- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 29, 2001

Tis the season to be jolly. To be sure. Whether it be a big band, big chorus, a guitar or a soprano or a tenor the tenor of the time is to celebrate.
A cornucopia of handbell choirs this year makes appealing music. Combining song with the joyous peal of bells, they ring out good tidings.
Join a Christmas service in Leipzig, long ago, when J. S. Bach held the cantorship at the city's famous St. Thomas Church. You can, in a re-creation by the Washington Bach Consort.
Some of the best bargains are the spirited bands of the U. S. Army, Navy and Marines. They hold the colors high on their own and with seasonal music by big band leader Stan Kenton, as back-up for pop vocalist Maureen McGovern and for community choral groups in a sing-along all free.
The Irish Tenors top a hit parade of stars on next month's roster. Among other big names offering holiday fare are superstar Amy Grant, opera luminary Alessandra Marc and country singer Suzy Bogguss, singing her "Swinging Little Christmas."
Varying the usual choral offerings in Washington, often dubbed "The Choral Capital of the World," tradition gets an older spin at Celtic concerts. The Barnes and Hampton Celtic Consort, Hesperus and the Washington Revels all take us back to a wassailing age, before Christmas became big business. Waes Hal!

Choral

Alexandria Choral Society: "'Tis the Season." For this Second Annual Family Christmas Concert, the ACS is joined by its Children's Chorus, organ and brass. Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 2006 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria. 5 p.m. Sunday. $14-$25. 703/548-4734, www.alexchoralsociety.org.
Cathedral Choral Society: "The Joy of Christmas." Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Aves., NW. 4 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17. $15-$45. 202/537-8980, www.cathedralchoralsociety.org.
Catholic University of America: "Christmas Concert for Charity." The CUA Chorus and Symphony join the Choir of the Basilica. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 620 Michigan Ave. NE. 8 p.m. Dec. 7. Free (donations of food, clothing, etc. suggested). 202/319-4000, https://music.cua.edu.
Chanticleer: "Sing We Christmas." Seasonal a cappella music from medieval to modern. Concert Hall, George Mason University, Braddock Road and Route 123, Fairfax. 8 p.m. Dec. 7. $21-$42. 703/218-6500, www.tickets.com.
Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church: The church's four handbell choirs ring and sing music both secular and sacred. Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, Connecticut and Western avenues NW. 4 p.m. Dec. 9. Free. 202/363-2202.
Choral Arts Society of Washington: "Christmas Music." Chorus, soloists and orchestra celebrate the season. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7 p.m. Dec. 10, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 2 p.m. Dec. 22. $17-$47. 202/467-4600, www.choralarts.org.
Concert Artists of Baltimore: "Yuletide Celebration." Strathmore Hall, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. $22. 301/530-0540.
Coral Cantigas: "Navidad! A Christmas Gift." Joined by children from many area schools, Coral Cantigas sings Latin American Christmas villancicos. Bethesda United Methodist Church, 8300 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda. 5 p.m. Dec. 9. $15. 301/816-2314, www.cantigas.org.
Heritage Signature Chorale: "Joyful Tidings." Detra Battle Sparrow joins the Chorale for Bach and gospel. Corcoran Gallery of Art, 17th St. and New York Avenue NW. 5 p.m. Sunday. $20. 202/237- 9834, www.inseries.org.
Master Chorale Chamber Singers: "Christmas in Georgetown." Carols. Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 36th and N streets, NW. 8 p.m. Saturday. $11-$26. 202/364-4321, www.masterchorale.org.
Master Chorale of Washington: "Christmas Candlelight Concert." Holiday music, candlelight processional and recessional, with harp, organ, brass and percussion. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 2 p.m. Dec. 9; 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17. $16-$46. 202/467-4600, www.masterchorale.org.
National Chamber Orchestra: "Christmas Oratorio" and cantatas by J. S. Bach. Orchestra, soloists and the Cantate Chamber Singers. F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, Rockville Civic Center, Baltimore Road and Edmonston Drive. 8 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22. $17-$35 (children 6-17 free). 301/762-8580, www.nationalchamberorch.org.
National Chamber Singers: "In dulci Jubilo." Chorus and orchestra in seasonal song. Strathmore Hall, 10701 Rockville Pk, North Bethesda. 3 p.m. Dec. 9. $22. 301/530-0540.
National Men's Chorus: " . . . And on Earth, Peace." Christmas music from around the world, with piano and organ. Western Presbyterian Church, 24th and G streets NW. 3 p.m. Dec. 9. $15. 202/835-8383, www.nationalmenschorus.org.
National Symphony Orchestra: Washington Bach Chorus joins the NSO and soloists in seasonal Baroque music. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7 p.m. Dec. 12. $19-$58. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.
New Dominion Chorale: "Christmas Oratorio," by J. S. Bach, in English with soloists, orchestra, organ and harpsichord. Saint Luke's Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean. 4 p.m. Dec. 16. $20. 703/442-9404, www.newdominion.org.
St. Columba Singers: "Advent Service of Lessons and Carols." The church's Singers will be joined by its Boy Choir, Girl Choir, Handbell Ringers and Ensemble Singers. St. Columba's Church, 4201 Albemarle St. NW. 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. 202/363-4119, www.columba.org.
University of Maryland Chorus: "Christmas Concert," with Chorus, Choral, Chamber Singers and Symphony Orchestra. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park. $15. 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 3 p.m. Dec. 9. 301/405-2787, www.claricesmithcenter.umd.edu.
Washington Bach Consort: "Christmas in Leipzig." Soloists, chorus and orchestra perform the music of J. S. Bach, re-creating a Christmas Day service in Leipzig. National City Christian Church, 14th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW. 3 p.m. Sunday. $30-$45. 202/686- 7500, www.bachconsort.org.
Washington Chamber Symphony: "Holiday Sing-A-Long." Includes symphony orchestra, adult and children's choruses and bell choir. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 2 p.m. Saturday. $12-$37.50. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.
Washington Chorus: "Music for Christmas." The Washington-Lee High School Chamber Choir joins the Chorus in a holiday spectacular. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 5 p.m. Dec. 16, 2 p.m. Dec. 21. $15-$48. 202/467-4600, www.thewashingtonchorus.org.
Washington Men's Camerata: "Christmas with the Camerata." Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, 6601 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, 8 p.m. Dec. 8; Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW, 4 p.m. Dec. 9; St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 4000 Lorcum Lane, Arlington, 8 p.m. Dec. 15. $20. 202/364-1064, www.camerata.com.

