It’s that time of year again, when the holiday calendar gets crowded with arts activities to put everyone in the mood for the season.
This month, we have two calendars: one of the non-holiday events and one devoted just to seasonal offerings.
Here are some of the notable holiday happenings in the performing arts:
Saturday, Dec. 1
Delray Beach Chorale: The choir presents Sing a Joyful Song, a program of holiday selections including Saint-Saëns’s Christmas Oratorio, Hasse’s Laudate Coeli Dominum and, in honor of his centennial, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. 7 pm, Olympic Heights High School, Boca Raton. Tickets: $25 ($10 students); visit delraybeachchorale.org.
Saturday, Dec. 1;
Thursday, Dec. 13-Sunday, Dec. 16
Ballet Palm Beach: Colleen Smith’s Palm Beach Gardens-based company mounts its annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. 2 pm and 7:30 pm Dec. 1, Kravis Center, West Palm Beach; 7 pm Dec. 13 and 14, 1 pm and 7 pm Dec. 15, 4 pm Dec. 16, Page Family Center, The King’s Academy, West Palm Beach. Kravis tickets: 832-7469 or kravis.org; King’s Academy tickets: 888-718-4253 or TKAfinearts.net.
Tuesday, Dec. 4; Sunday, Dec. 9
Symphony of the Americas: James Brooks-Bruzzese’s orchestra presents two Holiday Music and Movies concerts, featuring orchestral music traditionally associated with the season (Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker) and music from some favorite Hollywood seasonal flicks (The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation). 7:45 pm Tuesday and 3 pm Sunday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale. 954-462-0222, browardcenter.org, or sota.org.
Thursday, Dec. 6
Seraphic Fire: The Miami-based concert choir returns to Boca Raton for the first of multiple performance of its annual Christmas concert, featuring contemporary and classic songs including a favorite of this choir and its audiences: Elizabeth Poston’s Jesus Christ the Apple Tree. 7:30 pm, St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, Boca Raton. Tickets: $60. 305-285-9060 or seraphicfire.org.
Barry Manilow: The pop songwriter and pianist who broke into worldwide in the early 1970s presents A Very Barry Christmas. 8 pm, American Airlines Arena, Miami. Tickets $55.75 & up; ticketmaster.com or aaarenacom.
Friday, Dec. 7
Herb Alpert: The trumpet titan of the 1960s presents a concert called Holiday Wish with his wife Lani Hall, longtime lead vocalist of Sergio Mendes’s Brasil ’66. 8 pm, Kravis Center. Tickets $25 & up. 832-7469 or kravis.org.
Saturday, Dec. 8
Robert Sharon Chorale: The West Palm Beach-based community chorus offers Joy!, a program of holiday music. 3 pm Saturday, DeSantis Chapel, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach. Tickets: $15. rsharonchorale.com or 561-MUSIC45.
Young Singers of the Palm Beaches: The 350-member youth choir presents Winter Dreams, its annual holiday concert. 7:30 pm, Kravis Center, West Palm Beach. Tickets: $15. 832-7469 or kravis.org.
Sunday, Dec. 9
FAU Chamber Singers: The student group, in collaboration with the Delray Beach Chorale, performs the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. 7 pm, University Theatre, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Tickets: $20. Visit fauevents.com.
New York Polyphony: The vocal quartet of early music specialists offers songs from its Sing We Nowell recording, holiday music that spans some nine centuries. 3 pm, Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach. Tickets: $30. 655-7226 or fourarts.org.
Lynn Philharmonia: The student orchestra offers its 16th annual Gingerbread Holiday Concert, a fundraiser for the school that includes a big Christmas carol singalong. 3 pm, Boca Raton Resort and Club (come at 2 pm for a visit from Santa Claus); Tickets: $35. Call 237-9000 or visit www.lynn.edu/events.
Friday, Dec. 14
Master Chorale of South Florida: Recalling the pre-electronic media days when folks entertained themselves by gathering around a piano to sing, the group presents Cocktails and Carols, billed as an intimate evening of Christmas carols and other holiday music, plus hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. 7 pm, Pompano Beach Cultural Center, Pompano Beach. Tickets: $50; masterchoralofsouthflorida.org.
Friday, Dec. 14; Sunday, Dec. 16
Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches: The chorus originally founded by the late Jack Jones presents its annual reading of Handel’s Messiah. 7:30 pm Friday, Benjamin Upper School Campus, Benjamin School, Palm Beach Gardens; 7 pm Sunday, Royal Poinciana Chapel, Palm Beach. Tickets: $25; masterworkspb.org or 845-9696.
Saturday, Dec. 15-Sunday, Dec. 16
Harid Conservatory: The Boca Raton dance school presents Act II of The Nutcracker along with selections from other ballets. 3 pm both shows, Spanish River High School, Boca Raton. Tickets: $25-$30; call 998-0838 or visit harid.edu.
Friday, Dec. 21
The Sound of Music: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s 1959 musical about the von Trapp family and the Anschluss is not a Christmas play, but over the years it’s become a regular part of the holiday season, not least for My Favorite Things. Billed as a “brand-new production,” this version plays the Kravis Center for one night only. 8 pm. Tickets $42 & up. 832-7469 or kravis.org.
Saturday, Dec. 22
Iris Apfel: An afternoon of holiday cheer with the 96-year-old designer and “geriatric starlet.” Apfel will sign copies of her book, Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon, and a pop-up shop will offer Iris-related items. 3 pm, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, West Palm Beach. 832-5238 or asng.org.
Sunday, Dec. 23
Gianni Banchini Trio: The pianist and organist leads his trio in music of the season in a program called Holiday Swing. 7 pm, Arts Garage, Delray Beach. Tickets: $35-45. 450-6357 or artsgarage.org.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The 1965 TV special, complete with its Johnny Marks score, comes to life on stage in a show intended for children ages 4-10. 1 pm and 4 pm, Kravis Center. Tickets $20 & up. 832-7469 or kravis.org.
Friday, Dec. 29-Sunday, Dec. 31
Miami City Ballet: Lourdes Lopez’s Miami Beach-based troupe presents the George Balanchine version of The Nutcracker, the production that turned it into part of our Christmas celebrations. With new costumes by Isabel and Ruben Toledo. 2 pm and 7 pm Friday, 2 pm and 7 pm Saturday, 1 pm Sunday, Kravis Center, West Palm Beach. Tickets $30 & up. 305-929-7010, 832-7469; or miamicityballet.org or kravis.org.
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019
Salute to Vienna: The Strauss Symphony of America returns for its annual New Year’s Day concert, drawing on the Vienna Musikverein tradition dating to 1939. With vocalists and dancers. Prosit Neujahr! 8 pm, Kravis Center. Tickets $29 & up. 832-7469 or kravis.org.