Twinkling lights and twirling toes, carols, canticles and angels. ’Tis the holiday season in Sonoma County. So, bring on the winter cheer, live music, theater productions and sugarplum treats.
The Occidental Community Choir presents their evening winter concerts: “Sing the Long Nights,” directed by Andrew Del Monte on December 3, 4, 9 and 10 at Occidental Center for the Arts. On December 11 they will perform at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. The delightful concerts will joyfully offer familiar and original songs of celebration and beauty and even include a not-to-be-missed choral romp through the ages. The “Twelve Days of Christmas” will cover the history of western music from sixth century Roman plainsong to 20th century marching band music in 12 movements. The Choir’s own composers have contributed several pieces, including a lovely lullaby, a song about juggling that has an enormous twist, a celebration song and another about how to keep warm in winter.

At the Raven in Healdsburg: “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” December 8-11 and 15-18. In this Raven Players’ production, the story line is the same classic but much of the pleasure is watching the show unfold as if you’ve stepped into a 1940’s radio station to see a taping. Carol Noack, the Raven Performing Arts Theater’s Marketing Director, remarks, “Seeing a technician create all the extra sound effects (doorbells, cars, horse hooves) is tons of fun.”

Teresa Lubarsky’s Healdsburg Ballet performs  “Twas the Night Before Christmas” December 3 and 4 at the Raven Performing Arts Theater in Healdsburg. Any number of creatures and toys will be making merry and mischief while the family sleeps on Christmas night, including Santa, the Grinch and even the mistletoe. Performer Laura Anderson says of the production, now in its eighth year, “It includes all types of dance: ballet, jazz and hip-hop.”

Ballet Folklórico de Sacramento’s Posada Navideña, a Sonoma County audience favorite, is returning for its 10th year at the Luther Burbank Center in Santa Rosa on December 9. Families and audiences of all ages are invited to come and experience the folk culture of Mexico and its unique customs and traditions during this Christmas production and traditional Posada celebration.

The beautiful Weill Hall at Sonoma State University is the setting for saxophonist Dave Koz’s Christmas Tour 2016. Koz is one of the most recognizable and acclaimed figures in contemporary jazz. Joining him for his holiday spectacular on December 20 are R&B superstars Valerie Simpson, Jonathan Butler and Kenny Lattimore. There is a separate, cozy pre-show VIP meet-and-greet event, too.

The Healdsburg Chorus has been sharing the joy of music for more than 26 years. Their winter concert entitled “Carols, Canticles and Christmas Classics” will be held December 8, 9 and 10 at the Community Church in Healdsburg. They will also perform on December 4 at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. Enjoy “Holly, Jolly Christmas,” “Here Comes the Light,” “Celtic Silent Night” and other tunes performed by “60 people who love to sing.”

Led by conductor Randy Masselink, the Healdsburg Community Band will present its annual holiday show at the Cloverdale Veterans Memorial Building on December 9 and at the Community Church in Healdsburg on December 11. Band member Nate Pile says, “Count on all the holiday classics.”

Oh, Snoopy! Also at the Luther Burbank Center is the Santa Rosa Symphony Pops performance, “A Charlie Brown Christmas Concert,” on December 11. This festive afternoon features songs from the 1965 classic Peanuts animated special, as well as other traditional Christmas favorites. Pianist and Steinway artist Jim Martinez, along with his quartet and vocalist Margie Rebekah Ruiz, join the Symphony in paying tribute to famous Snoopy songs, written or arranged by Vince Guaraldi.

Hallelujah! Sing out at the annual Sing-Along Messiah on December 10 at the Sebastopol United Methodist Church and sponsored by the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Light refreshments are provided. This popular event is celebrating its 23rd year, per SCA Executive Director Linda Galletta. It is directed by John Maas and features local instrumentalists and soloists. There is even a rehearsal on December 4 at 4 p.m. at the Center, for those interested in tuning up ahead of time.
Magic and wonder are at the heart of the Sebastopol Ballet’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker,” December 16 to 18, held at Analy High School in Sebastopol. There are complimentary Sugar Plum Parties before each matinee, where young audience members can meet dancers in their costumes, get treats and buy pointe shoes to have the dancers sign.

Finally, ring out the busy season at the Healdsburg Kiwanis’ New Year’s Eve party, “Midnight in Times Square,” December 31 at the Villa Chanticleer in Healdsburg. Expect a delicious dinner, live music by The Harvest Band, dancing, a champagne toast and entertainment by a special “surprise guest.”    SD

See websites for event details and ticket information. For more goings-on, see our Event Calendar.