Palm Beach ArtsPaper staff

One minute it’s Thanksgiving, and the next, you’re stocking up on champagne to welcome the new year.
The holidays go by in an instant, but we all try to steal a little time for the ceremony of the season, for its sounds, sights, aromas and traditions. Finding that time is difficult, especially with the growth in the past few years of South Florida’s arts season — which has become more compact but much more crowded.
In the spirit of preparing a to-do list for that hard-to-schedule task, we offer this holiday music-and-dance calendar to show you just how much is out there, and what you might want to see. You’ll notice that on some weekends, there are multiple things that are well worth your time.
You’ll also notice that this is the time of year that two holiday presentations that have become de rigueur in English-speaking countries are represented here several times: George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. Handel’s oratorio premiered in April 1742 as an Easter piece, and has been a sellout hit since then, primarily in an abridged format that deals with the nativity of Jesus, or what choral directors call “the Christmas portion” of Messiah.
Two of the local ballet companies have already presented their Nutcracker performances, but there are others coming in December, including the George Balanchine version, courtesy of Miami City Ballet, at the end of the month.  
In between are many vocal and instrumental programs featuring the music of the holidays, mostly Christmas, but with some songs of the season for Hanukkah (Dec. 6-14).
So clip this calendar, mark it up, or just leave it handy: But do take in at least one of these programs. It could be just the thing that puts the holiday spring back in your step.


Friday, Dec. 4
Alleluias, Magnificats and Carols: The Delray Beach Chorale, now under the direction of Florida Atlantic University’s Patricia Fleitas, offers a holiday program featuring music by J.S. Bach, Halsey Stevens, and Handel, along with alleluias by Jewish composers. DeSantis Family Chapel at Palm Beach Atlantic University, 300 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $30 at door. 800-984-7282 or www.delraybeachchorale.org.
Saturday, Dec. 5
Alleluias, Magnificats and Carols: The Delray Beach Chorale program, this time at First Presbyterian Church, 33 Gleason St., Delray Beach. 3 p.m. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at door; 800-984-7282 or www.delraybeachchorale.org.  
Winter Tapestry: The Young Singers of the Palm Beaches, 350 children from grades 2 to 12, perform a holiday program at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15. 832-7469 or www.kravis.org.


Sunday, Dec. 6
Celebrate the Holidays … With a Twist: The Robert Sharon Chorale presents the first of three holiday concerts with this performance of seasonal music by composers from Handel to Rollo Dilworth. 2 p.m., DeSantis Chapel, Palm Beach Atlantic University, 300 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets: $15; visit rschorale.com/tickets.
Cocoa and Carols: The Master Chorale of South Florida, joined by the Girl Choir of South Florida, presents a concert of holiday music, followed by cocoa and cookies. 4 p.m., St. Mark’s Greek Orthodox Church, 2100 NW 51 St., Boca Raton. Tickets: $30. 954-641-2653 or www.masterchoraleofsouthflorida.org.
Holiday Choral Prelude: The Nova Singers, a Broward County-based 125-person community choir now in its 40th year, presents music by Z. Randall Stroope, Morten Lauridsen and familiar Christmas and Hanukkah selections. Director Chuck Stanley and the singers also will be accompanied by a brass and percussion ensemble. 4 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church, 701 W. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton. Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at door, $5 for students.  
Messiah: Florida Atlantic University’s choral students, along with faculty members, under the direction of Patricia Fleitas, does its annual rendition of the Handel classic. 7 p.m., University Theatre, FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton. Tickets: $15; 800-564-9539 or www.fauevents.com.


Tuesday, Dec. 8
A Seraphic Fire Christmas: The First Noël: The Grammy-nominated Miami choral group Seraphic Fire presents its annual Christmas music program in its only Palm Beach County performance this season at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palm Beach Gardens. The group always stages this a cappella concert of music with candlelight and a canny use of the church acoustics. 7:30 p.m., 3395 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens. Tickets: $45. 305-285-9060 or www.seraphic fire.org.
Symphony of the Americas: James Brooks-Bruzzese leads his orchestra in its annual holiday program, which will include selections from The Nutcracker plus an audience sing-along of favorite carols. Tickets start at $62. 8:15 p.m., Amaturo Theater, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954-335-7002 or www.sota.org.


Wednesday, Dec. 9
Live at Lynn Christmas: The 175-member Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, led by Harold Dioquino, is accompanied by instrumentalists for its program of holiday music, and promises a special celebrity guest. 7:30 p.m., Wold Performing Arts Center, Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton. Tickets: $35-$55. 237-9000 or www.lynn.edu/events.


Friday, Dec. 11
Messiah Sing-In: The Master Chorale of South Florida revives the older tradition of the singalong Messiah, in which audience members join in for the choruses. Bring your own score, or borrow one at the door. 8 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach, 2331 NE 26th Ave. Tickets: $25. 954-641-2653 or www.masterchoraleofsouthflorida.org.
A Christmas Spectacular: The Orchid City Brass Band, a local British-style brass band, joins the Robert Sharon Chorale for a concert that will include the Hallelujah chorus and Christmas music from the Austrian Alps. 7:30 p.m., Duncan Theatre, Palm Beach State College, 4200 S. Congress Ave., Lake Worth. Tickets: $20, $10 for students. 247-4078 or www.orchidcitybrass.org.


Saturday, Dec. 12
Nutcracker with the Duke: Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn created a jazz rewrite of some of the pieces from Tchaikovsky’s ballet score in 1960, and the Florida Wind Symphony Jazz Orchestra will play it along other holiday selections in a concert led by Kyle Prescott. 7 p.m., University Theatre, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton. Tickets: $20; 800-564-9539 or fauevents.com.
The Nutcracker: The aspiring professionals of the Harid Conservatory present Act II from Tchaikovsky’s ballet as well as other dances. 3 p.m., Countess de Hoernle Theater, Spanish River High School, 5100 Jog Road, Boca Raton. Tickets: $25-$30. 997-2677 or www.harid.edu.

