Holiday Choral Music 2017: Sing out, it’s Christmas!

Bay Area classical and choral groups are busy during the season for holiday concerts galore, some including sing-alongs, and, of course, Handel’s “Messiah.”

Pacifica Edge Voices
: “The Promise of Living,” anchored by music by Aaron Copland, interweaves classic choral settings with contemporary reflections. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, $25-$35. Green Room, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

Mayflower Chorus: “A Wonderful World: Songs of Peace, Joy and Love” features guest artist, the Santa Rosa Children’s Choral Academy. 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 2:30 7:30 p.m Dec. 9, $15-$20. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael,

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus: The festive holiday show is “Elfstravaganza: Making the North Pole Gay Again!” 8 p.m. Dec. 8; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 9, $25-$799. Nourse, 275 Hayes St., S.F.,

Grace Cathedral Choir of Men & Boys: “A Cathedral Christmas” offers classic carols and sacred masterpieces with full orchestra and organ. 3 p.m. Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16-17, 7:30 p.m, Dec. 22, $15-$60. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.,

Bach Collegium Japan: Led by Masaaki Suzuki, the group and vocalists perform J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio.” 8 p.m. Dec. 9, $25-$99. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

Sing You a Merry Christmas: The carol sing-along is for children and families. 11 a.m. Dec. 9 and 16, 3 p.m. Dec.22-23, $5-$25. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.,

S.F. Boys Chorus Winter Songfest: “Handel to Hollywood” features catchy favorites and Handel’s choral music. 3 p.m. Dec. 9, $20-$40. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F.

Christmas in a Celtic Land: Golden Bough plays carols from Celtic nations. 8 p.m. Dec. 9, $5-$23. Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F.,

Peter and the Wolf: The S.F. Symphony Youth Orchestra plays Prokofiev’s classic, with narrator Zachary Quinto. 2 p.m. Dec. 10, $21-$89. Davies Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

Oakland East Bay Symphony: Michael Morgan conducts the orchestra and choral groups in “Let Us Break Bread Together,” a sold-out concert including music by Prince and Leonard Cohen. 4 p.m. Dec. 10, $15-$60. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland,

Ragazzi Boys Chorus: “Ubi Caritas: Where There is Love” is a concert of songs from many faiths, followed by an audience sing-along of holiday favorites. 4 p.m. Dec. 10, $5-$23. Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F.,

Ragazzi Continuo: “Winter’s Warmth” includes music inspired by the yearning for light and warmth found in many holiday traditions. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, $15-$25. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 178 Clinton St., Redwood City; also at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Trinity St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1668 Bush St., S.F.,

Merri-Achi Christmas: Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez celebrates Mexico’s Christmas traditions. 8 p.m. Dec. 10, $16-$90. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

Young Women’s Choral Project: “Peace On Earth” is a holiday showcase of 100 voices accompanied by bells. 4 p.m. Dec. 16, $10-$35. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F.,

KITKA’s Wintersongs: Tunes from Slavic, Baltic, Balkan, Jewish and Bosnian-Muslim traditions make up the women ensemble’s program. $10-$35. Dec. 10-18 at various locations including 8 p.m. Dec. 16 at Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F.,

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale
: The group performs Handel’s oratorio “Joseph and his Brethren,” which tells the Biblical story of Joseph and his reconciliation with his Jewish family in Egypt. 7 p.m. Dec. 14, $28-$120. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

Solstice Sings for the Holidays: The female vocal ensemble performs an eclectic mix of seasonal songs. 8 p.m. Dec. 16, $15-$25. St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, 1490 19th St., S.F.,

Schola Cantorum Silicon Valley: The family-friendly “Warmest Christmas Traditions” includes carols, a Rachmaninoff setting of “Ave Maria” and an audience sing-along. 3 p.m. Dec. 17, $18-$31. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View,

