'Tis the season for joyful music and song, and orchestras, choirs and other musical ensembles in the Rogue Valley will celebrate with holiday concerts set throughout the weeks leading up to Christmastime.
The Rogue Valley Symphony kicks off seasonal performances this weekend with its perennial favorite. This year's show is "Sounds of the Season," and it will take its audiences on a musical journey through the capitals of Europe and finish with an old-fashioned sing-along of traditional holiday carols.
If jazz is your more your style, hear Southern Oregon University's Jazz Ensemble present "Special Treats," or, for a lush mix of pop and rock choral music, hear the Jefferson State Choral Coalistion's show, "Only In America."
Four choirs of Rogue Valley Youth Choruses will present "Sharing the Joy," and SOU's concert and chamber choirs will present "O Magnum Mysterium," a mix of Gallus, Lauridson and Villette sung in different languages.
Next weekend, look for shows by the Rogue Valley Chorale, the Siskiyou Singers, Jefferson Baroque Orchestra and, for laughs, a night of comedy by those clowns of improv, The Hamazons.
And save room for Studio Roxanders' Dec. 17 and 18 productions of "Nutcracker," Southern Oregon Repertory Singers' Dec. 17 and 18 concert, "In Sweet Joy," and Tomaseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas" on Dec. 16 and 21.
The possibilities are endless this season. See the following listings for show details, times and ticket information, and watch Tempo's A&E calendars for upcoming performances.
Friday, Dec. 2
ROGUE OPERA: A performance of "Pinocchio" will be presented by the company's Opera in the Schools Program at 1:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Jefferson Elementary School, 333 Holmes Ave., Medford. The cast of professional singers, directed by Andrew Brock, includes Andrea Shupack, Steven Gutierrez, Kendra Taylor and Michael J. Morgan-Serface. A reception will follow the performance, and donations will be accepted. Call 541-608-6400.
ROGUE VALLEY SYMPHONY: The symphony, directed by Martin Majkut, will present its 2011 holiday concert, "Sounds of the Season," Friday, Dec. 2, at Newman United Methodist Church, 132 N.E. B St., Grants Pass; Saturday, Dec. 3, at the First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St., Ashland; and Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10, at the First Presbyterian Church of Medford, 85 S. Holly St. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. The program will include Christmas Symphony by Michel-Richard de Lalande; Fantasia on "Greensleeves" by Ralph Vaughan Williams; Carl Stamitz's Viola Concerto in D major, No. 1, with soloist Kimberly Fitch; "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" from "Orfeo and Euridice," by Christoph Willibald Gluck; "Made for the Night of Christmas" by Arcangelo Corelli; and a holiday sing-along with the Rogue Valley Symphony Brass Ensemble. Tickets cost $28, $5 for students. Call 541-552-6354.
SOU JAZZ ENSEMBLE: The Southern Oregon University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Martin Behnke, along with the SOU Jazz Quintet and Willamette Valley Trombone Ensemble, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in the Music Recital Hall on the SOU campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. The ensemble will present works by Charlie Mingus, Bob Curnow, Bill Holman, Maria Schneider and SOU music major Jeff Kroeger, along with a new piece by Behnke titled "Conversations With Giovanni." Tickets cost $5, free for students. Call 541-552-6101 or see www.sou.edu/music.
Saturday, Dec. 3
OREGON OLD-TIME FIDDLERS: The group will host its monthly jam from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Roxy Ann Grange, 1850 Spring St., Medford. Acoustic musicians may sign up and play, and there will be dancing. Admission is by donation. Call 541-840-2156 or see www.ootfa4.org.
LIZ JONES AND DAN DOSHIER: The folk-music duo will present holiday music from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at RoxyAnn Winery, 3285 Hillcrest Road, Medford. Call 541-776-2315.
JEFFERSON STATE CHORAL COALITION: The choir, directed by Kirby Shaw, will present "Only in America," a choral program of contemporary and original music, at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sat-urday, Dec. 3, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. The concert will open with Shaw's "Common Ground," an upbeat rock tune with a spiritual message, followed by Sigmund Romberg's and Oscar Hammerstein's "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise," a Michelle Weir arrangement of the blues classic "Muddy Water," Mick Jones' (Foreigner) "I Want to Know What Love Is" and other tunes. Tickets cost $5, free for students with valid identification and children 11 and younger. Tickets are available at the music hall box office or by calling 541-552-6101.