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Sunday, Dec. 13
Symphony of the Americas: Repeat matinee performance of annual holiday program. Tickets start at $62. 2 p.m., Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954-335-7002 or www.sota.org.
Gingerbread Holiday Concert: This is the 13th year of Lynn University’s holiday concert at the Great Hall of the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The Lynn Philharmonia performs holiday music in a family-friendly event that doubles as a fundraiser for music scholarships. 3 p.m., 501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton. For tickets, call 237-9000.   
The Nutcracker: The Harid Conservatory does Act II from Tchaikovsky’s ballet and other dances. 3 p.m., Countess de Hoernle Theater, Spanish River High School, 5100 Jog Road, Boca Raton. Tickets: $25-$30. 997-2677 or www.harid.edu.
Messiah: The Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches performs its version of the oratorio for the 35th year running at the Royal Poinciana Chapel, 60 Cocoanut Row, Palm Beach. 5 p.m. Tickets: $25. 845-9696 or www.masterworkspb.org.
FAU Madrigal Dinner: Florida Atlantic University began its own version of this popular dinner-theater tradition five years ago. Students dress in Renaissance-era costumes and sing period music while guests enjoy a sumptuous meal (and can dress in period garb if they wish). The dinner is a benefit for the Choral and Vocal Studies Program at the university. Tickets are $100 or $1,000 for a table of 8. 5:30 p.m., Vintage Gymnasium at Old School Square, 51 N Swinton Ave., Delray Beach  297-2337 or fauf.fau.edu/madrigal.
Tuba Christmas: In 1974, the great tuba player Harvey Phillips brought a large ensemble of tubas to Rockefeller Center to play Christmas carols on the ice rink, and a quirky holiday tradition was born. Florida Atlantic University picked up this idea five years ago, and presents it for free; the concert will be led by Sean Murray. 5 p.m., Mizner Park Amphitheatre, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton.
Holiday With the Pops: The Indian River Pops Orchestra, led by Dwight Robert Roadman, is joined by the Robert Sharon Chorale for a concert of seasonal music dedicated to the memory of Owen Seward, longtime director of the Indian River Pops and the New Gardens Band, who died in August. Tickets: $25. 7 p.m., Eissey Campus Theatre, 11051 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens. 207-5900 or www.palmbeachstate.edu.


Monday, Dec. 14
Christmas Concert and Community Carol Sing: Bethesda-by-the-Sea music director Hal Pysher leads the Bethesda Choir and an instrumental ensemble in this annual holiday concert and sing-along. 7:30 p.m. Suggested donation: $15. Bethesda-by-the-Sea, 141 S. County Road, Palm Beach. 655-4554 or www.bbts.org.
Wednesday, Dec. 16
Ann Hampton Callaway: The Great American Songbook chanteuse is accompanied by a trio in an evening of holiday music. 8 p.m., Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach. Tickets: $40-$45. 655-7226 or www.fourarts.org.

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Thursday, Dec. 17
The Midtown Men: Four members of the original cast of Jersey Boys add holiday music to their usual 1960s-era Four Seasons repertoire. 8 p.m., Kravis Center. 832-7469 or www.kravis.org.
Friday, Dec. 18
Messiah: Three performances of Handel’s oratorio by Seraphic Fire in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Shores and Cutler Bay from Dec. 18-20. On Dec. 18, the choir is at one of its favorite venues, All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale (333 Tarpon Dr.). 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $65. 305-285-9060 or www.seraphicfire.org.  
Celtic Woman: Three female Irish singers and a fiddler, in a spotlessly produced selection of Christmas music, accompanied by an orchestra. 8 p.m., Kravis Center. 832-7469 or www.kravis.org.

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Saturday, Dec. 19
Messiah: The Masterworks Chorus’s second performance of the Handel oratorio. 5 p.m. United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches, 900 Brandywine Road, West Palm Beach. Tickets: $25. 845-9696 or www.masterworkspb.org.
A Well-Strung Christmas: Well-Strung, the New York-based all-male singing string quartet offers a concert of holiday music. 8 p.m., Kravis Center. Tickets start at $39. 832-7469 or www.kravis.org.


Sunday, Dec. 20
Lessons and Carols: A Victorian Christmas: The St. Paul’s Episcopal Church choir, led by Keith Paulson-Thorp, presents its annual King’s College-style service-plus-concert. Free admission. 3 p.m., 188 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. 276-4541 or www.stpaulsdelray.org.


Tuesday, Dec. 22
Palm Beach Gardens Concert Band: The community concert band’s annual holiday show, featuring music of Christmas and Hanukkah. 7:30 p.m. Maltz Jupiter Theare, 1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter. Tickets: $15. Call 575-2223.


Tuesday, Dec. 22-Wednesday., Dec. 23
Broadway on Ice: Ice skating champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White are featured in a program of ice dances set to holiday music and songs from the Great White Way. 8 p.m. Tuesday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday, Kravis Center. Tickets start at $30. 832-7469 or www.kravis.org.

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Sunday, Dec. 27-Tuesday, Dec. 29
The Nutcracker: Miami City Ballet gives five performances of Tchaikovsky’s ballet. 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Kravis Center. Tickets start at $25. 832-7469 or www.kravis.org.


Friday, Jan. 1
Salute to Vienna: The annual Viennese tradition of a concert to welcome the new year has been a staple at the Kravis Center. The Strauss Symphony of America is joined by ballroom and ballet dancers in a concert of waltzes and other dances. Prosit Neujahr! 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29. 832-7469 or www.kravis.org.

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