- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 5, 2002

Christmas without song would be like spring without birds. And Washington, often called the choral capital of the world, raises more than its share of voices to the skies in unison. Washington boasts small, intimate chamber choruses and massive, thundering chorales. Children's choruses and adult choruses all praise the time of peace, some singing in holy processionals carrying wreaths and candles.

Remembering traditions cherished through the generations gives the season special warmth. Audiences can discover medieval Christmas traditions with the Waverly Consort. Or enjoy a Celtic Christmas with Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton. Rosslyn-based Hesperus combines medieval traditions with American ones. And the Washington Revels recreates a Victorian yuletide celebration.

Bands big and small trumpet the times, often for free, making them a great way to catch the spirit. Stand up for the "Hallelujah" chorus in one of the many "Messiah" performances this year, or even join a singalong of the Handel masterpiece. Most concerts give the audience a chance to join in on carols. It is, after all, the season for sharing and singing.


The Washington Ringing Society: Bell ringing year-round. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues NW, noon to 2 p.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays; Old Post Office, Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street NW, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays. 301/320-3434 (ext. 203), www.cathedral.org/wrs


Alexandria Choral Society: "'Tis the Season." For this family holiday concert, the ACS is joined by its Children's Chorus, organ and brass. Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 2006 Belle View Blvd., south of Alexandria. 5 p.m. Dec. 15. $15-$25. 703/548-4734, www.alexchoralsociety.org

Cathedral Choral Society: "The Joy of Christmas." Seasonal music and a candlelight wreath procession. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues NW. 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. $15-$48. 202/537-5527, www.cathedralchoralsociety.org

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle: "Christmas Eve at the Cathedral." 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW. 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Free (donations welcome). 202/347-3215 (ext. 520), [email protected]

Catholic University of America: Annual Christmas Concert for charity. The CUA Chorus and Symphony join the Choir of the Basilica. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Ave. NE. 8 p.m. Dec. 6. Free (donations welcome). 202/319-4000, www.music.cua.edu

Chanticleer: "A Chanticleer Christmas." Seasonal a cappella music from medieval to modern. Concert Hall, George Mason University, Braddock Road and Route 123, Fairfax. 8 p.m. Dec. 13. $21-$42. 703/218-6500, www.tickets.com

Children's Chorus of Washington: Holiday Concert. National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW. 4 p.m. Dec. 15. $15-$25. 202/237-1005

Christ Church Choir: Soloists and orchestra join the choir in music by Bach and Britten. Christ Church, 118 N. Washington St., Alexandria. 5 p.m. Dec. 8. Free. 703/549-1450

Choral Arts Society of Washington: Christmas Music. Chorus, soloists and orchestra celebrate the season, featuring soprano Alessandra Marc. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 5 p.m. Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 2 p.m. Dec. 20. $18-$50. 202/467-4600, www.choralarts.org

Circle Singers: "Sounds of Joy!" Chorus and harp. Trinity Lutheran Church, 11200 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6; St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St. NW, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. $18. 202/882-3537

Master Chorale of Washington: "Christmas Candlelight Concert." Holiday music, candlelight processional and recessional, with organ, brass and percussion. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 1:30 p.m. Dec. 15, 2 p.m. Dec. 21, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 22. $16-$49. 202/467-4600, www.masterchorale.org

Masterworks Chorus: Holiday program with chorus and orchestra. Strathmore Hall, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15. $24. 301/530-0540

National Men's Chorus: "Light Up the Night." Christmas and Hanukkah music. Western Presbyterian Church, 24th and G streets NW. 3 p.m. Dec. 15. $15. 202/244-7191, www.nationalmenschorus.org

Springfield Chorale: Holiday Concert. J.S. Bach's "Magnificat," accompanied by an 18-piece orchestra. St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 5800 Backlick Road, Springfield. 8 p.m. Dec. 7. $15. 703/239-2180, www.springfieldchorale.org

