Bach's Magnificat in D major, songs from The Nutcracker, and more, which is nice considering all the variations hacked up in Home Depot and Folger's commercials this time of year.

DC101 Festivus, 7 p.m. Dec. 9, Patriot Center, 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax, Va., (703) 993-3000, dc101.com, $49.50. We don't know what's specifically holidayish 'bout Weezer, Jack's Mannequin, and Motion City Soundtrack, but we admit part of our devotion to Festivus is its decided lack of generic holiday spirit, so maybe it makes sense after all.

Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8024, bsomusic.com, $26-$60; 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100, strathmore.org, $25-$80. Handel's masterpiece gets fired up in this jazz- and soul-inspired performance, which includes a stage full of area choirs and mandatory exuberant audience participation.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., (410) 347-2006, baltimorearena.com, $25-$79. T-SO may be the most extreme, epic, and electric Christmas concert all year. Bring your air guitar to this one.

Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10-11, Peabody Institute, Griswold Hall,1 E. Mt. Vernon Place, (410) 234-4800 peabody.jhu.edu, $15, seniors $10, students $5. Mark Cudek directs his orchestra through Nato's Italian Christmas.

Celebration of Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday Dec. 10-11, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis, (410) 280-5640, mdhallarts.org, $42. Plan a day-trip to Annapolis for walking and shopping by the water, followed by this concert by the Annapolis Chorale.

National Symphony Orchestra Pops: Happy Holidays!, 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday Dec. 10-13, Kennedy Center 2700 F. St. NW, Washington, (202) 467-4600, kennedy-center.org, $20-$85. Marvin Hamlisch conducts the NSO through a program of holiday carols, featuring vocal ensemble Afro Blue and a visit from Santa.

Celtic-Christmas Celebration, 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Baldwin's Station, 7618 Main St, Sykesville, (410) 795-1041, baldwinsstation.com, $20. We don't know if there's anything more Old World Christmas than a hammer dulcimer, and lucky for us Maggie Sansone's bringing hers, plus Laura Byrne, Pat Egan, and Jim Egan, for a proper appreciation of Celtic traditions.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: A Holiday Cabaret, 5 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Towson University, Center for the Arts, room 3069, 8000 York Road, (410) 704-2787, tuboxoffice.com, $13, seniors $7, students $5. The Towson voice faculty vocal chamber ensemble quinTUS gets its jingle on.

The Living Christmas Tree!, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday Dec. 11-13, Riverdale Baptist Church, 1177 Largo Road, Upper Marlboro, (301) 249-9111, livingtree2009.com, $10, seniors $9. Riverdale's choir scales a 30-foot tall decorated Christmas tree for an outdoor performance, plus the evening includes the live Nativity and dramatic Christmas play, All on a Christmas Day.

Christmas Cheer, 1 p.m. Dec. 12 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13, the Engineers Club, 11 W. Mount Vernon Place, (410) 625-3525, cabalto.org, $25, seniors $22. Concert Artists of Baltimore bust out their favorite holiday songs for the group's self-professed favorite time of the year.

A Jerry Douglas Christmas, 7 p.m. Dec. 13, Ram's Head on Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545, ramsheadonstage.com, $44. The mustachioed hero himself, John Oates, joins Jerry Douglas and Maura O'Connell for a Christmas celebration. Our private eyes are watching this.

The Hard Travelers Holiday Show, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Baldwin's Station, 7618 Main St, Sykesville, (410) 795-1041, baldwinsstation.com, $22.50. Travelin' hard since 1958, with some line-up shakeups from then to now, the Travelers bring their country folk to the country with a set list chock full o' holiday tunes.

Joyeux Noel: A Christmas Celebration with a French Twist!, 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Kennedy Center 2700 F. St. NW, Washington, (202) 467-4600, kennedy-center.org, $15-65. Family favorites find themselves merrily entwined with French Christmas carols.

Scandinavian Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Saint Mark Presbyterian Church, 10701 Old Georgetown Road, Rockville, (301) 754-3611, imtfolk.org, $20, advance $15. Andrea Hoag, Loretta Kelley, and Charlie Pilzer perform Scandinavian Christmas classics, natch.

The Rob Levit Holiday Show, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis, (410) 280-5640, mdhallarts.org, $7-$12. Rob Levit is joined by a cast of artists in his annual holiday spectacular.

