Do you like your holidays served up with a little pops, big band, traditional carols, a cantata, or some international flair? These are just some of the options for regional audiences in December.
The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda will kick off the season with Holidays Around the World on Dec. 2, featuring the Strathmore Children’s Chorus and other choral ensembles performing traditional music from South Africa, England, Sweden, Germany, and Puerto Rico. Also on tap are the Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2015 on Dec. 4, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s ’Tis the Season with Brian Stokes Mitchell on Dec. 10, Big Band Holidays featuring Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis on Dec. 12, and A Candlelight Christmas with the Washington Chorus on Dec. 18.
Scottish bagpipers and dancers bring a different flavor to the holiday during the 45th annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade, Dec. 4–6 in downtown Alexandria. Sponsored by the Campagna Center, the event also includes Scottish foods, a home tour, sale of heather and greens, and a holiday marketplace.
A free Holiday Sing-A-Long is planned on Dec. 6 at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna. The President’s Own United States Marine Band and choral groups will lead the fun. Also on Dec. 6, the Cadmus Ensemble, a German a capella quintet, will perform a holiday concert of chamber music at the Barns at Wolf Trap.
The EagleBank Arena (formerly the Patriot Center) at George Mason University in Fairfax will feature DC 101 Presents Eliot in the Morning’s holiday concert on Dec. 3, and Christmas with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith on Dec. 20.
Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas will have A Lee Greenwood Christmas on Dec. 4 and Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season on Dec. 11, featuring the American Festival Pops Orchestra.
Washington National Cathedral will present Handel’s Messiah Dec. 5-6, with the cathedral’s combined choirs and baroque orchestra along with international soloists. Other holiday offerings at the cathedral include Family Joy on Dec. 12, The Joy of Christmas on Dec. 12–13, and The Twelve Days of Christmas on Dec. 20.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will host NSO Pops: The Von Trapps and Stephanie J. Block Family Holiday, Dec. 10–12, and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah Dec. 17–20.
In addition, the Washington Chorus will present A Candlelight Christmas Dec. 13–22 and The Choral Arts Society of Washington will present An Enchanted Christmas Dec. 14–24.
Capital City Symphony will present its Holiday Concert and Sing Along on Dec. 13 at Atlas Performing Arts Center.
For a medieval twist, the Washington Revels’ Christmas Revels will take place Dec. 5–13 at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University.
In addition, free nightly performances are given in December at the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse by volunteer choirs, bands, and dancers. Stop in at the National Gallery of Art and the Willard Hotel for holiday music throughout December. The U.S. Botanic Garden also has “Season’s Greenings” musical performances on selected Tuesdays and Thursdays.