Resistance is futile. Sooner or later you are going to have to break down and embrace the sounds of the season. But this year, don’t torture yourself with Alvin and the Chipmunk’s remix of The Little Drummer Boy. Rather than suffer through Rockin Around the Christmas Tree for the zillionth time, why not get swept up in some real Christmas music?
Downtown Calgary has no shortage of inspiring spaces with near-perfect acoustics which will be hosting performances of traditional Yuletide music in the lead-up to Christmas. The majesty of the age-old music, combined with the regal architecture, will knock the Grinch right out of you, guaranteed.
Belt out your best hallelujah’s at VoiceScape’s tenth annual Sing Along Messiah on Sunday, Dec 18 at 2:30 PM at Knox United Church , 506 – 4th St SW. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and students, and free for children under 12. The proceeds from the intermission reception go to the Food Bank, so you can even feel good about a little seasonal overindulgence.
If rock star mayors and adorable kids are more your thing, take in A Child’s Christmas at the Jack Singer Concert Hall on Sunday, Dec 18 at 2:30 PM. His Worship Naheed Nenshi will narrate a performance of seasonal favourites, including the Carnival of the Animals, by the Calgary Civic Symphony and the Calgary Girls’ Choir, as well as soloists from Mount Royal Conservatory. Tickets are $15 general admission, with children under six admitted free.
Stick around the Jack Singer Concert Hall for a few more evenings for more seasonal goodness. On Monday, Dec 19 at 7:30 PM, indulge in a feel-good evening for a good cause. The Corpus Christi Male Chorale will wow you with the 11th annual Music for a Winter Evening, featuring the big voiced and big-hearted Tom Jackson and the Calgary Foothills Brass Quintet. It’s a Christmas miracle that has raised over $950,000 for local charities over the past 10 years, with this year’s proceeds going to the Calgary Dream Centre. Tickets are $25, $10 for students and seniors.
On Tuesday, Dec 20 at 8 PM, the man from High River will take over the stage at the Jack Singer. George Canyon and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra will team up to bring a little down-home twang to the downtown hall with George Canyon’s Country Christmas. Tickets range from $55-$75.
Of course nothing says Christmas quite like candles. Just ask the Swedes; they know that walking around with a candle on your head is the best way to celebrate those long winter nights. And nothing captures the spirit of the season quite like traditional carols led by a choir, all lit with the glow of candlelight.
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, on the corner of 7th Ave and 1st St SE, has a myriad of candlelit evenings of traditional music to keep you merry and bright right up to the big evening itself, and they are all free. Start with Candlelight Carols at the Cathedral on Sunday, Dec 18 at 7:30 PM, drop by any Thursday evening at 6 for Candlelight Vespers, and finally step away from those Christmas cookies for a while to fill your ears with Christmas Eve at the Cathedral on Saturday, Dec 24 at 11 PM. It’s the perfect chance to slow down, turn off the neon, and contemplate the sounds of the season. You’ll even be home before the fat man squeezes down the chimney.