Nothing conjures the meaning of the holiday season quite as completely as music, and Southern Oregon audiences have some great variety on tap in December 2016.
From classical to Celtic to gospel, we've got you covered with these seven ways to experience the songs of a Rogue Valley holiday.
1. Rogue Valley Symphony
The Rogue Valley Symphony, led by Conductor Martin Majkut, will present John Rutter's "Magnificat" and George Frideric Handel's "Messiah," featuring soprano Rosa Lamoreaux, countertenor José Luis Muñoz, tenor David Walton, baritone Jeffrey Fields, and the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, under the direction of Paul French. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center, 830 NE Ninth St., Grants Pass; Friday, Dec. 2, at the Craterian Theater at the Collier Center, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford; and Saturday, Dec. 3, at the SOU Music Recital Hall, 450 Mountain Ave., Ashland. For tickets and more details, see http://rvsymphony.org/16-17-season/holiday-concerts/ or call 541-708-6400.
2. Christmas with the Chorale
The Rogue Valley Chorale will present "Glory Hallelujah to the Newborn King," a gospel-style holiday concert featuring 100 voices, with guest soloists Bishop Mayfield and Brittney Simpson. The concert, to be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Craterian Theater, will include traditional Christmas favorites and joyful holiday-gospel arrangements. Mayfield is known for his work as a gospel, R&B, blues, rock and fusion performer, while Simpson has been an actor and singer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for three seasons, and has been featured with the Britt Orchestra and Oregon Cabaret Theatre. The Chorale is under the artistic direction of Laurie Anne Hunter. For ticket information, see www.craterian.org or call 541-779-3000. For more information, see www.roguevalleychorale.org
3. 'A Gospel Christmas'
The Craterian Music Hall will present "A Gospel Christmas," featuring last season’s I Have A Dream band with Bishop Mayfield, Lisa Yriarte, Jade Chavis Watt, Jennifer dePuglia, Donnie Yance, David Bolen, Jack Hopfinger and Musical Director Don Harriss. They’ll perform gospel songs and spirituals from some of America’s favorite gospel groups. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16-17, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. For details and ticket information, see www.craterian.org or call 541-779-3000.
4. John Nilsen
Pianist, guitarist and recording artist John Nilsen will perform at five venues in the Rogue Valley during the holidays. Nilsen, who graduated from Southern Oregon University in 1979 and spent nearly two decades in the Rogue Valley, lives in West Linn. He will perform at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Upper Rogue United Methodist Church, 18977 Highway 62, in Shady Cove (541-878-2793) $10 donation suggested; at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Newman United Methodist Church, 132 NE B St., Grants Pass (541-479-5369) $10 at the door; at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at Pascal Winery, 1122 Suncrest Road, Talent (541-535-7957) $10 at the door; from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at RoxyAnn Winery, 3285 Hillcrest Road, Medford (541-776-2315) Free, but not a concert; at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Gold Hill United Methodist Church, 416 Fourth St., Gold Hill. (541-855-7224) $10 suggested donation.
5. Southern Oregon Repertory Singers
Southern Oregon Repertory Singers will feature music and carols from around the world at its annual holiday concert. This year's show, called "All Is Bright," is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Southern Oregon University Music Recital Hall, 405 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland. The concert will include newly composed music by emerging American stars Daniel Elder, Shawn Kirchner and Ola Gjeilo; secular songs and carols; Hanukkah carols; spirituals; Appalachian carols (with fiddle); and a commissioned work by Repertory Singers’ newly appointed composer in residence Jodi French. The Singers will welcome back the Chamber Choir from North Medford High School for their annual collaboration. For ticket information, see http://repsingers.org or call 541-552-0900.
6. Siskiyou Singers
The Siskiyou Singers' 2016 holiday concert will feature Joseph Haydn’s stirring "Theresienmesse" (Maria Theresa Mass), as well as many other holiday favorites. Concerts are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Southern Oregon University Music Recital Hall, 405 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland. For details and ticket information, see http://siskiyousingers.org or call 541-482-5290.
7. Tomáseen Foley's 'A Celtic Christmas'
Master storyteller Tomáseen Foley and award-winning Celtic musicians, singers and dancers will present a Christmas Eve journey to a West Ireland farmhouse where neighbors converge to share “gifts of music, song, dance and story.” Showtimes are 3 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. For details and ticket information, see www.craterian.org or call 541-779-3000.
— Reach Mail Tribune features and digital engagement editor David Smigelski at 541-776-8784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.