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Tacoma’s top holiday choral concerts

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There's something about the sound of a choir that completes the holiday season.  Amidst the chaos of shopping, cooking and travel, the words of our favorite carols resound with themes of love, peace and hope, inspiring us to count our blessings.  As December arrives, take an evening to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of music at one of the many choral concerts being offered in and around Tacoma. 

Celebration: Music for Chanukah and Christmas, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. at Bethel Church on Vashon Island. Established in 1989, the Vashon Island Chorale is excited to honor two upcoming holiday celebrations through song.  This high-quality and varied program will include the piece "Eight Days of Chanukah" by Abraham Kaplan, a noted composer and choral conductor from the Northwest.  The second half of the evening will contain arrangements of favorite Christmas carols such as a chant-inspired "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," a rousing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and the classic "Carol of the Bells."   Tickets are $15 for general seating and $10 for seniors and students.  For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit

Sounds of the Season, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the Pantages Theater, Tacoma. Tacoma Youth Chorus and vocalist Maria Valenzuela will join the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra in this annual concert.  Filled with a wide repertoire, including familiar seasonal favorites and an ever-popular sing-along carol medley, this is sure to be an enjoyable afternoon at the symphony for the whole family.  Seating is reserved, with tickets priced at $24, $42, $62, and $77, depending on location.  Visit for tickets and additional information.

A Celtic Christmas, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. at the historic First Presbyterian Church, Tacoma. Catch the spirit of the holidays with a Celtic flavor in a concert featuring the Chancel Choir and soloists along with a 22-piece orchestra.  The "Sussex Carol," "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," and "The Little Drummer Boy" are just a few of the pieces offered by these gifted musicians.  Created and arranged by Minister of Worship Dr. David Perrin, this free, one-time only event will be a night to remember.  For further information, visit

A PLU Christmas: A Child is Born, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Benaroya Concert Hall, Seattle. A truly touching annual event, this musical highlight of the region includes traditional carols and narration presented by the Pacific Lutheran University Symphony Orchestra, Chorale and Choir of the West.  Special to the program this year is the premiere of "Unto Us," an advent cantata by Professor and Director of Jazz Studies Dr. David Deacon-Joyner.  Tickets are $30 for general seating; $25 for seniors (age 55 and over); $20 for the PLU community, alumni and group orders (10+ tickets); and $10 for PLU students.  Call the Benaroya Ticket Office for information and sales at (206) 215-4747. 

For those unable to attend the Seattle performance, there will be a live online streaming of a Dec. 7 concert at 8 p.m. from Lagerquist Concert Hall, available through the PLU music website,

South Sound Classical Choir Christmas Concert, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at Mason Methodist United Church, Tacoma. With repertoire ranging from renaissance to modern, the final winter concert of the South Sound Classical Choir is sure to inspire the joy of the season in its listeners.  The rich and varied program selections include favorite choral literature such as Franz Biebl's "Ave Maria," Eric Whitacre's "Lux Aurumque," and Mozart's "Laudate Pueri" from Vespers.  The address is 2710 N Madison St, Tacoma. Admission is free.

A Choral Union Christmas, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. in Lagerquist Concert Hall, Pacific Lutheran University. Winner of the 2011 American Prize for its 25th anniversary album, the Pacific Lutheran University Choral Union is known as one of the finest community choruses in the United States.  Directed by Dr. Richard Nance, the choir's warm and inviting sound has been recognized both nationally and internationally at various conventions and festivals. Its Christmas program of elegant classical works such as Pachelbel's "Magnificat" and Poulenc's "Quem Vidistis Pastores," along with a smattering of seasonal favorites, is sure to be a delightful experience.   Tickets are $15 for general seating, $10 for seniors (age 55 and over) and $5 for PLU community and alumni.  To reserve tickets call (253) 535-7411.

Strike the Harp, Ring the Bells, Sound the Oboe, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at Mason United Methodist Church, Tacoma. The Northwest Repertory Singers will bring the spirit of the season to the stage with traditional carols and music by composers Stephen Paulus and John Rutter, among others.  Featured guest artists for the evening include hand bell ringer Malia Anderson Johnson, harpist Catherine Barrett and oboist Shannon Spicciati, all virtuosic and vibrant performers. Both concerts feature a 30 minute pre-concert lecture by director Dr. Paul Schulz one hour before the performance.  General tickets are $20, military, senior, and student tickets are $17 and children 12 and under are free.  For information about purchasing tickets, visit

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