The Final Christmas Holiday Shows of the Season and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch Before 2019 Rolls In

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CHURCH OF THE COVENANT, VIA CLEVELANDCLASSICAL.COM
  • Church of the Covenant, via ClevelandClassical.com
Classical music-making winds down between Christmas and New Year’s, but here are a few performances that should bend your ear during that holiday period.

The outdoor music of bells helps define the spirit of Christmas, and the McGaffin Carillon at the Church of the Covenant in University Circle will peal out at 12:15 pm every weekday from December 19 through New Year’s Eve. University Circle carillonneur George Leggiero and guests will play seasonal music at lunchtime and provide a 7:00 pm prelude of traditional carols and music by J.S. Bach and Nino Rota on Christmas Eve, before the church’s candlelit organ concert and lessons and carols service. Outdoors means free (and so is the church service).

The Almeda Trio revives their annual Winter Solstice Concert on Friday, December 21 at 6:00 pm, not at the Planetarium of the Natural History Museum but in Glick Recital Hall at The Music Settlement, and with two guest artists. Violinist Mari Sato and pianist Anne Wilson will join Almeda founder and cellist Ida Mercer for musical selections from Bach to Brubeck, interspersed with a brief presentation on the science behind the solstice and film footage of deep outer space flight through the solar system. Tickets are available online.

Most American Christmas traditions spring from Britain and Germany, but you’ll have the opportunity to explore lesser-known French traditions when Cleveland’s French Baroque ensemble Les Délices joins Quire Cleveland to present three concerts of charming music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier from December 21-23. Early music specialist Eric Milnes will lead the combined ensembles in Charpentier’s Midnight Mass on French Noëls and Dialogue Between the Angels and the Shepherds, and director Jay White will lead Quire in other French carols to fill out the program. Catch the performances in Akron (7:30 pm on the 21st at Holy Trinity Lutheran), Lakewood (8:00 pm on the 22nd at Lakewood Congregational), or Cleveland (4:00 pm on the 23rd at Our Lady of Peace). Buy tickets online.



The Episcopal Diocese of Ohio will present its annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival, a big Elizabethan pageant with colorful costumery and festive music by organ and brass, on Saturday, December 29 at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland. There are identical programs at 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm, and a freewill offering will be received toward the expenses of the show.

The Hollywood Songbook will be the focus for Cleveland POPS Orchestra’s annual New Year’s bash at Severance Hall, and the headliner is vocalist Erich Bergen, who currently stars as Blake Moran on the hit CBS television drama Madam Secretary. The party gets underway at 9:00 pm on December 31 with a program in the concert hall led by Carl Topilow, with dancing to follow in both lobbies until 1:00 am on the first day of 2019. Tickets can be ordered here.

We’ll be back with more SCENE picks the first week in January.

Check out details of these and other events on our Concert Listings page.

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