Holiday Classical Music 2014 

click to enlarge Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale
  • Courtesy photo
  • The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale will be playing various shows throughout December.

MESSIAHS

Handel's Sing it Yourself Messiah

Urs Leonhardt Steiner directs the San Francisco Sinfonietta Orchestra and Chorus program. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, $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. 12, $10-$15, Memorial Church, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford University, http://events.stanford.edu/events/452/45231

San Francisco City Chorus

Larry Marietta directs the open-community chorus in the yearly "Sing-Along Messiah." Scores are provided. 7 p.m. Dec. 14, $10. Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 201 Eucalyptus St., S.F., www.sfcitychorus.org, www.lakesidesf.org

Schola Cantorum

The 100-voice choir performs its annual sing-along "Messiah" led by maestro Gregory Wait. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, $18-$22. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, www.scholacantorum.org

American Bach Soloists

This year's soloists include Mary Wilson, Eric Jurenas, Wesley Rogers and Jesse Blumberg, and Jeffrey Thomas conducts. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 and Dec. 18-19, $15-$97. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F., www.americanbach.org

San Francisco Symphony and Chorus

Led by conductor Jane Glover and choral director Ragnar Bohlin, The City's top orchestra and chorale present three performances of Handel's masterwork. 8 p.m. Dec. 18-20, $15-$154. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

San Francisco Academy Orchestra

John Kendall-Bailey conducts the group's annual "Sing-It-Yourself-Messiah" with a free practice workshop at 10 a.m. Dec. 20 at the same location (scores provided for $10). 4 p.m. Dec. 20, $15-$25. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., www.sfacademyorchestra.org

CLASSICAL

Lorraine Hansberry Theater Gospel Choir

"Soulful Christmas: A Gospel Holiday Concert" includes old and new holiday favorites. Dec. 4-24, $15-$25. Southside Theatre, Building D, Fort Mason, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F., www.lhtsf.org

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale

The early music concert includes a recently-discovered Vivaldi "Dixit Dominus" and Jan Dismas Zelenka's rarely heard "Missa Nativitatis" Domini ("Christmas Mass"). Wednesday-Dec. 7 at various locations including 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., $25-$100, www.cityboxoffice.com

California Bach Society

"A German Christmas" includes music for the Nativity across the centuries by Eccard, Schütz, Hassler, Hammerschmidt, Mendelssohn, Reger, Raphael and Distler. Dec. 5-7 at various locations including 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell St., S.F., $30, www.calbach.org

Ragazzi Boys Chorus

"Wintersong," an homage to the season, is a program of music spanning from centuries past to just last year. 5 p.m. Dec. 6 at St. Matthews Episcopal Church, 1 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo; 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at Messiah Lutheran Church, 1835 Valota Road, Redwood City; 4 p.m. Dec. 14, Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F., $16-$27, www.ragazzi.org

Deck the Hall

San Francisco Symphony's holiday favorites program for families features appearances by "Beach Blanket Babylon" performers, San Francisco Ballet School trainees and the San Francisco Boys Chorus. 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 7, $40-$58. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir

The 29th annual holiday concert features Grammy-nominee Kim Burrell. 7 p.m. Dec. 6, $12-$42. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, www.ticketmaster.com

San Francisco Bach Choir

"A Candlelight Christmas" includes music from the 15th through 21st centuries. 8 p.m. Dec. 6, 4 p.m. Dec. 7, $25-$30, free for youths. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., www.sfbach.org

Schola Cantorum -- Joyeaux Noel

Gregory Wait conducts Charpentier's "Midnight Mass for Christmas" and carols with a French flavor. 3 p.m. Dec. 7, $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. 7, $14-$17. Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F., www.oldfirstconcerts.org

Merola Opera Program

"Opera & Ornaments" features soprano Kristin Clayton, bass-baritone Bojan Knezevic and pianist Bryndon Hassman performing arias and holiday selections. 7 p.m. Dec. 8, free. Foster City Library, 1000 East Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City, www.merola.org

San Francisco Girls Chorus

Lisa Bielawa and Valérie Sainte-Agathe lead the Grammy-winning, 300-voice group in the holiday program "Northern Lights." 8 p.m. Dec. 8, $30-$65. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

A Brass and Organ Christmas

The Bay Brass join organist Jonathan Dimmock in a holiday program. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, $15-$40. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

Home Alone

The San Francisco Symphony, Ragazzi Boys Chorus, San Francisco Boys Chorus and San Francisco Girls Chorus accompany a screening of the film comedy. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12-13, $25-$80. Davies Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

San Francisco Choral Artists

The "Postcards from Abroad" Christmas program includes works by Californian-Brazilian composer-in-residence Daniel Afonso and other international artists. 8 p.m. Dec. 13, $30. St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell St., S.F., www.sfca.org

