Choral music dominates the holiday landscape in Utah. Highlights include performances of Handel's "Messiah" and the Christmas opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors."
Nov. 24-25: Utah Symphony "Messiah" Sing-in • Susanne Sheston leads the orchestra, Utah Symphony Chorus, soloists and audience in the Handel oratorio. 7 p.m. in Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City; $12-$24 at www.utahsymphony.org.
Nov. 28: Salt Lake Symphonic Winds • Thomas P. Rohrer and assistant conductor Chris Earl conduct the ensemble in traditional favorites such as Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." 7:30 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1710 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City; free.
Nov. 30-Dec. 1: "A Celebration of Christmas" at Brigham Young University • The BYU Combined Choirs and BYU Philharmonic present the annual event with 7:30 p.m. performances, plus a 3 p.m. Saturday matinee, in the de Jong Concert Hall on the Provo campus; tickets at 801-422-4322 or byuarts.com/tickets.
Dec. 1: Tuba Christmas • A Brigham Young University student ensemble performs at noon in the Madsen Recital Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center on the Provo campus; free.
Dec. 1: International Children's Choir • The choir, dressed in colorful authentic costumes from around the world, will perform holiday songs in Finnish, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Nigerian, Romanian, Spanish, Tagalog and many other languages, accompanied by handbells, instrumentalists and dancers. Concerts at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building chapel, 15 E. South Temple; free.
Dec. 1: "Caroling, Caroling" with the Southern Utah University choirs • Selections include Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols." 7:30 p.m. at Cedar City's Heritage Center Theater; $8 for adults, $6 for SUU faculty/staff, $4 for youth and free with SUU student ID.
Dec. 3: Utah Chamber Artists • Carols of Alfred Burt, Abbie Burt Betinis and Barlow Bradford. 7:30 p.m. in Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City; advance tickets $15, $10 for students; 801-581-7100 or utahchamberartists.org.
Dec. 6-10: "A Diva Holiday" at The Grand Theatre • An original script by Robin Wilkes-Dunn, Kevin Mathie and Eric Jensen includes Christmas songs played by an eight-piece orchestra and vocalists Erica Hansen, Alicia Washington, MacKenzie Seiler, Detorea Oliver and Erica Walters. 7:30 nightly at The Grand, 1575 S. State St., Salt Lake City; tickets at 801-957-3322 or www.the-grand.org.
Dec. 7: University of Utah Choirs and Orchestra • Barlow Bradford, Robert Baldwin, Jessica Napoles, Eric Schmidt, Sonja Sperling and Cathy Clayton conduct the Chamber Choir, A Cappella Choir, Women's Chorus, Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra and Harp Ensemble. 7:30 p.m. in Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City; $10, free for U. of U. students, $6 for other students and seniors.
Dec. 8: American West Symphony of Sandy • Joel Rosenberg and Harry Heightman conduct the orchestra and American West Symphony Chorus in excerpts from Handel's "Messiah," carols by John Rutter and Natalie Sleeth, a carol sing-along and more. 8 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 8600 S. 700 East, Sandy; $10, with discounts for students and youth.
Dec. 8: Choral Arts Society of Utah Holiday Pops Concert • Pianist Paul Cardall joins the choir, conducted by Sterling Poulson, and the West Valley Symphony with music director Donny Gilbert as well as a special guest in a red suit. 7:30 p.m. at Cottonwood High School, 5715 S. 1300 East, Murray; $15 at www.smithstix.com, 801-467-8499 or 800-888-8499. Information: www.casu.org.
Dec. 9: S@7 Faculty Showcase • This Sundays@7 concert will feature the Duehlmeier-Gritton piano duo, assistant director of athletic bands Mike Sammons, members of the Percussion Ensemble, the Runnin Fl'UTES, the piano duo of Jie and Ning Lu and children from the U. of U. Piano Outreach Program for inner-city elementary schools. 7 p.m. in Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City; free.
