Rocking ‘Round The Christmas TreeHoliday Music~Sounds of the Season

Get into the holiday spirit with Sounds of the Season!  Celebrate with live merry musical treats — winter delights, childhood favorites, handbells, organ music, cartoon Christmas, children’s chorus, sing-a-longs, caroling, holiday gospel, and some rock ‘n’ roll.  The NorthDelaWHEREHappening holiday mix of 2016 will have you excited for the season.  In no particular order…


Season Spectacular at Dickinson High School

Saturday, December 3Dickinson Theatre Organ Society Christmas Concert 2016

Join The Dickinson Theatre Organ Society for a joyous evening celebrating the music of the season with special guest organist Scott Foppiano.  Don’t miss out on this evening of seasonal favorites featuring guest performances by Johannes Brass, Caroline Quinn, Jackson Caldwell, Alex Weir, Michael Marinelli, Mary Ellen Schauber, David Heinze and the 57 Varieties Band, The Choir of St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine, and the combined Handbell Choirs of Hockessin United Methodist Church and St. Mary of the Assumption.  For event and ticket information, go to The 2016 Season Spectacular Dickinson Christmas Concert.

Holiday Brown Bag Concert SeriesHoliday Brown Bag Concert Series 2016

Fridays, December 2, 9, and 16

Bring your lunch (and a friend!) to hear the sounds of the season on Fridays at Grace Episcopal Church in Brandywine Hundred.  Coffee, tea, and punch are provided.  The free concerts will feature the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Chorus (Dec. 2), the Concord High School Chorale & Madrigals (Dec. 9), and Robert Welch & Donna Dougherty (Dec. 16).  The music starts at 12:15 p.m. and running time is approximately 45 minutes.  Come enjoy a peaceful haven in the midst of the busy holiday season!

Rainbow Chorale of Delaware: Season of LightSeason of Light 2016

December 3 and 4

Come join The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware for its annual holiday concert as they welcome new Artistic Director, Arreon A. Harley.  This year’s program will feature songs that exemplify the beauty of light and its influences on the season.  Selections include works from contemporary composers like Morten Lauridsen (Sure on This Shining Night), Ola Gjeilo (Northern Lights), and Eric Whitacre (Glow).  Other highlights, like The Boar’s Head Carol, a medley from Polar Express, and the inspirational Where There is Light in the Soul by Elizabeth Alexander.  For details and tickets, please visit Season of Light.

Holiday Brass ConcertsChesapeake Brass Band

December 5, 10, 17, and 18

Celebrate the holidays with the Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band!  Share the spirit of the season at several local holiday concerts.  Join with this national award winning 35-piece all-brass British-style concert band for a joyous performance of Christmas classics and seasonal favorites.  Information on the December 5, December 10, December 17, and December 18 performances can be found here.

A Jazz Christmas

Sunday, December 4Jazz

Composer and pianist Wilson Somers and his trio will head “A Jazz Christmas” as a fundraiser for Family Promise.  That charity is a network of more than 35 New Castle congregations and their 1,000 volunteers who provide housing for homeless families through the Interfaith Hospitality Network and help the homeless toward independence.  The trio, which includes Peter Paulsen on contra bass and Glenn Ferricone as percussionist, will play with Wes Morton on the vibraphone, Ed Kirkpatrick on the saxophone, vocalist Annie Fitch and the Tatnall Singers.  Among the works will be “Canon in D Variations” (Pachelbel/Somers), “Jumpin’ Jitterbug” (Somers), “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (Gillispie/Coots), “The Peace” (Somers), “Highlighted Rhythm” (Somers), “David Danced” (Somers), “Pavane for a Dragonfly” (Somers), “Oh Holy Night” (Adam/arr. Martin), “Blue Rondo a la Christmas” (Strauss/Brubeck) and “Christmas Time is Here” (Mendelson/Guaraldi).  Tickets are $15-$20 to the 7:30 p.m. event at the Laird Performing Arts Center at Tatnall School, 1501 Barley Mill Road, Greenville.

Holiday Sing 2016Holiday Sing!

Sunday, December 4

Come out to the 26th annual childhood Holiday Sing! at the Music School of Delaware.  Sing and play along with faculty during our festive celebration of the season.  A musical treat for the whole family!  For ages 1½ and up with families!  For more information, visit the Music School of Delaware.

Cathedral Choir School of Delaware

Cathedral Choir School of DelawareThe Cathedral Choir School of Delaware is a Wilmington institution steeped in 130 years of history.  CCSD trains young choristers to harmonize their voices while enriching their lives.  Throughout the years, young members of the choir have learned far more than how to read musical notation, apply dynamics, and blend voices.  They have created a welcoming community where they build on their interests in music, singing together, and providing support for each other.  One of several holiday concerts CCSD will perform in New Castle County is on Sunday, December 10 at Immanuel Church Highlands.  Take a look at CCSD’s schedule of December concerts.

