Who among us doesn’t have a favorite holiday song? Attend one of the can’t-miss concerts below, and you just might hear your number one—or find a new one to love. By Jessica Allen.
The XMAS Pop Sing-Along features a best “worst” holiday sweater contest, a Santa costume contest, themed drinks like Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer and The Naughty List, and beloved holiday music, as interpreted by Destiny’s Child, Wham!, Adam Sandler, and Mariah Carey, among others. As clips from everyone’s favorite holiday specials and music videos play, audience participation is not only encouraged but downright demanded. Not surprisingly, the event is 21 and over (and ticketed). Friday, December 13, at 10 pm.
Perhaps no music says “Christmas” like Handel’s Messiah, first performed in Dublin in 1742, and subsequently played in several venues around New York City practically every holiday season since, including the majestic Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. This year’s concerts feature the New York Philharmonic conducted by Andrew Manze and soloists mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford and soprano Joélle Harvey. Several performances beginning on Tuesday, December 17, at 7:30 pm, tickets required.
Music director and conductor Steven Reineke leads The New York Pops in a concert version of A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s Charles Schulz’s television special like you’ve never seen (or heard) it before, with special guests and an audience sing-along, part of Carnegie Hall’s Fourth Annual Family Concert and Party. Following the performance is a Peanuts-themed soiree for little ones and their caregivers (special tickets required), with food and crafts. Saturday, December 21, at 2 pm.
Writer, singer, painter, performance artist, and the person the New Yorker called “the best cabaret artist of his generation,” Mx Justin Vivian Bond will be at Joe’s Pub for two nights, performing holiday-inspired songs and stories. (You might have heard of Mx Bond as one half of the drag cabaret duo Kiki and Herb.) Expect witty banter, drop-in surprise guests, lots of laughs, and maybe even a few tears. Sunday, December 22, and Monday, December 23, at 9:30 pm, tickets required.
Ready, set, sing! Join 150 or so other men, women, and children on a stroll through Greenwich Village, caroling as you go. You’ll likely sing festive favorites like “Silent Night” and “Frosty the Snowman.” Members of the West Village Chorale will be on hand to keep participants on (in?) tune. After the walk ends, everyone heads back to Judson Memorial Church for refreshments. This event celebrates its 39th year in 2013. Monday, December 23, at Judson Memorial Church at 3 pm, free and open to all.
If you’re at loose ends on Christmas Day, consider one of the Early Music Foundation’s two concerts, held in the spectacular Cathedral of St. John the Divine. In contrast to what you might expect from the name, Good King Wenceslas: A Bohemian Christmas doesn’t feature bongo drums or tambourines; instead, it’s a medieval/Renaissance chamber ensemble playing “historically informed” music on original instruments. Wednesday, December 25, at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, tickets required; check calendar for other dates.