’Tis the season — for joyful and sacred music, dancing toy soldiers, Dickensian drama, candlelight tours of historic sites, afternoon tea parties, and entertaining strolls through Valley towns big and small
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Seasonal strains: Members of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s perform Mozart’s music at Caramoor
Music & Dance
Dec. 4: The Albany Symphony’s Magic of Christmas concert features talented young performers from the Capital District Youth Chorale and the Cathedral of All Saints Boychoir (among other local groups). 7 p.m. $30, $15 children under 15. • Palace Theatre. 19 Clinton Ave., Albany. 518-465-4755 or www.albanysymphony.com
Dec. 18: On their Christmas reunion tour, the Irish Tenors perform all your holiday favorites — including “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” and “Silent Night” — along with a full orchestra. 8 p.m. $37-$77. • Palace Theater. 19 Clinton Ave., Albany. 518-465-3334 or www.palacealbany.com
Dec. 5: The University at Albany music department presents a holiday concert featuring its five ensembles — the Chorale, Chamber Singers, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra — as well as two student groups. 4 p.m. $6, $3 seniors & students. Dec. 6: The college’s two percussion groups join forces for a holiday concert aptly named Twenty Drummers Drummin’. 7 p.m. $6, $3 seniors & students. • UAlbany Performing Arts Center. 1400 Washington Ave., Albany. 518-442-3997.
Dec. 11-12: The choral ensemble Albany Pro Musica performs holiday favorites (including some sing-along selections) at this concert. Sat. 8 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Church, Schenectady, Sun. 3 p.m. at Carondelet Hospitality Center, Latham. $25, $10 students. • 518-438-6548 or www.albanypromusica.org
Dec. 12: The irrepressible Canadian Brass usher in the holiday season at the acoustically superb Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. This all-brass quintet plays selections from classical to jazz to pop — as well as all the seasonal favorites. 7 p.m. $31-$38, $25 students. • 30 Second St., Troy. 518-273-0038 or www.troymusichall.org
Dec. 11: Enjoy an afternoon of stories and songs as the quartet Nowell We Sing Clear performs a mid-winter pageant of carols on the accordion, banjo, and guitar. 3 p.m. $20, $5 children under 13. • St. John’s Lutheran Church. 142 Maple Ave. Altamont. 518-765-2815 or www.oldsongs.org
Dec. 3-5: Ulster Ballet Company offers a choreographed version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. More than 60 dancers and actors tell the well-known tale using dance, special effects, colorful costumes, and elaborate sets. Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. $15, $12 seniors & students. • Ulster Performing Arts Center. 601 Broadway, Kingston. 845-339-6088 or www.upac.com
Dec. 11-12: Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, The Nutcracker, is performed by the New Paltz Ballet Theatre (along with principal dancers from the New York City Ballet). Journey with Marie as she dreams of a fierce battle between giant mice and toy soldiers, and visits the land of the Sugar Plum Fairies. Sat. 2 & 7:30 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. $28, $25 seniors & students. • Ulster Performing Arts Center. 601 Broadway, Kingston. 845-339-6088 or www.upac.org
Dec. 5: Take part in a traditional Service of Lessons and Carols at the Vassar College chapel. Performing groups include the Vassar College Choir, Women’s Chorus, Madrigal Singers, and Capella Festiva Chamber Choir. 7 p.m. • 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie. 845-437-7294 or http://music.vassar.edu
Dec. 19: The Empire Brass plays holiday standards — as well as classical works and traditional carols — in a show called The Sound of Christmas. Special guest Elisabeth von Trapp (granddaughter of Maria and Baron von Trapp, made famous in The Sound of Music) joins the quintet for this performance. 3 p.m. Call for ticket information. • Lycian Centre. 1351 Kings Highway, Sugar Loaf. 845-469-2287 or www.lyciancentre.com
Dec. 19: Kairos: A Consort of Singers sings seasonal sacred music from the Renaissance to the present day during the Service of Lessons and Carols at the Holy Cross Monastery. 3 p.m. • 1615 Rte. 9W, West Park. 845-256-9114.
Dec. 12: Enjoy an afternoon of high-energy vocal music at Eisenhower Hall Theatre when platinum-selling recording artists the Ten Tenors take the stage. The group’s blend of thrilling arias, hard-driving rock classics, and seasonal favorites makes this a unique holiday concert experience. 3 p.m. Call for ticket information. • Eisenhower Hall Theatre, West Point. 845-938-4159 or www.ikehall.com
Dec. 4: Children’s singer/musician Sukey Molloy plays her award-winning music at this Winter Holiday Show. The little ones can sing and dance to holiday songs along with friends Sunny, Tick Tock, and Little Flame. 11 a.m. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. • Ritterhausen Theater, Old Nyack H.S. 131 N. Midland Ave., Nyack. 845-418-ARTS.
Dec. 5: For their season finale, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s performs A Holiday Chamber Concert featuring an all-Mozart program. 4 p.m. $40. • Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. 149 Girdle Ridge Rd., Katonah. 914-232-1252 or www.caramoor.org.
Dec. 2: Often associated with the holidays, the spirited sounds of Johannes Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti fill the air when the Brandenburg All-Stars come to town. The ensemble is a collaboration between some of New York’s leading musicians. 3 p.m. $52.50. • The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College. 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase. 914-251-6200 or www.artscenter.org
Dec. 8: In A Rockapella Holiday, the powerful and soulful sound of the human voice — sans instruments — brings you joyful holiday music. 8 p.m. $35. Dec. 12: Cherish the Ladies, the popular all-female Irish-American group, performs A Celtic Christmas with vocals and instrumental arrangements appropriate for the holidays. 8 p.m. $29. Dec. 17: Brighten up the season with the music and humor of the Canadian Brass. The internationally renowned ensemble plays classical, traditional, and contemporary selections. 8 p.m. $35-$55. • Tarrytown Music Hall. 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 914-631-3390 or www.tarrytownmusichall.org