Christmas CarolsBrandywine Christmas Carols Concert

Sundays, December 4, 11, and 18

Listen to international opera singer Peter Campbell sing songs of the holiday season every Sunday from December 4 through 18 at the Brandywine River Museum of Art.  For more information, visit the museum’s events page.

Longwood GardensLongwood-Christmas

Longwood Gardens hosts a bevy of Christmas and holiday music concerts throughout the month of December.  Featuring choirs and musicians, there’s something for everyone at Longwood this season.  For the full schedule of musical events, please visit the Longwood Holiday Series website.

Faith Christmas ConcertFaith Christmas Concert 2016

Sunday, December 4

Welcome in the Christmas Season with Glad Tidings and Great Music at Faith Presbyterian Church in Wilmington!  Faith’s Christmas Concert revels in that Classic Christmas sound, telling the story of Christ’s birth through choir, orchestra, and childrens choir.  Put aside the distractions of the season, bring a loved one, sit back, and listen.

Cartoon ChristmasCartoon Christmas Trio

The ever-popular Cartoon Christmas Trio has a series of concerts in the area this holiday season.  Some will be accompanied by a chorus or voices.  This popular jazz trio plays music from classic Christmas cartoons, especially the music of Vince Guaraldi, the composer of the “Peanuts” soundtracks.  For all holiday concert information through December 18, visit the Cartoon Christmas Trio website.

The Mavericks Christmas: Sleigh Bells Ring Out!Mavericks Sleigh Bells Ring Out

Saturday, December 10

The Mavericks are back!  The country-steeped garage band with a Cuban American lead singer that had emerged from Miami in 1989 with their sultry debut that was equal parts innocence, intensity, and vintage influences has reunited and is at The Grand Opera House to celebrate Christmas and more!

Jim Brickman: Comfort & JoyJim Brickman Holiday Playhouse 2016

Sunday, December 11

Jim Brickman is scheduled to play two holiday concerts at The Playhouse in Wilmington — at 2 and 7 p.m.  Brickman is an American songwriter and pianist of pop and adult contemporary music, as well as a radio show host.  Being named the most charted male adult contemporary artist to date, Brickman has earned six Gold and Platinum albums.  Expect special guests on this special holiday music tour.

Holiday Choral Concert

Sunday, December 11Holiday Choral Concert 2016

The Music School of Delaware choirs are delighted to join the Choir from St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, singers from New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, and the Music School’s Performing Arts Partner, The Brandywine Brass, in our annual Winter Concert.  Music for chorus, chorus with brass quintet, and brass quintet alone will round out the program.  A community carol sing will follow the concert.  Admission: non-perishable food item.  This event will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 1301 N Broom St, Wilmington.

First State RingersChristmas Handbells

First State Ringers is an advanced handbell choir affiliated with Newark United Methodist Church in Newark.   The Ringers will be performing holiday concerts throughout the New Castle County area.  The Ringers will perform on December 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, and 17.  For details, please visit the Concert Schedule webpage.

“Carols in Color”

Sunday, December 11Carols in Color 2016

“Carols in Color” is a holiday dance musical that retells the story of Christ’s birth according to the gospel of St, Matthew, by using contemporary music, exuberant dance and powerful narration.  “Carols” features some of Philadelphia’s premiere vocalists and the soul-stirring movements of Eleone Dance Theatre and Eleone Connection of Philadelphia.  The performance will take place at 4 p.m. in Copeland Hall at The Grand Opera House.

First State Symphonic Band Winter ConcertsFirst State Symphonic Band

Fridays, December 2, 9, and 16

Join the First State Symphonic Band for its annual public Winter Concerts!  The FSSB will be performing seasonal arrangements of Christmas and holiday music.  Selections include Tchaikovsky’s Suite from The Nutcracker, Symphonic Prelude on Adeste Fidelis, and medleys of popular and traditional Christmas carols.  The concert will conclude with two Leroy Anderson Christmas classics: A Christmas Festival and Sleigh Ride.  Concerts will take place in Wilmington (Dec. 2), New Castle (Dec. 9), and Smyrna (Dec. 16).

Newark Symphony Orchestra Holiday ConcertNewark Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert 2016

Sunday, December 11

Enjoy a holiday-themed musical performance by the Newark Symphony Orchestra at The Independence School.  The NSO will perform Franz Schubert’s Fantasy in f minor, Dimitri Shostakovich’s Prelude and Fugue in d minor Op. 87 No. 24, Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, plus Christmas carols with the Symphony Festival Chorus.  For more information on the 3 o’clock performance, visit the NSO event page.

New Ark Chorale: A Ceremony of Carols

Saturday, December 17New Ark Chorale

The New Ark Chorale will perform at 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 701 S. College Avenue in Newark.  The program includes traditional Christmas songs with an opportunity to sing along.  Tickets are $15, with kids under 18 admitted for free.  Tickets can be purchased at the door, online, or by calling (302)368-4946.  More information can be found at New Ark Chorale.