Dec. 13: American West Symphony with Kristofer Michaels • Joel Rosenberg leads the orchestra and chorus in Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy" and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, with pianist Kristofer Michaels as soloist, plus Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, excerpts from Handel's "Messiah," carols and more. 7:30 p.m. in Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City; $10, free for students.
Dec. 14 and 21: Madeleine Choir School performs "A Ceremony of Carols" • The annual presentations of Benjamin Britten's carol cycle are a highlight of Salt Lake City's Christmas season. 12:15 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Madeleine, 331 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City; free.
Dec. 15: Vivaldi by Candlelight • This benefit for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy celebrates its 30th year. Gerald Elias leads the chamber orchestra in concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, with himself and oboists David Cowley and Robert Stephenson as soloists, and Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," with a different soloist Lynnette Stewart, David Langr, Stephanie Cathcart and David Porter for each season. 8 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 12 C St., Salt Lake City; $40 at 801-832-3272. Information: www.utahdiplomacy.org.
Dec. 15: "Amahl and the Night Visitors" • The Salt Lake Symphony and University of Utah Lyric Opera Ensemble team up in Giancarlo Menotti's beloved opera. Robert Baldwin conducts. 7:30 p.m. in Libby Gardner Concert Hall at the University of Utah, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City; $10, $5 for seniors and students and free for U. of U. students.
Dec. 16: West Jordan Symphony "Messiah" Sing-in • The Mountain West Chorale, conductor Larry White and guest soloists will join the orchestra and audience in selections from the oratorio. 7 p.m. at the Jordan Oaks LDS Stake Center, 8117 S. Leslie Drive (3905 West), West Jordan; free.
Dec. 17, 18 and 24: Christmas Carol Services at the Cathedral of the Madeleine • Music of the Advent and Christmas seasons. 8 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18; 4 p.m. Christmas Eve, at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, 331 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City; free.
Dec. 20: "Welcome, Happy Morn!" with Utah Voices • The community choir will perform songs, carols and hymns of the Christmas season, from "O Magnum Mysterium" to "Betelehemu." Michael Huff conducts. 7:30 p.m. in Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City; $10 at www.utahvoices.org.
Dec. 21-22: Utah Symphony holiday celebration with Bravo Broadway • Jerry Steichen leads the orchestra with guest vocalists Doug LaBrecque and Capathia Jenkins; 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City; $29-$85 at www.utahsymphony.org.
Dec. 22: Utah Symphony "Here Comes Santa Claus!" concerts • Vladimir Kulenovic conducts a pair of Lollipops concerts; 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City; $6-$20 at www.utahsymphony.org.
Dec. 22: "O Yule Full of Gladness" with the Salt Lake Choral Artists • Brady Allred leads the organization's five choirs in "carols and traditional songs from six continents and the islands of the seas"; there are 2 and 7:30 p.m. performances at Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City. Information: www.saltlakechoralartists.org.
Dec. 22: Joshua Wright • The award-winning Utah-born pianist, now pursuing graduate studies at the University of Michigan, returns to his hometown for a 7:30 p.m. concert in the Chamber Theater (Sandy City Council Chambers) at Sandy City Hall, 10000 S. Centennial Parkway; $12 at 801-568-ARTS or sandyarts.com/christmas.
Can you hear the people sing?
Count on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to present the season's biggest, flashiest, most highly attended show. This year, Tony Award-winning tenor Alfie Boe and newsman Tom Brokaw join the choir, Orchestra at Temple Square and throngs of dancers. Best-known for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the 25th-anniversary concert performance of "Les Misérables," Boe is "a remarkable talent with a stirring and dramatic vocal style that fits well with the choir," MTC music director Mack Wilberg said. Wilberg was more guarded about the evening's program, but it seems a safe bet that Boe will sing "Bring Him Home."
What • Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Alfie Boe
When • Dec. 13-15, 8 p.m.; Boe also will appear on the 9:30 a.m. broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word" on Dec. 16, with mini-concert to follow
Where • LDS Conference Center, 60 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City
Tickets • Free, but they've all been distributed. But there will be a standby line starting at the north gate of Temple Square.
Catherine Reese Newton