Thomas Circle Singers: "A TCS Christmas." With orchestra and the Levine School of Music Youth Chorus. St Paul's Lutheran Church, 4900 Connecticut Ave. NW. 4 p.m. Dec. 15. $20 (adults). 202/232-3353

University of Maryland Chorus: Annual Holiday Concert. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park. 8 p.m. Dec. 7; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8. $16-$20. 301/405-2787, www.claricesmithcenter.umd.edu

University of Maryland Chamber Singers: J.S. Bach's "Christmas Oratorio." With UMd. Chamber Orchestra. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park. 7 p.m. Dec. 15. $15-$20. 301/405-2787, www.claricesmithcenter.umd.edu

Washington Bach Consort: Advent, Christmas and Epiphany cantatas of J.S. Bach. St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 4900 Connecticut Ave. NW. 3 p.m. Dec. 8. $20-$47. 202/686-7500, www.bachconsort.org

Washington Chorus: Music for Christmas. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 15, 5 p.m. Dec. 22, 2 p.m. Dec. 23. $15-$49. 202/342-6221, www.thewashingtonchorus.org

Washington Men's Camerata: "Christmas with the Camerata." Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, 6601 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, 8 p.m. Dec. 7; St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 4000 Lorcum Lane, Arlington, 8 p.m. Dec. 14; Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW, 4 p.m. Dec. 15. $25. 202/364-1064, www.camerata.com

Early Music

Palestrina Choir: "A Victorian Christmas." Music of Spanish Renaissance composer Thomas Luis de Victoria. St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St. NW. 8 p.m. Dec. 14. $20 (suggested donation). 202/363-4119, www.columba.org

Voices XXI: Christmas Concert. Music by Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni Palestrina. First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville, 6201 Belcrest Road (East-West Highway and Queen's Chapel Road), Hyattsville, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14; Crypt Church, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Ave. NE, 4 p.m. Dec. 15. Free (donations welcome). 301/927-6133 (ext. 20), [email protected]

Waverly Consort: "The Christmas Story." Told through the music and poetry of medieval Europe. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13. $28. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org


Barnes and Hampton Celtic Consort: "A Celtic Christmas." Seasonal American folk music and a reading of Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales." Dumbarton Church, 3133 Dumbarton St. NW. 4 p.m. Dec. 7 and Dec. 14; 7 p.m. Dec. 12; 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 8, 13 and 14. $26. 202/965-2000, www.dumbartonconcerts.org

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer: Annual Family Holiday Concert. NOAA Auditorium, 1301 East-West Highway, Silver Spring. 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 6. $12. 301/587-4434, www.imtfolk.org

Coral Cantigas: "Navidad! Carols and Parrandas." Traditional Latin American carols performed "folkloric style." Church of the Redeemer, 6201 Dunrobbin Drive, Glen Echo. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 5 p.m. Dec. 8. $18. 301/816-2314, www.cantigas.org

Hesperus: "A Crossover Christmas." Medieval and American traditional holiday music. Rosslyn Spectrum, 1601 N. Kent St., Rosslyn. 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 3 p.m. Dec. 22. $15. 703/525-7550, www.hesperus.org

Folger Consort: "The Passion of Scrooge." Musical version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" by composer Jon Deak, including traditional English Christmas carols. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. 8 p.m. Dec. 18-21, 5 p.m. Dec. 21, 2 p.m. Dec. 22. $34-$38. 202/544-7077, www.folger.edu

Bonnie Rideout: "A Scottish Christmas." This Scottish fiddler joins other Celtic musicians in traditional carols, wassail tunes and dances from her heritage. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 26. $30-$45. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org

Washington Revels: "The Christmas Revels." A Victorian celebration of Christmas through songs, dances and stories of the time. The George Washington University Lisner Auditorium, 21st and H streets NW. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14; 2 p.m. Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15. $18-$38. 202/432-SEAT, www.ticketmaster.com


Canadian Brass: George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. 7 p.m. Dec. 15. $22-$44. 703/218-6500, www.tickets.com

Merry Tuba Christmas: More than 100 tubas, sousaphones and euphoniums herald the season in the Kennedy Center Foyer. 6 p.m. Dec. 9. Free. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org

U.S. Army Band: "A Holiday Festival." Soloist Kathy Mattea sings with the band. DAR. Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets NW. 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14, 3 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15. Free (tickets required). 703/696-3399, www.army.mil/armyband

U.S. Marine Band: Holiday singalong. "The President's Own" joins community choral groups and an expected audience of more than 7,000 in Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs. Wolf Trap Filene Center, Vienna. 4 p.m. Dec. 8. Free; no tickets. First-come, first-served seating starts at 3 p.m. www.wolftrap.org

U.S. Navy Band: "Happy Holidays." Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets NW. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 3 p.m. Dec. 22. Free (tickets required). 202/433-2525, www.navyband.navy.mil


The Christmas Carol Rag: A new musical based on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" with tunes by Irving Berlin and George M. Cohan. Signature Theatre, 3806 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington. 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 22. $20-$38. 703/218-6500, www.sig-online.org

Judy Collins: "A Judy Collins Christmas." With the Georgetown Chorale. Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5. $49.50. 703/549-7500, www.birchmere.com

McLean Orchestra: Performs holiday favorites with the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet. Langley High School, 6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean. 8 p.m. Dec. 7. $20. 703/893-8646, www.tmo.org

National Symphony Orchestra Pops: "Happy Holidays." With vocal soloists. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12; 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14. $20-$72. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org

Dinner Theater

'Opera Christmas Evening': Dinner, soloists singing opera hits and leading singalongs. Trattoria da Franco, 305 S. Washington St., Alexandria. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 22. $40. 703/548-9338, [email protected]


Landon Symphonette: Mondzac Performing Arts Center, 6101 Wilson Lane, Bethesda. 5 p.m. Dec. 21. $6-$12. 301/320-1090

Metropolitan Chorus, soloists and members of the Opera House Orchestra: Singalong. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Free (tickets required; ticket giveaway, 10 a.m. Dec. 14, Kennedy Center Hall of Nations two per person). 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org

National Chamber Orchestra: With the Cantate Chamber Singers. F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, Rockville Civic Center, Baltimore Road and Edmonston Drive. 8 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21. $17-$37. 301/762-8580, www.nationalchamberorch.org

National Symphony Orchestra: With the Cathedral Choral Society. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7 p.m. Dec. 19; 8 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21; 1 p.m. Dec. 22. $19-$69. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org

New Dominion Chorale: Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall, 3001 N. Beauregarde St., Alexandria. 8 p.m. Dec. 7. $22. 703/442-9404, www.newdominion.org

'The Nutcracker'

Bolshoi Ballet: Kennedy Center Opera House. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-15; 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15. $45-$110. 202/467-4600, www.kennedy-center.org. Sold out.

Momentum Dance Theatre: A hip-hop version, featuring Duke Ellington's jazz adaptation of the holiday classic. Takoma Theatre, Butternut and Fourth streets NW, 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8; Hine Junior High School, Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE, 8 p.m. Dec. 14; 3 p.m. Dec. 15. $15. 202/432-SEATS, www.ticketmaster.com

Puppet Company: A puppet version. Puppet Company Playhouse, Glen Echo Park, MacArthur Boulevard and Goldsboro Road, Glen Echo. 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 29. $6. 301/320-6668, www.thepuppetco.org

Washington Ballet: Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7, 11-14, 19-21; 2 p.m. Dec. 7, 14, 21; 1 p.m. Dec. 8, 15, 22; 5 p.m. Dec. 8 and 22. $33-$53. 202/783-4000, www.warnertheatre.com

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