Chorale ConcertMarket Street Music Holiday Concerts

December 3, 8, and 15

Market Street Music is producing two unique holiday concerts for your pleasure this season.  The Mastersingers of Wilmington sing “Nativity Carols” (Dec. 3 at 7:30).  Tickets are $20-25.  Organist David Schelat will usher in the holidays with great Christmas musical fare at a free concert (Dec. 8 at 12 p.m.).  The Center City Chorale perform “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” on December 15 at 12:30 p.m.  This is a free performance of delightful carol arrangements for the holidays.  All performances take place at the First & Central Presbyterian Church at 1101 North Market Street in Wilmington.  For information on all concerts, visit Market Street Music.

Wilmington Children’s Chorus ConcertsWilmington Children's Chorus

December 10 and 11

Come celebrate the holiday season with the Wilmington Children’s Chorus!  All 5 ensembles of the WCC will showcase holiday music from around the world, including Bolvia, Bosnia, Israel, the Republic of the Congo, and Venezuela!  Audiences are invited to sing along with the chorus on all of your favorite holiday carols!  Join us before and afterwards for some treats and our annual “Candlelight Shop” where you can find some unique gifts for your loved ones this holiday season.  The Saturday show begins at 7 p.m. and the Sunday show at 5 p.m.  For tickets and information, please visit WCC Concerts.

La NochebuenaNochebuena

Sunday, December 18

Piffaro’s Christmas collaboration with the brass ensemble Dark Horse Consort and soprano Jessica Beebe is “La Nochebuena.”  The program begins with an immersion in the mysteries and solace of a 16th-century mass by the great Tomás Luis de Victoria, and returns to the world with earthy villancicos and canciones (sacred and secular songs) from the far-flung streets of the Spanish Empire.  Several unusual instruments will be featured at this concert: a contrabass sackbut (an early version of the trombone), the only one of its kind in the United States; a contrabass dulcian (an ancestor of the bassoon), copied from an instrument in Dresden and the only one of its kind in the world; and the cornetto — rarely heard in Philadelphia and always a treat.  Immanuel Church in Wilmington’s Highlands neighborhood will host this unique musical event.  Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.

Wilmington Handbell EnsembleWilmington-Handbells-Ensemble

December 3, 12, and 17

The Wilmington Handbell Ensemble has several winter and holiday concerts for you to enjoy.  The local performances take place at Head of Christiana Presbyterian Church (Dec. 3), Longwood Gardens (Dec. 12), and Avondale Presbyterian Church (Dec. 17).

The Crossing @ Christmas

Saturday, December 17The Crossing

Donald Nally leads The Crossing as they take a look at the role of the mother, as related to the Nativity and beyond – in our inner and outer lives, in the world, and in time.  Music that asks questions: from David Lang’s hauntingly beautiful “where you go” to Toivo Tulev’s yearning, soaring setting of Ave Maria in Malayam – “and then in silence there with me be only you” to a world premiere of Aaron Helgeson.  The centerpiece of the program is Kevin Puts’ choral cycle “To Touch the Sky” on writings of Sappho, Mother Teresa, Mirabai, Amy Lowell, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Christina Rosetti, and Hildegard of Bingen. A contemplative, rich, and peaceful program at Christ Church to balance the velocity of our lives as the holiday approaches.  Information and tickets about the 7 p.m. concert can be found here.

Christmas at Stone’s Throw ChurchStone's Throw Church Christmas Concert 2016

December 18

Stone’s Throw Church will throw a big Christmas celebration with the Stone’s Throw Band in concert.  The band will perform songs from Transiberian Orchestra, the David Crowder Band, Future of Forestry, Hillsong, and many other artists.  Come hear your favorite Christmas Carols and songs live!  The concert is free to everyone; however, if you are able to attend, the church is asking everyone to bring in either a slightly used pair of shoes or a brand new pair to donate to Soles4Souls.  The show at Appoquinimink High School will start at 6:30 p.m. with doors opening at 5:45 p.m.

Yuletide at Winterthuryuletide at Winterthur Museum Delaware

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library hosts several musical events during the holiday season:

University of Delaware Chorale Performs Carols by Candlelight

  • Sunday, December 11 from 4 to 4:45 p.m.

Enjoy a wide variety of musical selections for the holiday season performed by this award-winning ensemble.  Free for Benefactor-level-and-above Members.  The cost is $10 per member, $20 per non-member, and $5 per child (ages 10–17).  Advance purchase recommended.

Yuletide Family Concert

  • Sunday, December 18 at 1 p.m. in Copeland Lecture Hall

All ages will get in the spirit as the award-winning Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band performs holiday favorites.  Singing encouraged!    The cost is $10 per member, $20 per non-member, and $5 per child (ages 10–17).  Advance purchase recommended.

Yuletide Jazz & Wine Series

  • Wednesdays, December 7, 14, and 21 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

After an evening Yuletide tour, relax and celebrate the season with live jazz and a glass of wine in the festive atmosphere of Winterthur’s Galleries Reception Atrium.  For information about the evening jazz and wine series, visit the Yuletide Jazz & Wine page.