‘Tis the season: Bevy of Christmas concerts on tap to help celebrate the holidays

Christmas concerts 2019

Pro Coro Canada, Paul Brandt, and Serena Ryder are among the performers bringing Christmas cheer to you this holiday season.

The Yuletide festivities appear to be creeping backwards towards Halloween these days, but we’ll start with Saturday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. with the Sultans of String Christmas Caravan at Festival Place in Sherwood Park. Also that evening, the Josephburg Choral Society are planning their annual Christmas Concert at Sherwood Park United Church at 7 p.m. An Edmonton tradition continues as A Christmas Carol kicks off at The Citadel Theatre on Nov. 30, running until Dec. 23.

Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m. Cantilon Choirs celebrate two decades as a going concern with John Rutter’s Dancing Day with soloist Daniel Theilmann, harpist Nora Burmanis, and a few other special guests at the Winspear. One Candle Productions bring A Christmas Karol: Karol Wojtyla Nativity Play to the Orange Hub Theatre, also on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m., the same day that the Alberta Baroque Ensemble pair up with the Scona Chamber Singers for Music for a Festive Season at 3 p.m. at Robertson-Wesley United Church. Also that Sunday you can check out the Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus and A Winter Day at First Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m., and the Concordia Concert Choir’s May I Be Still at Trinity Lutheran Church, at 3 p.m. To finish off a very busy Sunday, the Edmonton Pops Orchestra will be down at Fort Edmonton Park for A Magic Christmas at 7:30 p.m.

Back at the Winspear, the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus and Handbell Ringers’ Festival of Lessons and Carols takes place on Monday Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Fortified by a healthy dose of rum in our eggnog we glide ahead to Tuesday, Dec. 3, and Serena Ryder’s Christmas Kisses Tour, also at the Winspear, at 7:30 p.m. The Spotlight Cabaret get in a festive mood with shows on Dec. 3, 10, and 17 at 7:30 p.m. called Deck the Calls: An Improvised Phone-In Show with Santa, featuring Peter Brown, Mark Meer, Jana O’Connor and more. The Whyte Ave. club is also presenting It’s a Wonderful Christmas Carol, a Pantomime Radio Play, on Saturdays and Sundays through much of December.

Visions of sugar plum fairies will surely enter your head for Alberta Ballet’s Nutcracker, at the Jubilee Auditorium from Wednesday, Dec. 4 to Sunday, Dec. 8, while the multi-talented Lizzy Hoyt is over at the Maclab Centre in Leduc for Ancient Carols on a Winter’s Night on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Over at the Winspear on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. is the traditional Handel’s Messiah, with the ESO, conductor William Eddins, and a huge cast of musical compadres, including i Coristi Chamber Choir and Da Camera Singers. Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Winspear sees Eddins and company presenting a stripped-down version of Favourite Highlights.

Back to Saturday, Dec. 7, the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove has Nadeau Ensemble: A Prairie Christmas at the Horizon Stage at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., while Festival City Winds Music Society are over at the Robert Tegler Student Centre of Concordia University for Winter Dances at 7:30 p.m. Glory Lutheran Church is the site of Saturday’s Christmas Bells concert with the Festival Singers at 2 p.m., while the Concordia Community Ensemble are over at First Presbyterian Church for Hodie at 6 p.m.

Saturday is apparently insanely busy for Christmas concerts; Chorale Saint-Jean are hosting a Christmas Concert at All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., while Faith & Life Chapel in Camrose presents the Augustana Choir and Sing Gloria on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.

Phew, we’ve made it to Sunday, Dec. 8. That’s the day of the Annual Advent and Christmas Concert with the First Presbyterian Church Choir and Faculty of Education Handbell Ringers at First Presbyterian Church at 1:30 p.m. You can also throw in the EKOsingers, who are taking over City Hall at 2 p.m. for their Home for Christmas concert, an Excentrica Family Christmas at 2 p.m. at Southminster-Steinhauer United Church, Saint David’s Welsh Male Choir at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church at 2:30 p.m., and Pro Coro Canada’s Little Match Girl Passion at All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral at 7 p.m. Wait, no, there’s one more: Edmonton Columbian Choirs are having their Christmas Concert at McDougall United Church at 3 p.m.

