Select music events, organized alphabetically
Canciones De Navidad: A Spanish Christmas
The Chicago Chamber Choir presents the second in its series of “Christmas Around the World” concerts with “Canciones de Navidad: A Spanish Christmas,” celebrating the Christmas traditions of the Spanish speaking world. The concert includes such classics as “O Magnum Mysterium” by Tomas Luis de Victoria, the anonymous “Riu Riu Chiu: El Lobo Rabioso”, and “Carol of the Birds.” The CCC will also perform Conrad Susa’s “Carols and Lullabyes: Christmas in the Southwest,” which highlights Catalonian, Puerto Rican, Castilian and Mexican songs. Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. December 12, 7pm. St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 2335 N. Orchard. December 16, 7:30pm, $18 advance, $20 door, $15 students.
The St. Charles Singers kick off their twenty-seventh season with “Candlelight Carols,” their most musically diverse Christmas concert to date. The thirty-two member, mixed-voice ensemble’s program ranges from early music to jazz with German Romantic motets by Felix Mendelssohn, twentieth-century Scandinavian Christmas songs, traditional English carols, and other genres. Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar, St. Charles (630)513-5272. December 4, 7:30pm, December 5, 7pm. St. Catholic Church, 310 S. Wheaton, Wheaton. December 5, 3pm, $30, $20 seniors, $10 students (with ID).
A Choral Christmas
Join the oldest performing arts organization in the Fox Valley, The Elgin Choral Union, for their holiday concert, “A Choral Christmas.” On the program for the evening is a performance of Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols,” inspired by 15th and 16th century carols and poems. Also included are performances of Conrad Susa’s “Carols and Lullabyes: Christmas in the Southwest” and a new arrangement for brass, harp and choir of Donald Fraser’s “This Christmastide.” Elgin Community College, Blizzard Theater, 1700 Spartan, Elgin (847)622-0300. December 18, 7:30pm, December 19, 3:30pm, $23 adults, $18 seniors, $15 students, $5 children (under 12, with purchase of adult ticket).
A Clooney Christmas
Remembering one of the golden age of cinema’s most endearing personalities in this holiday tribute concert to Rosemary Clooney. Heather Moran accompanied by Myles Hayes will be reenacting some of the soulful alto’s most cherished songs. The Christmas tribute includes numbers like “White Christmas,” “Suzy Snowflake,” What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas.” Davenport’s Piano Bar, 1383 N. Milwaukee, (773)278-1830. December 10, 8pm, $25 plus 2-drink minimum.
A Depeche Mode Christmas
If the conformity of caroling makes you nauseous, if you find the Nativity to be a pathetic farce of religious syncretism, if you’ve ever worn thick, black eye shadow, “A Depeche Mode Christmas” might be for you. This live tribute concert, featuring Grammy winner Frank Delamora’s band Echonine, commemorates the darkly alluring New Wave synth stars. Also featuring DJ sets by Heaven Malone and Akira. Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee, (773)227-7990. December 23, 10pm, RSVP@heavenmalone.com.
A Family Christmas Concert
The combined Church Choir of Itasca presents its annual Christmas show, “A Family Christmas Concert.” The CCI offers a lighter program of traditional Nativity-centered Christmas carols as well as selections from the Messiah for the whole family to enjoy. The program also includes a special children’s sing-along section. This year the CCI will be accompanied by a new orchestra, Sinfonietta Bel Canto.St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 410 S. Rush, Itasca. December 4, 7:30pm, $9 adults, $5 children (3-12), free for children under 3, charitable donation.
First Saint Paul’s Choir Christmas Concert
Dr. Steven Wente, chair of the Music Department at Concordia University Chicago, directs the choir of First Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church with special guest soloists and instrumentalists for its annual Christmas concert. The performance will include a cantata by 17th century German composer Dieterich Buxtehude, as well as works by Samuel Scheidt, George Friedrich Handel, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Carl Schalk, Richard Hillert and others. First Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1301 N. LaSalle, (312)642-7172, December 12, 3:30pm, free.
Fitzgerald’s 30th Anniversary Show with Brave Combo
Join the Fitzgerald family in celebrating thirty years of music and fun with a unique holiday performance. The show features the Grammy-winning Brave Combo, a Denton, Texas-based quintet known for their musical eclecticism. The group’s repertoire includes such dance-inducing holiday gems as a cha-cha version of “O Holy Night,” a ska interpretation of “The Christmas Song?” and a rock tinged “Santa’s Polka,” as well as many original tunes. Fitzgerald’s Nightclub, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, (708)788-2118. December 18, 9:30pm, $15.
The University of Chicago’s Department of Music presents its annual holiday performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” The University’s Motet Choir, University Chorus and Rockefeller Chapel Orchestra will join special guests in a chorus of over 150 voices to perform this joyous work, the most celebrated in Handel’s oeuvre. Come take part in the tradition, an annual concert which reaches back to 1930. Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn, (773)702-9075. December 3, 8pm, $35 chancel, $25 nave, $20 general, $10 students.
Handel’s Messiah Rocks: A Joyful Noise
The newest take on a very old theme, “Handel’s Messiah Rocks: A Joyful Noise” mashes the most celebrated oratorio in the world with classic metal rock stylings. The show stars Broadway veteran Mike Eldred as The Tenor, and features local choirs specially recruited for the Chicago performances. Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe, (312)977-1713. December 3, 8pm, December 4, 2pm, $40-$75.
The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Harris Bank Holiday Concerts
The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra continues its thirty-third anniversary season with its annual Harris Bank Holiday Concerts. The orchestra, guest choruses, and soloists lead a program of classical holiday tunes and sing-alongs. And new this year, the IPO will perform Leslie Bricusse’s “Scrooge!” the Musical in the second half of the concert. Lincoln-Way East Performing Arts Center, 201 Colorado, Frankfurt, (708)481-7774. December 18 and 19, 3pm. $30-$50, $15 students (under 18).
