A stockingful of Christmas concerts

11/25/2012 12:00 AM

11/21/2012 7:50 PM

Some of the most outstanding music has been written as Christmas or seasonal holiday music. Sadly, a huge swath of it is repertoire that remains in the shadows.

This season will see a host of concerts. Some will bring to light unheard-of works from centuries ago and faraway lands, while others will offer traditional works with new arrangements.

Below are 10 concerts – some adventurous, some traditional – to choose from this holiday season:

Light Your World

Sacramento Gay Men's Chorus

What: This show continues the chorus' 28-year tradition of performing popular holiday music. Under the direction of incoming music director Steven Johnson, the program includes "A Social Network Christmas," the group's first original work jointly commissioned with the Seattle Men's Chorus.

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: First United Methodist Church, 2100 J St., Sacramento

Tickets: $22-$40

Information: (877) 283-1567; www.sacgaymenschorus.org


Vox Musica

What: Vox Musica opens its seventh season with a program that showcases works from 14th and 15th century composers Cristóbal de Morales and Francisco Guerrero, as well as the work of 12th century composer Pérotin. Works to be performed will include saxophone and trombone improvisational accompaniment by jazz musicians Steve Lishman and Dyne Eifertsen.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: St. John's Lutheran Church, 1701 L St., Sacramento

Tickets: $15

Information: (916) 471-0507; www.VoxMusica.net

Frankincense & Myrrh: A Caravan of Exotic Choral Treasures

Vocal Art Ensemble

What: The Davis-based Vocal Art Ensemble plumbs seasonal works from the Old World and New in a program that combines male plainchant with Eastern European choral music, plus Zambian music for good measure.

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7,

7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 4 p.m. Dec. 9.

Where: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Ave., Sacramento (Dec. 7); Woodland Presbyterian Church, 1324 Columbia Drive, Woodland (Dec. 8); United Methodist Church of Davis, 1620 Anderson Road, Davis (Dec. 9).

Tickets: $6-$20 donation

Information: (530) 757-2396; www.vae.trug.com

A Holiday Concert with Messiah Sing-Along

Camellia Symphony

What: In its 50th year, the Camellia Symphony performs holiday music that includes 18th century composer Francesco Onofrio Manfredini's Concerto Grosso in C major, Op. 3; Handel's Organ Concerto in F, ("The Cuckoo and the Nightingale"), with Rexphil Rallanka, organ; and Part 1 from Handel's "Messiah."

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8

Where: Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament,

1017 11th St., Sacramento

Tickets: $10

Information: (916) 929-6655; www.camelliasymphony.org

Home for the Holidays

Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, and the Sacramento Children's Chorus

What: An annual choral holiday tradition continues this year featuring seasonal choral works by Barlow Bradford, Irving Berlin and others, plus the premiere of a new work commissioned for the Sacramento Children's Chorus and the SCSO by American composer Randol Alan Bass, celebrating the SCC's 20th anniversary.

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 8

Where: Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St., Sacramento

Tickets: $35-$45

Information: (916) 808-5181; (916) 536-9065; www.sacramentochoral.com

A Celtic Christmas

Sacramento Master Singers

What: The holiday seasonal music of Ireland, Scotland and more will be the focus of the Master Singers, who will be joined by the Celtic duo Men of Worth. The concert will include new arrangements of traditional carols and holiday songs.

When: In Sacramento, 3 p.m. Dec. 9; 8 p.m. Dec. 15; 7 p.m. Dec. 20; and 3 p.m. Dec 23

In Folsom: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16

Where: St. Francis Church, 1112 26th St. , Sacramento; Three Stages Performing Arts Center, 10 College Parkway, Folsom

Tickets: $20-$55

Information: (916) 788-7464, www.mastersingers.org; (916) 608-6888, www.threestages.net

Buon Natale y Felices Fiestas

El Mundo, with Richard Savino

What: Fresh off a concert in New York City that was glowingly reviewed by the New York Times, the El Mundo ensemble of two sopranos, two violins, cello, harpsichord, guitar and the theorbo appears in a rare holiday concert in Sacramento. The group, headed by Richard Savino, who is on the music faculty at California State University, Sacramento, performs works by Italian, Latin and Spanish Renaissance composers. In Sacramento, El Mundo will perform holiday music from that era, including an 18th century trio sonata version of Corelli's Christmas Concerto as well as excerpts from El Mundo's excellent new Grammy-nominated CD, "The Kingdom of Castille."

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 13

Where: St. John's Lutheran Church, 1701 L St., Sacramento

Tickets: $20

Information: (916) 278-7978, www.richardsavino.net

Holiday Concert

American Bach Soloists

What: For the first time in 10 years, ABS music director Jeffrey Thomas and his soloists will take a break from Handel's "Messiah." ABS will be joined by the Grammy- winning San Francisco Girls Chorus and soprano Mary Wilson in a program that includes Corelli's Concerto Grosso in G minor, Vivaldi's Gloria in D major, and Handel's Laudate pueri Dominum (Psalm 113) in D major, among other works.

When: 4 p.m. Dec. 16

Where: Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center, UC Davis

Tickets: $25-$49

Information: (530) 754-2787, www.MondaviArts.org

A Chanticleer Christmas


What: America's premiere male chamber ensemble has made it a tradition of performing holiday choral music in Sacramento. Its performance will include new arrangements of the tried and true, and some not-often-performed works, in a grand setting. When: 8 p.m. Dec. 18

Where: Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, 1017 11th St., Sacramento

Tickets: $35-$65

Information: (415) 252-8589, www.chanticleer.org

The Snowman

San Francisco Symphony

What: The Oscar-nominated short "The Snowman" based on the book by Raymond Briggs, will be shown above the San Francisco Symphony musicians as they perform Howard Blake's heart-warming score. "The Snowman" is a short animated film that tells the story of a young boy's magical friendship with a snowman. The evening also features performances of child-friendly seasonal tunes and sing-alongs with the orchestra.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 21

Where: Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center, UC Davis

Tickets: $35-$58; $17.50-$29 (student)

Information: (530) 754-2787, www.MondaviArts.org


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