Chorus member sings praise to ‘Fantasia on Christmas’

HOLIDAY GLEE CLUB

The Examiner asked The City’s songbirds and community chorus members to describe their favorite seasonal music and why it inspires them.

Patty Murray, WomenSing chorus member

Favorite music: Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas”

Why: “These carols for mixed chorus, with lovely original Old English holiday texts and familiar English folk tunes, feel majestic and completely in the spirit of the season.”

PERSON IN TOWN

Singer-songwriter John Grant, former frontman of the Czars, performs at the Swedish American Hall. “Queen of Denmark” is his debut solo album. [8 p.m., 2170 Market St., S.F.]

LECTURES

Ben Rosenfeld: The civil-rights attorney gives a talk titled “Navigating the Criminal Courts: A Guide for Activists.” [7:30 p.m., CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St., S.F.]

‘Music of the Spheres’: Writer Lawrence Weschler, film editor Walter Murch and scientist Linda Shore talk about astronomy theories old and new. [7:30 p.m., Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St., S.F.; RSVP: (415) 561-0308]

LITERARY

Pulp History Series: David Talbot, Gary Kamiya and Spain Rodriguez celebrate the release of “Devil Dog” and “Shadow Knights.” [7 p.m., City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

Poetry night: A featured poet is followed by an open-mic poetry session. [7:30 p.m., Sacred Grounds Cafe, 2095 Hayes St., S.F.]

Osprey Orielle Lake:
The artist and writer talks about “Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture With Nature.” [12:30 p.m., Alexander Book Co., 50 Second St., S.F.]

COLLEGES

Art show: “Extreme Makeover” opens. The exhibit contains new contemporary-art installations selected from Cantor Arts Center’s enhanced collection. [11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford]

Holiday sale: Books, book art and posters are for sale at this event benefiting the Mechanics’ Institute’s library programs and events department. [4 to 7 p.m., Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post St., S.F.]

Farmers market: The weekly market features seasonal and local produce. [10 a.m. to 3 p.m., UCSF, ACC Breezeway, between Milberry Union and the Ambulatory Care Center, 400-500 Parnassus Ave., S.F.]


PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Travel talk: Nick Maffei discusses how the computer and the Internet have changed today’s travel landscape, and how to use this technology to enrich your travel experience. [6:30 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 Ninth Ave., S.F.]

Holiday sweets:
Children can listen to holiday-themed stories and decorate gingerbread cookies during this seasonal session. [4 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch, 45 Leland Ave., S.F.]


CITY

Double noir: The Film Noir Foundation presents “Noir City Xmas,” a double bill of the offbeat films “Remember the Night” (1940) and “Mr. Soft Touch” (1949). [7:15 and 9:15 p.m., Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.]

Stand-up comedy:
Comedian Robert Hawkins kicks off a string of shows at the Punch Line. Larry “Bubbles” Brown and Joe Nguyen also take the stage. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Hope for the holidays: “A Celebration of Hope,” featuring the lighting of the World Tree of Hope, takes place at City Hall. Performers include comic Marga Gomez. [5:30 to 8 p.m., 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, S.F.]

Yule legs:
Smuin Ballet presents its 2010 “Christmas Ballet.” “Classical” and “Cool” dances make up the show. [8 p.m., Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St., S.F.]

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