New Century Chamber Orchestra

The San Francisco Girls Chorus joins the ensemble for "Holiday Favorites," a seasonal show of works by Vivaldi, excerpts from Handel's "Messiah," carols and more. Dec. 12-21 at various locations, including 10 a.m. Dec. 17 at Kanbar Performing Arts Center, 44 Page St., S.F; and 8 p.m. Dec. 20 at Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., S.F., $8-$85, www.ncco.org

San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus

"Dancers, Prancers & Vixens!" is the group's holiday show featuring the singing string quartet Well-Strung. 8 p.m. Dec. 12, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 13, $25-$65. Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., S.F., (415) 392-4400, www.sfgmc.org

San Francisco Girls Chorus Level IV

Led by Elizabeth Avakian, the chorale's most advanced singers appear in "Holiday Celebration in Song." 8 p.m. Dec. 12, $14-$17. Old First Presbyterian Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F., www.oldfirstconcerts.org

San Francisco Boys Chorus

The winter concert includes excerpts from the "Messiah" and carols. 2 p.m. Dec. 13 at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., 8 p.m. Dec. 20 at Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, $10-$40, www.sfbc.org

Oakland Youth Chorus

The group celebrates its 40th anniversary holiday concert with an early program featuring its youngest singers, followed by a concert with older singers, guests and a commissioned work by local jazz great Marcus Shelby. 3 and 6 p.m. Dec. 13, $5-$20. First Presbyterian Church, 2619 Broadway, Oakland, www.brownpapertickets.com

Grace Cathedral Choir of Men & Boys

"A Cathedral Christmas" is a musical retelling of the Christmas story. 3 p.m. Dec. 13-14, 20-21 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, $15-$30. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

Young Women's Choral Projects

Three choirs present "Stars of Wonder," a program of traditional and contemporary holiday music. 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley; 4 p.m. Dec. 14 at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., $15-$35. www.ywcp.org

Chanticleer

The Grammy Award-winning male choir recounts the Christmas story in its church-set holiday program. 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and Dec. 21, $35-$69. St. Ignatius Church, University of San Francisco, 650 Parker St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com

KITKA's Wintersongs

Sacred and secular tunes from Slavic, Baltic, Balkan, Jewish and Bosnian-Muslim traditions make up the women ensemble's program. Dec. 14-21 at various locations including 4 p.m. Dec. 14 at St. Bede's, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, and 8 p.m. Dec. 20 at Old First Presbyterian Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F., $10-$40, www.kitka.org

Peter and the Wolf

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra plays Prokofiev's classic, with narrator Rita Moreno, followed by a carol sing along. 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 14, $15-$65. Davies Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

San Francisco Boys Chorus

The winter concert includes the "Hallelujah Chorus" from the "Messiah." 2 p.m., Dec. 14, $40. Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St., S.F., www.sfbc.org

Oakland East Bay Symphony

Michael Morgan conducts the symphony and choral groups in the vibrant "Let Us Break Bread Together," a holiday tribute to Pete Seeger. 4 p.m. Dec. 14, $15-$55. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, www.oebs.org

Merri-Achi Christmas

Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, the country's first all-female mariachi band, celebrate Mexico's Christmas traditions. 8 p.m. Dec. 14, $15-$80. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

Noontime Concerts

Sanford Dole leads the Apse Ensemble in a program of old and new holiday choral music. 12:30 p.m. Dec. 16, $5. Old St. Mary's Cathedral, 660 California St., S.F., www.noontimeconcerts.org

Christmas in a Celtic Land

Golden Bough plays Old World carols from Ireland and Scotland. 8 p.m. Dec. 19, $14-$17. Old First Presbyterian Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F., www.oldfirstconcerts.org

Magnificat

"A Venetian Christmas Mass" features the brilliant polychoral music of Francesco Cavalli. Dec. 19-21 at various locations including at 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell St., S.F., $30-$35. www.sfems.org

San Francisco Symphony

The local premiere of "A Charlie Brown Christmas -- Live!" features Peanuts characters, animated backgrounds, dancing, singing (soprano Lisa Vroman is special guest) and accompaniment by the orchestra, chorus and narrators. Dec. 19-23, $15-$75 (half-price for children under 18). Davies Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org

San Francisco Renaissance Voices

The third 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. 20, free. Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1329 Seventh Ave., S.F., www.sfrvoices.org

California Pops Orchestra

"Pop's Holiday Celebration!" includes jazzy suites, music from "White Christmas" and sing-along carols. 3 p.m. Dec. 21, $15-$47. Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, www.californiapopsorchestra.com

San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Home for the Holidays

The 25th annual event features guests Lisa Vroman and Donna Sachet. 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Dec. 24, $25-$35. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F., www.sfgmc.org

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