Holidays A Cappella
Acclaimed a cappella nonet Chicago a cappella presents Holidays a cappella, a night of Holiday traditions from around the globe. This year’s concert will include songs from Sweden, Latvia, Spain’s Basque region, as well as Chanukah music, African-American spirituals and American shape-note singing. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut, (773)755-1628. December 10, 8pm, $35 preferred, $28 general, $22 seniors, $12 students.
Homo For The Holidays
The name says it all in this holiday dance riot featuring queer-scene DJs Reagonomix, Young Creature, and Barbara Bush and Unisexy. Stay for headliners Black Gold, the new combo of Eric Ronick, formerly of Panic at the Disco and Ambulance Ltd., and Than Luu, who has played with M. Ward, Rachel Yamagata and shushshush. Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago, (312)226-8828. December17, 10pm, $5, $3 (with canned food donation).
How the Uke Stole Christmas (And Hannukah and Kwanzaa) 2
Chicago Ukulele Cabaret hosts there second annual Christmas (and Hannukah and Kwanzaa) open mic concert. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by cheering on friends you’ve known forever and friends you haven’t met as they take the stage to wrestle with their inner grinch. And if you or someone you love wants to perform, make sure you contact Chicago Ukulele Cabaret ASAP (firstname.lastname@example.org) as slots are filling up fast. Silvie’s Lounge, 1902 W. Irving Park, (312)278-3122. December 4, 9pm, free.
Jamie O’Reilly Christmas Show
Returning to the SPACE stage with musical partner Michael Smith, Jamie O’Reilly presents a musical adaptation of famed O. Henry short “The Gift of the Magi,” with original music by Smith. Smith’s compositions include waltzes, a fox trot, a soft shoe, love duets, and lavish instrumentals. SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, (847)492-8860. December 19, 2pm, $15-$25.
Sean Altman of Rockapella presents Jewmongous, a collection of hilariously unkosher songs riffing on the dilemmas of modern Jewish life. The show will feature compositions such as fractured Passover tale “They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Let’s Eat),” the scientifically accurate “Taller Than Jesus,” “Reuben the Hooked-Nosed Reindeer,” and swing number “Blow, Murray Blow,” about a virtuoso shofar (ram’s horn) player so good he purges listeners of their sins. Also featuring special guest, comedienne and songwriter Cindy Kaplan. The Skokie Theater, 7924 Lincoln, Skokie, (847)677-7761. December 25, 7pm and 9pm, $15 advance, $20 door.
Get in the holiday spirit with the student musicians of Loyola University as they perform secular seasonal hits and jazz variations. Selections include perennial favorites like “Let it Snow” and “Sleigh Ride,” and the modern classic “Christmas Time is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Loyola University, Mundelein Center Auditorium, 1020 W. Sheridan (773)508-3847. December 9, 7:30pm, free with RSVP.
The Lakeside Singers Holiday Concert 2010
The Lakeside Singers, a choral and orchestral group of mixed classical and popular backgrounds, presents their annual holiday concert in two halves. The first half of the show will feature classical music spanning five hundred years and nine different countries, while the second half features music from many genres of American popular music, including pieces first made famous by such artists as Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Manhattan Transfer and Michael McDonald. Music Institute of Chicago, Nicholas Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston, (847)382-5085. December 3, 8pm. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut. December 13, 8pm, $30 adults, $20 seniors & students, $10 children (under 12).
Loyola University Holiday Chapel Concert
Join the student vocal ensembles of Loyola University in their inspiring Madonna della Strada Chapel for a night of free music. The groups will serenade visitors with music and hymns of the holidays. Madonna della Strada Chapel, 1032 W. Sheridan, (773)508-3847, December 6, 7:30pm, free.
Suzy Bogguss Christmas Show
Versatile country songstress Suzy Bogguss comes to the McAninch Arts Center for a special Christmas performance. Along with selections from her 20-year-plus repertoire of hits, Bogguss will perform holiday classics and songs from her latest release, the jazz influenced “Sweet Danger.” McAninch Arts Center at the College of Dupage, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn, (630)942-4000. Dec 3, 8pm, $26-$36.
Wicker Park Choral Singers Present Star of Wonder
The grassroots founded Wicker Park Choral Singers turn their attention this holiday season to the majesty and wonder of the night sky with their program, Star of Wonder. Considering many different aspects of the Christmas Star tradition, Star of Wonder will include performances of The Three Kings by Healey Willan, There Shall a Star from Jacob by Felix Mendelssohn, O Nata Lux de Lumine by Thomas Tallis, Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre, and Gladsome Light from Rachmaninoff’s Vespers. Wicker Park Lutheran Church, 1502 N. Hoyne. Dec 4, 3pm. Trinity Episcopal Church, 425 Laurel, Highland Park. Dec 5, 4pm, Free.
Winter Pageant 2010
Celebrate the change of seasons with Redmoon Theater’s “Winter Pageant 2010.” This year’s pageant highlights the style and music of the 1960s and 1970s, featuring singers Kasey Foster, Carly Ciarrocchi, Alex Knapp and Matt Rudy along with the company’s signature mechanical objects, puppets, gadgets, transforming set and costumed characters. Redmoon Central, 1463 W. Hubbard, (312)850-8440 x 111. Through January, 2011, Thursdays and Fridays, 7:30pm, Saturdays, 1pm, 4pm and 7:30pm, Sundays 1pm and 4pm, $20 advance, $22 door, $10 children (under 10), free for children under 3.