Holiday music is easily one of the best parts of the season. Even if you haven't darkened the door of a church in decades, there's still something stirring about those old Christmas carols that you grew up on. You know that you still get a little teary-eyed whenever "Little Drummer Boy" comes on, and spending an evening at a happy-go-lucky holiday concert is a great way to forget about all that credit card debt you're racking up this year.
Instead of just dancing around in your underwear while singing to "Jingle Bell Rock," there are plenty of great Christmas concerts all around Dallas that are performed by people who can actually sing and play instruments other than air guitar, all of which are better options than listening to your Aunt Linda sing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" after too much eggnog.
Turtle Creek Chorale Presents "Jangled" December 18-21 City Performance Hall $42-60
You can always count on the Turtle Creek Chorale to present an inventive program of music, even during the holiday season when the tunes can start to sound a little stale. This year's program, entitled "Jangled," explores the "messages, noises, pressures, and commitments" that we all deal with during the holidays, and offers a cathartic return to the simplicity of holidays past.
Christmas/Kwanzaa Concert December 13 The Black Academy of Arts & Letters $10
Showcasing the talents of over 250 choir students from Kimball, Lincoln, and Dunbar high schools, the 21st Annual Christmas & Kwanzaa Concert at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters is an evening of traditional holiday carols, spirituals, and classical music. The choirs are joined by the award-winning Townview High School band in an event that show just how many talented young musicians there are in Dallas.
Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks Extravaganza December 13 Winspear Opera House $30-$75
Any other time of the year, Brian Setzer and his throwback swing orchestra would be a little cheesy. But it's the holidays, so it's totally fine to sit back and enjoy a nostalgic show. You can always be sure that Setzer's show is perfectly over-the-top and decadent, which makes for an excellent segue into justifying all those expensive gifts for yourself.
Organ and Brass Christmas Spectacular December 8-9 Meyerson Symphony Center $42-$107
If you're tired of the traditional holiday songs, you can still get a little taste of the season while listening to something different. The Organ and Brass Christmas Spectacular is one of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's most popular holiday concerts, and for good reason. This year's program includes the classical music version of deep cuts, like Bizet's "March of the Kings," and a few obscure British hymns. The vibe will still be decidedly holiday, but you won't have to hear "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" for the thousandth time.
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Holidays With The Symphony Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra Irving Arts Center $16.50-$46.50
Good classical music isn't just found inside the Dallas city limits. If you're looking for a symphony experience that's less expensive than the DSO, you can still hear beautiful holiday music at the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra's annual Christmas show. This year's Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra season has an Italian theme, so you'll hear works from composers like Corelli and Menotti alongside the traditional Christmas songs that you're used to.
Messiah Sing-a-long Dallas Bach Society Church of the Incarnation $25-$100
If you somehow know the words to the entirety of Handel's "Messiah," you should probably pat yourself on the back. Head to the Church of the Incarnation for the Dallas' Bach Society's annual "Messiah" sing-a-long, where you can belt all the words to "For Unto Us A Child Is Born." Should you need a little help with the lyrics, you can purchase a songbook for just $25 and impress your friends with all those vocal runs.