Holiday concerts: 17 shows to spread some cheer

Songs of the season: A holiday roundup of symphony and choral concerts across Southern California

The season delivers many reminders of why music matters. Here's a sampling of holiday concerts across Southern California. It's impossible to list them all of course, but this will get you going.

PACIFIC SYMPHONY (www.pacificsymphony.org)

Beethoven & Rachmaninoff: The exuberant joy of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 (one of the composer's favorite works) is paired with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, which helped to establish him as a concerto composer. 8 p.m. Dec. 11 to 13. Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tickets starting at $39. (714) 755-5799

Holiday Organ Spectacular: Listen to a $3.1-million organ as it delivers a pleasing mix of holiday favorites. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tickets starting at $15. (714) 755-5799

Handel's Messiah: Composed in 1741, this enduring classic is a staple of holiday music. Thrilling trumpets, bombastic timpani and a soaring "Hallelujah" chorus make it an event. 3 p.m. Dec. 14. Tickets start at $25. Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 755-5799

Christmas with Sandi Patty: The five-time Grammy-winning vocalist belts out holiday hits accompanied by the Pacific Symphony. Special guest Jamie Farr from "MASH" will narrate "The Night Before Christmas." 8 p.m. Dec. 19 to 20. Tickets start at $35. Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. (714) 755-5799

WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL (www.laphil.com)

A Chanticleer Christmas: This Grammy Award-winning, all-male a cappella chorus presents a night of holiday cheer. 8 p.m. Dec. 18. Tickets start at $42. 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (323) 850-2000

Holiday Sing-Along: Comedian Drew Carey serves as host for this festive, participatory event featuring a huge pipe organ, a choir and a jazz combo. 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Tickets start at $37. 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (323) 850-2000

The Klezmatics: Happy, Joyous Hannukah!: There's nothing like this New York-based, Grammy Award-winning klezmer band to get you in the holiday spirit. 8 p.m. Dec. 22. Tickets start at $83. 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (323) 850-2000

The Arturo Sandoval Big Band Christmas: The holidays gain Latin flavor as this celebrated trumpeter leads a jazz band. 8 p.m. Dec. 23. Tickets start at $42. 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (323) 850-2000

New Year's Eve with Pink Martini: This genre-bending, self-described "little orchestra" mixes influences including Latin, jazz and pop. For New Year's it will add a holiday-inspired twist. 7 and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31. Tickets start at $73.50. 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (323) 850-2000

PASADENA MASTER CHORALE

A Dickens Christmas: This one-night event is modeled on a traditional festival of lessons and carols, only the lessons come from "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens rather than from scripture. Classic holiday songs accompany the story including "Wassail," "Greensleeves" and "Good King Wenceslas." First United Methodist Church, 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. 7 p.m. Dec. 7. Free if you register online. (626) 208-0009; www.pasadenamasterchorale.org

ANGEL CITY CHORALE

Season of Wonder: This 21st annual sing-along features favorites for both Christmas and Hanukkah and a choir of more than 150 singers. Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Dec. 6-7. $30. (310) 943-9231; angelcitychorale.org

PASADENA SYMPHONY

Holiday Candlelight: This annual event takes place in a candlelighted church and features soloists as well as a full chorus of the Donald Brinegar Singers, the Los Angeles Children's Chorus and the L.A. Bronze hand bell choir. All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena. 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 13. Tickets start at $20. (626) 793-7172; www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org

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For the Record

An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect date for the Pasadena Symphony's Holiday Candlelight concert.

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L.A. MASTER CHORALE (www.lamc.org)

Festival of Carols: Classics including "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Silent Night" are sung by the 100-member chorus in the acoustic heaven that is Walt Disney Concert Hall. 2 p.m. Dec. 13. Tickets start at $29. 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-7282; 

34th annual Messiah Sing-Along: Join 2,200 people as they lift their voices in celebration of the season. 7 p.m. Dec. 7. Tickets start at $29. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-7282

Rejoice! A Cappella Christmas: Voices soar in this event featuring 62 singers and popular holiday tunes. 7 p.m. Dec. 14. Tickets start at $29. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-7282

Handel's Messiah: Composed in just 24 days, an eternity of holiday joy. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 and 7 p.m. Dec. 21. Tickets start at $29. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. (213) 972-7282

DE ANGELIS VOCAL ENSEMBLE

The annual Holiday Concert: Classic holiday tunes are performed in a classic environment, the Basilica at the Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. 2 p.m. Dec. 6. $30. 31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. (714) 928-9567; www.deangelisensemble.org

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