Early Music

Folger Consort: "La Notte di Natale: Christmas in Italy." Early Italian music on early instruments, with soprano Johana Arnold. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. 8 p.m. Dec. 19-22, 5 p.m. Dec. 22, 2 p.m. Dec. 23. $25. 202/544-7077, www.folger.edu.
Les Arts Florissants: "All Charpentier Holiday Program." French Baroque music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 8 p.m. Dec. 4. $20-$55. 202/467-4600, www.wpas.org.

Folkways

Barnes and Hampton Celtic Consort: "A Celtic Christmas." Seasonal American folk music and a reading of Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales." 4 p.m. Dec. 8, 9, 15; 7 p.m. Dec. 13; 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 14 15. $26. 202/965-2000, www.dumbartonconcerts.org.
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer: "Family Holiday Concert." Joining the duo is Quebec's Matapat. NOAA Auditorium, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring. 1 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 8. $10. 301/587- 4434, www.imtfolk.org.
Hesperus: "Wintergrace." Early and traditional music from Appalachia and medieval England. Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 N. Kent St., Rosslyn. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22, 3 p.m. Dec. 23. $18. 703/525-7550, www.tickets.com.
The Irish Tenors: "Christmas Spectacular." Hymns and carols with an Irish brogue. With orchestra. DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and C streets NW. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13. $55-$100. 202/432-SEAT, www.ticketmaster.com.
Washington Revels: "The Christmas Revels." Celebrates the winter solstice with traditional Italian music, dance, processionals, carols and drama. George Washington University Lisner Auditorium, 21st and H streets NW. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, 2 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9. $18-$38. 202/432-SEAT, www.ticketmaster.com.

