San Francisco Symphony’s festive seasonal programming includes “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II.” (Courtesy photo)

Holiday Classical 2015: Christmas carols, Messiahs fill concert halls


Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II
: George Daugherty conducts the orchestra in a fun animated holiday season program featuring beloved cartoon snippets such as “What’s Opera, Doc?” and “The Rabbit of Seville,” new classics like Friz Freleng’s “Rhapsody Rabbit” and screen appearances by Tom and Jerry, Daffy Duck, and Pepe Le Pew. 8 p.m. Dec. 3-5, $20-$105. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale: “Hail, Bright Cecilia! A Celebration Perfect for the Season” includes works Handel and Purcell wrote in praise of St. Cecilia. Dec. 2-6 at various locations including 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F., $25-$105, www.cityboxoffice.com

San Francisco Bach Choir
: “Christmas by Candlelight” includes music from the 15th through 21st centuries. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 4 p.m. Dec. 6, $25-$30. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., www.sfbach.org

California Bach Society: The program “French Christmas, medieval to the present” includes works by Jean Mouton, Henri Dumont, Hector Berlioz, Francis Poulenc and Pierre Villet. Dec. 4-6 at various locations including 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin St., S.F., $10-$33, www.calbach.org

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir
: The 30th holiday concert features host Danny Glover. 7 p.m. Dec. 5, $15-$45. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, www.ticketmaster.com

Ragazzi Boys Chorus: “I Dream a World” features music inspired by the words of the classic Langston Hughes poem of the same name. 5 p.m. Dec. 6, $16-$28, First Presbyterian Church, 1500 Easton Drive, Burlingame, www.ragazzi.org

Deck the Hall: S.F. Symphony’s family concert features “Beach Blanket Babylon” performers, S.F. Ballet School trainees and the S.F. Boys Chorus. 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 6, $42-$60. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

Holiday Brass: The S.F. Symphony’s virtuosic brass section is in the spotlight in a concert of seasonal music by composers from Bach and Handel to Guaraldi and Torme. 8 p.m. Dec. 6, $15-$75. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

Schola Cantorum: “Rejoice! Rejoice! Holiday Family Concert” includes Christmas favorites from the Robert Shaw/Alice Parker collection. 3 p.m. Dec. 6, $20-$30. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, www.mvcpa.com

Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir: The youngsters appear in the “Candlelight Concert” series. 4 p.m. Dec. 6, $15-$8. Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F., www.oldfirstconcerts.org

San Francisco Girls Chorus
: Valérie Sainte-Agathe leads 300-voice group, with special guest Deborah Voigt. 8 p.m. Dec. 7, $30-$60. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

A Brass and Organ Christmas
: Fine local brass musicians perform with the church’s 7,466-pipe Aeolian-Skinner organ. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, $15-$60. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus: “Holigays are Here” is the holiday pop show. 8 p.m. Dec. 11, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 12, $25-$65. Nourse, 275 Hayes St., S.F., (415) 392-4400, www.sfgmc.org

It’s a Wonderful Life: The S.F. Symphony and Chorus accompany a screening of the film classic. 8 p.m. Dec. 11-12, $45-$160. Davies Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

Merola Opera Program: “Opera & Ornaments” includes arias and holiday selections. 2 p.m. Dec. 12, free. Foster City Library, 1000 East Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City, www.merola.org

Grace Cathedral Choir of Men & Boys
: “A Cathedral Christmas” is a musical retelling of the Christmas story. 3 p.m. Dec. 12-13, Dec. 19-20 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, $15-$60. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

San Francisco Boys Chorus: “A Winter Songfest” features music from around the world and holiday favorites. 5 p.m. Dec. 12, $30-$40. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F. www.sfbc.org

San Francisco Renaissance Voices: The fourth annual “Festival of Lessons & Carols” is based on a tradition that began in 1918 at King’s College in England. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12, free. Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1329 Seventh Ave., S.F., www.sfrvoices.org

San Francisco Choral Artists: The British Isles-themed program includes readings from Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” 8 p.m. Dec. 12, $25-$28. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell St., S.F., www.sfca.org

Peter and the Wolf: The S.F. Symphony Youth Orchestra plays Prokofiev’s classic, with narrator Kathy Najimy. 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 13, $15-$65. Davies Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

Oakland East Bay Symphony: Michael Morgan conducts the symphony and choral groups in “Let Us Break Bread Together,” a holiday tribute to Frank Sinatra. 4 p.m. Dec. 13, $20-$60. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, www.oebs.org

Merri-Achi Christmas: Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez celebrates Mexico’s Christmas traditions. 8 p.m. Dec. 13, $15-$80. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

New Century Chamber Orchestra: The San Francisco Girls Chorus joins the ensemble for “Holiday Lights.” Dec. 17-20 at various locations including 8 p.m. Dec. 19 at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F., $29-$61, www.ncco.org

Christmas in a Celtic Land
: Golden Bough plays carols from Ireland and Scotland. 8 p.m. Dec. 18, $14-$17. Old First Presbyterian Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F., www.oldfirstconcerts.org

Young Women’s Choral Project: “Sing, Choirs of Angels” is a holiday showcase of 100 voices. 4 p.m. Dec. 19, $15-$35. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., www.ywcp.org

Chanticleer: The acclaimed all-male choir recounts the Christmas story in its church-set holiday program. 8 p.m. Dec. 19, $35-$75. St. Ignatius Church, University of San Francisco, 650 Parker St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

KITKA’s Wintersongs
: Tunes from Slavic, Baltic, Balkan, Jewish and Bosnian-Muslim traditions make up the women ensemble’s program. Dec. 12-20 at various locations including 8 p.m. Dec. 19 at Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F., $15-$40. www.kitka.org

California Pops Orchestra: “Pop’s Holiday Magic!” includes jazzy suites and sing-along carols. 3 p.m. Dec. 20, $20-$55. Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, www.californiapopsorchestra.com

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Home for the Holiday
s: The concert celebrates its 25th anniversary. 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Dec. 24, $25-$40. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F., www.sfgmc.org

MESSIAH

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

San Francisco Academy Orchestra
: Michael Conley conducts the group’s annual “Sing-It-Yourself-Messiah.” 8 p.m. Dec. 5, $15-$25. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., www.sfacademyorchestra.org

San Francisco City Chorus: Larry Marietta directs the open-community chorus in the yearly “Sing-Along Messiah.” Scores are provided. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6, $10. Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 201 Eucalyptus St., S.F., www.sfcitychorus.org

Handel’s Sing it Yourself Messiah: Urs Leonhardt Steiner directs the Golden Gate Orchestra and Chorus program. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, $15-$30. Mission Dolores Basilica, 3321 16th St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

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. 11, $10-$15, Memorial Church, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford University, http://events.stanford.edu/events/537/53725/

Schola Cantorum: The 100-voice choir performs its annual sing-along “Messiah” led by maestro Gregory Wait. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, $22. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, www.scholacantorum.org

American Bach Soloists: This year’s soloists include Hélène Brunet, Agnes Vojtko, Kyle Stegall and Jesse Blumberg, and Jeffrey Thomas conducts. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16-18, $20-$105. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F., www.americanbach.org

San Francisco Symphony and Chorus: Ragnar Bohlin directs The City’s top orchestra and chorale in performances of Handel’s masterwork. 8 p.m. Dec. 17 and Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, $15-$162. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Nicholas McGegan directs the group in Handel’s final “Foundling Hospital” version of “Messiah.” 7 p.m. Dec. 19, $25-$105. First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, cityboxoffice.com

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