A John Waters Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va., (703) 549-7500, birchmere.com, $39.50. Charm City's godfather brings the Christmas kitsch to Alexandria to shock, awe, and warm the cockles of our hearts with his own unique and subversive holiday cheer.

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel's Messiah, 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday Dec. 17-20, Kennedy Center 2700 F. St. NW, Washington, (202) 467-4600, kennedy-center.org, $20-$85. The NSO performs Messiah under the guidance of conductor Rossen Milanov, and with assistance from the Washington Chorus in this epic-sized performance.

A Connemara Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 17, Baldwin's Station, 7618 Main St, Sykesville, (410) 795-1041, baldwinsstation.com, $20. DC's Celtic musicians roll out their best Scottish, Celtic, and North Pole-inspired Christmas music.

Holiday Spectacular, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18-23, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000, bsomusic.org, $16-$77. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's most popular Christmas show returns for its 10th annual performance, celebrating local musicians and vocal artists, pop music, holiday pop culture, and, of course, the season. Expect to hear every last Christmas song there ever was and see the famous dancing Santas.

Sing-Along Messiah, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, baltimorechoralarts.org, (410) 337-6333, $25. Music Director Tom Hall guides the chorus and audience through Messiah; please to bring your own score or purchase one at the door.

Christmas Time Is Here: Dianne Reeves, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Dec. 18, Kennedy Center 2700 F. St. NW, Washington, (202) 467-4600, kennedy-center.org, $45. Jazz superstar and four-time Grammy-winner Dianne Reeves returns with her super special jazzy Christmas program.

Handel's Messiah, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday Dec. 18-20, St. Anne's Church, 199 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis, (410) 280-5640, mdhallarts.org, $12-$37. The Annapolis Chorale perform Parts I-III of Messiah in Annapolis' historic Episcopal Church.

Christmas for Kids, 11 a.m. Dec. 19, Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, baltimorechoralarts.org, (410) 337-6333, $15, under 16 $10. Kid-friendly holiday music featuring a visit from Santa and Ronnie the Reindeer.

The Winter Solstice Concert, 3:30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 19, Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, kenkolodner.com, $28, advance $25. Baltimore-based folk group Helicon returns for its annual winter reunion, playing lively, energetic, multicultural-inspired traditional folk.

Take Joy!, 8 p.m. Dec. 19, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100, strathmore.org, $15-$35. The Strathmore turns classic traditions on its ear with this "post-modern pageant" holiday concert featuring Dylan Thomas, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and rock 'n' roll. Do not go gentle into that silent night!

The Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas, 1 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday Dec. 19-22, Kennedy Center 2700 F. St. NW, Washington, (202) 467-4600, kennedy-center.org, $15-$60. The Washington Chorus performs Christmas carols with a full orchestra, following its magical candlelight procession.

The Choral Arts Society of Washington: Family Christmas Concerts, 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 20, Kennedy Center 2700 F. St. NW, Washington, (202) 467-4600, kennedy-center.org, $20-$30. Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph drop in to say hello, and sing along, in this friendly-for-the-whole-family Christmas concert.

Christmas Cabaret, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100, strathmore.org, $28. An all-male holiday cabaret performs Christmas numbers with the help of the jolly, rollicking Swingin' Santas.

An Annapolis Christmas, 7 p.m. Dec. 21-22, Ram's Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545, am-fm.org, $30. The annual Annapolis Musicians Fund for Musicians, Inc. benefit continues this year with a two-day rock 'n' roll party with music by over 20 artists.

Messiah Sing-Along, 8 p.m. Dec. 22, Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 600-2835, weinbergcenter.org, $18. The Frederick Chamber Singers invite one and all to their annual sing-along.

A Candlelight Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23, Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, (301) 581-5100, strathmore.org, $15-$55. The Washington Chorus presents a vibrant, reverent performance of Christmas carols and hymns.

Beautiful World: Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23, Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, (301) 600-2835, weinbergcenter.org, $25-$45. Jim Brickman plays classical and soulful piano renditions of Christmas favorites.

Related stories

Holiday Guide Calendar archives

More Stories

The Holiday Guide (11/18/2009)
Our guide to getting through--and enjoying--the holiday season

Shopping (11/18/2009)

Kid Stuff (11/18/2009)

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