Bands

Canadian Brass: George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. 8 p.m. Dec. 8. $21-$42. 703/218-6500, www.tickets.com.
Empire Brass: Seasonal Baroque music. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12. $25. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.
Merry Tuba Christmas! 100 tubas blasting away in the Kennedy Center Foyer. 6 p.m. Dec. 10. Free. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.
U.S. Army Band:
* "A Stan Kenton Christmas." Holiday music by the Big Band leader. Bruckner Hall, Fort Myer, McNair Road and 2nd Street, Arlington. 7:30 p.m. tonight. Free. 703/696-3399, www.army.mil/armyband.
* "A Holiday Festival." Soloist Maureen McGovern sings with the band. DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and C streets NW. 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, 3 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9. Free (tickets required). 703/696-3399, www.army.mil/ armyband.
U.S. Marine Band: "Holiday Sing-Along." Wolf Trap Filene Center. "The President's Own," under the direction of Col. Timothy W. Foley, and choral director Jack Walton will lead community choral groups and an expected audience of more than 7,000 in traditional Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs. 4 p.m. Sunday. Free; no tickets. First-come, first-served seating starts 3 p.m.
U. S. Navy Band: "Happy Holidays." DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and C streets NW. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Free (tickets required). 202/433-2525, www.navyband.navy.mil.
Washington Pipe Band and City of Washington Drum Corps: "A Scottish Christmas." Fiddler Bonnie Rideout joins both band and corps for traditional music and dance. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 26. $30-$45. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.

Pop

Alessandra Marc: "Christmas Concert." One of opera's biggest sopranos joins the National Gallery Orchestra. 7 p.m. Dec. 23. National Gallery of Art, West Garden Court. Free (first come, first served, after 6 p.m.). 202/842-6941, www.nga.gov.
Amy Grant and Vince Gill: "A Christmas to Remember." MCI Center, 601 F St. NW. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9. $28-$80. 202/432-SEAT, www.ticketmaster.com.
National Symphony Orchestra Pops: "Happy Holidays with Linda Eder." Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 1:30 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14. $20-$72. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.
Suzy Bogguss: "A Swinging Little Christmas." Birchmere Music Hall, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. 703/549-7500, www.birchmere.com.

Dinner Theater

"Opera Christmas Evening." Dinner, soloists singing opera hits and leading sing-alongs. Trattoria da Franco, 305 S. Washington St., Alexandria. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 23. $40. 703/548-9338.

Handel's 'Messiah'

Arlington Metropolitan Chorus, soloists and Kennedy Center Holiday Festival Orchestra: Sing-along. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Free (tickets required; ticket giveaway this Saturday, 10 a.m., Kennedy Center Hall of Nations two per person). 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.
Christ Church: 118 N. Washington St., Alexandria. 8 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. 703/549-1450.
National Symphony Orchestra, soloists and Cathedral Choral Society: Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7 p.m. Dec. 20, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22, 1 p.m. Dec. 23. $19-$69. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.

'The Nutcracker'

American Ballet Theatre: Kennedy Center Opera House. 8 p.m. Dec. 5-8, 2 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9, 7 p.m. Dec. 9. $45-$85. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org.
Puppet Company: A puppet version. Puppet Company Playhouse, Glen Echo Park, MacArthur Blvd and Goldsboro Road, Glen Echo. Continuing at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Wednesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 30. $5. 301/320-6668, www.thepuppetco.org.
Washington Ballet: Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 7 p.m. Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 19, 20-22; 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 15 and 22; 1 p.m. Dec. 9, 16 and 23; 5 p.m. Dec. 16 and 23. $27-$45. 202/783-4000, www.warnertheatre.com.


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