Holiday Events at the Music Center

Photo courtesy of John McCoy

Located in Downtown Los Angeles, the Music Center is home to the Ahmanson Theater, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum and Walt Disney Concert Hall. From sing-alongs to the city’s largest holiday celebration, visitors can spend the entire season at the Music Center and never see the same event twice.

FESTIVAL OF CAROLS (DEC. 5 & 12, 2015)

Los Angeles Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Photo by Ken Hively, courtesy of Los Angeles Master Chorale

Ring in the holiday season at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Festival of Carols, taking place on two consecutive Saturdays, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12. Sung by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, one of the world’s greatest choirs, the two-hour program is sprinkled with new arrangements and traditional songs of the season, including favorites such as “Joy to the World!,” “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” “The Christmas Song” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Experience pure holiday magic with 110 singers, piano and organ. Both performances of the Festival of Carols begin at 2 p.m. Come early and hear the lobbies filled with carols played by a professional brass quintet. After the concert, ticket holders can visit with Santa in BP Hall.

Handel: Messiah (DEC. 6 & 20, 2015)

Los Angeles Master Chorale
Photo by David Johnston, courtesy of Los Angeles Master Chorale

Regarded as one of the greatest choral works of all time, Handel’s Messiah, as sung by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall for two Sunday performances, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20. The concerts feature 48 singers, chamber orchestra and soloists. Composed in just 24 days, Messiah continues to be the composer’s most popular work and might be the most performed classical work of all time. Both concerts start at 7 p.m.


Celebrate the holidays with a twang at the Ukulele Christmas Orchestra - Americana Edition on Friday, Dec. 11. Join this ukulele ode to American roots music and play classic songs reimagined with notes of bluegrass and folk. The Ukulele Christmas Orchestra is for adult, amateur musicians 18 years and older, beginner to intermediate level. For this program, a beginner is defined as: the ability to strum in rhythm while playing these 5 chords in this order – C, Em, F, D7 and G7. Registration is $15. Limited seating capacity - no walk-ins, no visitors/guests. Bring your own music stand and ukulele. An optional 30-minute warm-up session starts at 6 p.m.

Rejoice! Brass Tidings (DEC. 13, 2015)

On Sunday, Dec. 13, trumpets herald the yuletide season with Rejoice! Brass Tidings, a festive concert for choir, brass and the Walt Disney Concert Hall pipe organ. John Rutter’s Gloria anchors the classical holiday repertoire with its triumphant fortissimos, paired with Shawn Kirchner’s Behold New Joy: Ancient Carols of Christmas, composed as a companion piece to Rutter’s jubilant opus. Other highlights of the program include Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata for chorus and double brass, as well as Giovanni Gabrieli’s Christmas Motets for double and triple choirs, treating the audience to an antiphonal holiday feast.

Messiah Sing-Along (DEC. 16, 2015)

Messiah Sing-Along at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Messiah Sing-Along at Walt Disney Concert Hall | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Master Chorale, Facebook

The annual Messiah Sing-Along packs Walt Disney Concert Hall every year. On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Artistic Director Grant Gershon conducts you and 2,199 other singers in this joyful sing-along with orchestra and soloists on stage. Bring your own score or buy one in the lobby and join the chorus. The sing-along begins at 8 p.m.

A Chanticleer Christmas (DEC. 17, 2015)

A Chanticleer Christmas at Walt Disney Concert Hall
A Chanticleer Christmas at Walt Disney Concert Hall | Photo courtesy of Chanticleer, Facebook

Chanticleer is a Grammy Award-winning ensemble known worldwide as “an orchestra of voices” and dubbed “the world’s leading male chorus” by The New Yorker. Chanticleer returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall on Thursday, Dec. 17 with the group’s beloved offering, A Chanticleer Christmas. A holiday favorite with audiences and critics alike, A Chanticleer Christmas features a repertoire ranging from Medieval/Renaissance to spirituals/contemporary that never fails to spark the Christmas spirit.

Holiday Organ Spectacular (DEC. 18, 2015)

Pipe organ at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Pipe organ at Walt Disney Concert Hall | Photo by Federico Zignani, courtesy of LA Phil

Experience a warm and cheerful glow at the Holiday Organ Spectacular, taking place at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday, Dec. 18. David Higgs, one of America’s leading concert organists, will showcase the beauty and majesty of the Walt Disney Concert Hall pipe organ with a wide ranging program of devotional and festive holiday favorites.

The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along (DEC. 18, 2015)

The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along
The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along | Photo courtesy of John McCoy

The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along is an annual holiday tradition that’s not to be missed, taking place at The Music Center Plaza on Friday, Dec. 18 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Bundle up and sing along to live musical accompaniment under the stars. Lyric sheets are provided, no experience necessary. Free admission, seating capacity is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are distributed starting at 6 p.m. One ticket per person waiting in line - first come, first served.

Walt Disney Concert Hall Holiday Sing-Along (DEC. 19, 2015)

On Saturday, Dec. 19 children of all ages will lift their voices together for the Holiday Sing-Along at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Guests will sing songs of the season accompanied by the massive pipe organ, a choir and a jazz combo. The Holiday Sing-Along is hosted by David Prather (dubbed “The Master of Merry” by the Los Angeles Times) and features special guest Melissa Peterman and the 100-voice Angeles Chorale conducted by John Sutton. Lyric sheets are provided for everyone. There are two performances of the Holiday Sing-Along, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

A Swingin Christmas: The Count Basie Orchestra (Dec. 21, 2015)

After a youthful apprenticeship on the vaudeville circuit and early stints in other Kansas City bands, Count Basie formed his own ensemble and led it for almost a half-century, making it a distinctive jazz icon for tightly swinging rhythm. Conducted by Scotty Barnhart, the red-hot Count Basie Orchestra is joined by special guest Carmen Bradford to cook up a A Swingin' Christmas, featuring holiday favorites and the best of the Basie Band tunes.

“White Christmas” Sing-Along (Dec. 22, 2015)

Gather your family and friends for a screening of White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Allen. At this heartwarming holiday event, the beloved 1954 film will have lyrics embedded on screen for the audience to sing along with classic Irving Berlin songs such as “The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing,” “Snow,” “Sisters” and the iconic “White Christmas.”

Soweto Gospel Choir (Dec. 23, 2015)

Grammy Award-winning South African ensemble Soweto Gospel Choir makes a welcome return to Walt Disney Concert Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 23. The uplifting holiday program features an enlivening blend of African gospel, spirituals, reggae and American popular music.

L.A. County Holiday Celebration (DEC. 24, 2015)

Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company at L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company at L.A. County Holiday Celebration | Photo courtesy of A.C. Thamer, Discover Los Angeles Flickr pool

Since 1959, the Arts Commission has produced the annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration on behalf of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. L.A.’s biggest holiday celebration takes place on Thursday, Dec. 24 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, featuring music ensembles, choirs and dance companies that showcase the diverse cultures and holiday traditions of L.A. County. Pre-show entertainment at the Music Center Plaza begins at 12:30 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and performances start at 3 p.m. Admission to the three-hour show and parking at The Music Center garage are free. No reservations or tickets are necessary. Early arrival suggested - first come, first seated. Guests are welcome to come and go throughout the performances.