Chorale Shows Will Bring Voice-Vibrant Joy to the Holidays

Hear classic songs, centuries-old favorites, and newer treats as some of Southern California's best singers summon the seasonal spirit.

Mel Stave

What to Know

  • Angel City Chorale presents "The More the Merrier" on Dec. 3 and 4
  • Enjoy "Carols by Candlelight" with the Pacific Chorale on Dec. 4 and 7
  • LA Master Chorale will appear a few times at Walt Disney Concert Hall, including during the "Festival of Carols" on Dec. 10 and 17

When mi-mi-mi meets ho-ho-ho, there doesn't need to be snow in the vicinity, nor sleigh bells, nor rooftops laden with lights.

Voices weaving through a sweet song can summon a certain spirited feeling, and those in the audience know that a classic or quirky chorale performance has a whimsical way of tapping into the season, instantly.

Los Angeles and Orange County boast a bounty of vivaciously voiced holiday shows, the concerts that feature ballads with heft, light-as-cotton-candy carols, and other joyful gems made more magical by the powerful presence of unified vocalization.

There are more than a few major chorale spectaculars dotting the cultural calendar, so checking in with a favorite venue or theater company to see if they're doing a song-filled festivity is a move that's as wise as singing all of Santa's parts in "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in the voice you might imagine the Jolly Old Elf would use.

Or you might turn an ear and listen for the uplifting tones of the...

Angel City Chorale: This group's much-anticipated holiday bonbon has been a festive favorite for nearly three decades, and with fine reason. The lauded singers always present a number of well-known standards, as well as a number of tunes that embrace traditions around the planet. "The More, The Merrier" is the 2022 theme, the place is UCLA's Royce Hall, and the dates? Follow the fa, la, las on Dec. 3 and 4. And oh yes: "Chanukah in Santa Monica" is on the setlist, sweet.

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Pacific Chorale: Seeking a candlelit experience, one that celebrates both "timeless traditional and contemporary holiday music"? Make for Newport Beach on Dec. 3 and 7 for a line-up of lovely and luminous seasonal songs. Composer Saunder Choi's "Meet Me for Noche Buena" will enjoy its world premiere. The family-fun "Tis the Season!" will pop up later in December in Costa Mesa.

Los Angeles Master Chorale: Savoring a scintillating show at Walt Disney Concert Hall is always unforgettable, but if you are there to see this ethereal outfit? It's an event that you may revisit often, in your day and/or night dreams. "Festival of Carols" is the name of the Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 shows, tenor Jonathan Antoine is the special guest, and both "traditional Christmas carols and festive folksongs" will be on the buoyant bill.

Angeles Chorale: And if you've been waiting for the popular "Holiday Sing-Along" at Walt Disney Concert Hall, with this superb chorale at the lovely lead, be cheered: It is adding sugar and spice to our lives on Dec. 3.

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