- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Handel’s own

“Messiah” is a Christmas classic, and the National Philharmonic hopes to bring its own special touch to the Handel masterpiece. Conducting the philharmonic for this year’s performance is Stan Englebertson. He’ll be joined by four talented vocalists — Rosa Lamoreaux, Rebekah Ambrosini, Robert Petillo and Steven Combs. Performances are tomorrow and Saturday at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $21 to $41, and children under 17 are admitted free. 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville. 240/314-8690.

Latin rhythms

Bio Ritmo wants to change the way you think about Latin music. The nine-member musical troupe from Richmond hopes to take listeners back to the golden age of Latin music, a time when the music pulsed with energy and inspiration. Will they move you to get up and dance? Find out when they play Iota Club & Cafe tonight. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. 703/522-8340.

Fresh face

With velvety smooth vocals tuned to her six-string guitar, Kelly Minter is one of the freshest faces on the contemporary Christian music scene. Her newest release, “Wrestling with Angels,” combines tightly knit acoustic-based tunes with distinctive spiritual themes. Miss Minter comes home to Northern Virginia for a show at Jammin’ Java on Sunday. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $12. 231 Maple Ave., Vienna. 703/255-1566.

In the cockpit

See what it’s really like inside the cockpit of an F-15 fighter jet when “Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag” premieres at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The Imax film follows American F-15 Eagle pilot Capt. John Stratton as he trains with some of the world’s best pilots in an international training program for allied air forces. Showtimes are 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. daily. Tickets are $8. 14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly. 202/633-1000.

Indie no more

The tides have changed for Richmond-based rockers Carbon Leaf. After five self-released albums, the quintet has just released its major-label debut, “Indian Summer.” Carbon Leaf comes back to the region when it plays the Recher Theatre on Saturday. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $13. 512 York Road, Towson, Md. 410/337-7178.

Country Christmas

Martina McBride is one of country music’s biggest stars, but on Sunday, she puts her country tunes on the back burner and sings a night of Christmas classics at Baltimore’s First Mariner Arena. Miss McBride’s “Joy of Christmas” show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $49.50. 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore. 202/397-SEAT.

Big, bright & beautiful

The Festival of Lights is back for another season of light displays, musical performances the always popular live Nativity. The light display, which features more than 545,000 lights, opens each day at dusk. The live Nativity can be seen only between 6 and 9 p.m. The whole site closes each night at 10 p.m. Admission is free. Mormon Temple, 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington. 301/587-0144.

Feliz Navidad

The Folger Consort celebrates the Spanish, Peruvian and Mexican influences on Christmas music with its Christmas concert “Feliz Navidad.” The vocal ensemble Western Wind will perform with the consort in fresh musical versions of timeless classics. Performances begin tomorrow at 8 p.m. and continue with two performance Saturday , 5 and 8 p.m., and two performances Sunday , 2 and 5 p.m. Tickets are $38. Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 E. Capitol St. SE. 202/544-7077.— Thomas Walter

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