San Francisco Choral Artists
: “A Rebel’s Christmas: Martin Luther’s Musical Reformation” includes music by Bach, Brahms, Distler, Handel, Mendelssohn, Praetorius, Schein and Walther. 4 p.m. Dec. 17, $13-$33. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell St., S.F.,

Singers Marin: The group, celebrating its anniversary, appears in its annual holiday concert. 4 p.m., Dec. 17, $25-$45. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael,

Chanticleer: The all-male choir’s holiday concert offers Gregorian chant, music by Morales, Gonzalez, Victoria, Poulenc and Sweelinck and carols and spirituals. 8 p.m. Dec. 17, $35-$75. St. Ignatius Church, University of San Francisco, 650 Parker St., S.F.,

Mission Dolores Basilica Choir: The resident group of the oldest church in The City’s annual Candlelight Christmas Concert is led by conductor Jerome Lenk. 5 p.m. Dec. 17, $20-$25. 3321 16th St., S.F.,

The Choral Project: “Winter’s Gifts” features music from various faiths and cultures across the globe and accompaniment by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. 7 p.m. Dec. 17, $10-$35. Mission Santa Clara, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara,

San Francisco Girls Chorus: Valérie Sainte-Agathe leads the nearly 300-voice group in “Greetings from All Seasons” with special guest, soprano Michele Kennedy, a chorus alum. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, $30-$60. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

A Brass and Organ Christmas: Local brass musicians perform with the church’s 7,466-pipe Aeolian-Skinner organ. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, $15-$60. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.,

San Francisco Renaissance Voices
: The annual “Festival of Lessons & Carols” is based on a tradition that began in 1918 at King’s College in England. 4 p.m. Dec. 23, free. Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, San Francisco,
1750 29th Ave., S.F.,

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Home for the Holidays: The concert celebrates its 28th anniversary with special guest, drag star Katya Smirnoff-Sky 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Dec. 24, $30-$40. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.,


George Frideric Handel’s oratorio has become a holiday classic. These are some local performances.

San Francisco City Chorus: The open-community chorus’ yearly “Sing-Along Messiah” is preceded by a crafts fair. 7 p.m. Dec. 10, $15. Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 201 Eucalyptus St., S.F.,

Bay Choral Guild: The group sings composer Paul Ayres’ “Messyah!,” a fresh take on the beloved oratorio with jazz, gospel, mash-ups, improvisation, sight-gags and more, but rooted in Handel’s familiar melodies. 4:30 p.m. Dec. 10, $10-$30. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell St., S.F.,

Handel’s Sing it Yourself Messiah
: The Golden Gate Orchestra and Chorus’ annual event showcases soloists Yi Triplett, Elizabeth Baker, William Wiggins, Richard Fey and Franklin Beau Davis. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, $20-$45. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

American Bach Soloists: This year’s soloists include Suzanne Karpov, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Zachary Wilder and Hadleigh Adams, conducted by Jeffrey Thomas. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-15, $20-$125. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.,

San Francisco Symphony and Chorus: Ragnar Bohlin directs The City’s top orchestra and chorale in performances of Handel’s masterwork, with solo vocalists Layla Claire, Tamara Mumford,Leif Aruhn-Solen and Morris Robinson. 8 p.m. Dec. 14-15, $45-$165. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

Messiah Sing Along/Play Along: Stephen Sano conducts the annual concert. Orchestral parts are provided. Singers may purchase scores at the door. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, $15-$20, Memorial Church, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford University,

Sing It Yourself Messiah Pub Crawl: Golden Gate Symphony and Chorus bring their participatory holiday classic to the streets. 6 p.m., Dec. 17, donation requested. Southern Pacific Brewing Company, 620 Treat Ave., S.F.; also at 8 p.m., Dec. 18 at The Homestead, 2301 Folsom St., S.F.,

Schola Cantorum Silicon Valley: The 100-voice choir performs its 51st annual sing-along “Messiah” led by maestro Gregory Wait. 7 p.m. Dec. 18, $26. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View,

Leslie Katz

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