ROGUE VALLEY YOUTH CHORUSES: Four choirs of Rogue Valley elementary-, middle- and high-school students will present "Sharing the Joy," at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at North Medford High School, 1900 N. Keene Way Drive. Admission is $10, $5 for ages 18 and younger. Call 541-878-2214.
Sunday, Dec. 4
SOU CONCERT AND CHAMBER CHOIRS: The choirs will explore the mysteries of Christmas with works by Renaissance composer Jacob Gallus, American composer Morten Lauridson and French composer Pierre Villette, among others, will be sung in various languages by Southern Oregon University's Concert Choir, directed by Fredna Grimland, and Chamber Choir, directed by Paul French. The holiday show, titled "O Magnum Mysterium," will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in the Music Recital Hall on the SOU campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Admission is $5, free for students. Advance tickets may be purchased by calling 541-552-6101.
RAMANA VIERIA: The Siskiyou Institute will present vocalist Ramana Vieria and her quintet at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Paschal Winery, 1122 Suncrest Road, Talent. Vieria blends Portuguese fado, a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, with a contemporary sensibility. Tickets cost $20, $15 for members of the Siskiyou Institute, and are available by calling 541-488-3869 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations are suggested.
Monday, Dec. 5
THE POULENC TRIO: Oboist Vladimir Lande, bassoonist Bryan Young and pianist Irina Kaplan will bring a modern slant to European instrumentals at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. Tickets cost $25, $5 for students, and are available at the Craterian box office, 16 S. Bartlett St., Medford; at www.craterian.org or by calling 541-779-3000.
Friday, Dec. 9
HOLIDAY GAGA: Pop-music icon Lady Gaga set the inspiration for Le Cirque Centre's holiday show to be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at the center, 280 E. Hersey St., Ashland. Fourteen teenagers from Le Cirque's Circus Elite, directed by Lorenzo SantaBarbara, will present aerial acrobatics and dance. Tickets cost $10, $8 for students, and are available at Music Coop and Tree House Books in Ashland, as well as Le Cirque Centre. Call 541-301-6804.
DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR AND TONE DEAF: The two Rogue Valley a cappella quartets will perform '50s and '60s doo-wop, barbershop classics and novelty songs in a showdown for the most disharmonious and out of tune at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St., Ashland. The show will include hilarious antics and a holiday sing-along. Admission is $8, or best offer, $5 for seniors and children. See www.facebook.com/tonedeafquartet or call 541-778-4435.
ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST CHOIR: The choir, directed by Patrick J. Gillette, will present its "Sacred Christmas Concert" at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the Valley View Seventh-day Adventist Church, 3677 S. Stage Road, Medford, and at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Medford Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1900 Greenwood Ave., Medford. Admission is free.
Saturday, Dec. 10
THE SISKIYOU SINGERS: Arrangements of traditional winter songs from around the world will fill The Siskiyou Singers' choral performance, "When the Snow Falls," to be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. The choir, directed by Mark Reppert and accompanied by pianist Mikiko Petruccelli, will present advent carols, a cantata by Bach and traditional English and American holiday songs. There also will be a baroque motet by Samuel Scheidt, "A Spotless Rose" by Herbert Howells and "Corpus Christi Carol," a medieval work arranged by Norwegian composer Trond Kverno. Tickets cost $15, $5 for students, and are available at Paddington Station and Music Coop in Ashland, and Grocery Outlet in Medford.
ROGUE VALLEY CHORALE: "Christmas with the Chorale," a concert of original arrangements of traditional carols, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. The chorale will be joined by the Rogue Valley Youth Ensemble and the South Medford High School Chamber Choir for several pieces. Tickets cost $20, $5 for students, and are available at www.craterian.org or by calling 541-779-3000.
JEFFERSON BAROQUE ORCHESTRA: The orchestra, directed by Margret Gries, will perform Handel's "Messiah" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Newman Methodist Church, 132 N.E. B St., Grants Pass, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. Tickets cost $18, $8 for students. See www.jeffersonbaroque.org or call 541-592-2681.
THE HAMAZONS: The improvisational comedy troupe will present "A Holiday Improv Show" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and at 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at The DanceSpace, 280 E. Hersey St., Suite 10, Ashland. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $17 at the door, and are available at Heart & Hands in Ashland and Bad Ass Coffee in Medford. Call 541-951-6270.