Oh, look, it’s Canadian country music superstar Johnny Reid at the Jubilee Auditorium on Monday, Dec. 9 with his My Kind of Christmas Tour at 7 p.m., wrangling for those entertainment dollars on that day with the Elk Island Honour Choirs at Bethel Lutheran Church in Sherwood Park for the Gift of Music Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Both will be jostling with The Royal Canadian Artillery Band, who are having a Christmas Celebration of traditional and contemporary favourites at the Winspear at 7 p.m. Those aren’t your only options; hie thee over to First Presbyterian for the Greenwood Singers and their Many Moods of Christmas at 7:30 p.m.

It opens up a little on Tuesday, Dec. 10, as The Tenors bring their Wonder of Christmas Tour to the Jubilee Auditorium at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 9:30 p.m. Ayla Brook and The Soundmen (featuring the magical elf that is Brent Oliver) are having a free Annual Xmas Shindig at the Black Dog Freehouse, and J.H. Picard and Theatre Picarts are collaborating on Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, over at the Westbury Theatre until Tuesday, Dec. 17. Whizgiggling Productions returns with their Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant…Ever! at the Backstage Theatre from Thursday, Dec. 12 to 22. Also on Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. is A Lightly Classical Christmas with guest conductor Robert Bernhardt at the Winspear.

A very different side of the season will be explored as The Burlesque Festival brings How the Stripper Stole Christmas V to the Myer Horowitz Theatre on Friday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.; over at the Yardbird Suite the Jivin’ Belles bring their Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Shumka’s Nutcracker takes place at the Jubilee Auditorium for two dates, Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. Also on Dec. 14, at the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove is a Night of Strictly Business…Christmas Business at 7:30 p.m., as well as A Dramatic Reading of A Christmas Carol at St. Augustine’s Parkland Anglican Church at 7:30 p.m. The ESO make their way to Robertson-Wesley United Church for their Sing-Along Messiah at 2 p.m., also on Dec. 14.

It’s still Dec. 14, and the Mill Creek Colliery Band are taking over Bethel Lutheran for Festive Brass and Voices at 7:30 p.m., at the exact same time and date as the Annotated Christmas Song Book at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

That brings us to Sunday, Dec. 15, and the Edmonton Youth & Children’s Choirs at McDougall United Church with Celestial Night at 4:30 a.m., and A Joyful Noise, who are at First Presbyterian at 7:30 p.m. with Do You Hear What I Hear. Tuesday, Dec. 17 and Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Paul Brandt teams up with the ESO for Hits and Holiday Songs at the Winspear, while Dec. 18 boasts a Very Jazzy Christmas with A Powell Band at Naked Cybercafe at 7 p.m. Also that day at 7 p.m. is the Holiday Edition of Story Slam at 9910.

Jumping ahead to Thursday, Dec. 19, the final days of the legendary Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree are at hand at the Jubilee Auditorium, where it winds down until Dec. 22. Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. is A Very Merry Pops with Robert Bernhardt at the Winspear, followed by A Very Merry Pops Family Christmas on Dec. 22, also at the Winspear at 2 p.m. Also on Dec. 21 is Wintersong with Kokopelli at McDougall United Church at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Merry Suxmas with Capital City Burlesque and comedy titans Girl Brain at Rocky Mountain Icehouse at 8 p.m., as well as A Perfectly Frank Christmas with the Don Berner Big Band at Ottewell United Church at 7:30 p.m.

We’ll also add in the interim between Dec. 25 and New Year’s Eve is the Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert with the Strauss Symphony of Canada on Dec. 29 at 2:30 p.m. at the Winspear.

Are you sick of all of this Christmas nonsense yet? Boo to you! Now go relax with some shortbread cookies and Bob Dylan: