Holiday Events at the Music Center in Los Angeles

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. 3 & 10, 2016)

Ring in the holiday season at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Festival of Carols, taking place on two consecutive Saturdays, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10. The two-hour program is curated by Artistic Director Grant Gershon and sung by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, one of the world’s greatest choirs. Gershon's selections include new arrangements, undiscovered gems and traditional favorites such as "Deck the Hall," “Silent Night,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “The Christmas Song,” and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (sing-along). Experience the magic of the holidays with 110 singers, organ and piano. After the concert, ticket holders can visit with Santa in BP Hall.

Christmas with Eric Whitacre (Dec. 4, 2016)

On Sunday, Dec. 4, Artist-in-Residence Eric Whitacre guest conducts a performance of the most sublime Christmas choral music in the world. Audiences will recognize the familiar medieval carol In dulci jubilo ("In sweet rejoicing"), woven throughout the program – from Renaissance and Baroque madrigals to modern-day motets. Close your eyes and imagine yourself inside a candlelit cathedral as the voices of the L.A. Master Chorale fill Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Dudamel Conducts Haydn's "Creation" (Dec. 8-11, 2016)

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the LA Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the LA Phil | Photo courtesy of Gustavo Dudamel, Facebook

With texts drawn from the Bible and John Milton’s poetry, Haydn’s The Creation is a monumental yet delightful vision of God creating the world, bursting with imagination, wit and beauty. Featuring Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with Grant Gershon and the L.A. Master Chorale. Leading Venezuelan filmmaker Alberto Arvelo collaborates in this joyous production of Haydn’s timeless masterpiece. Four performances - Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 8-11. Concerts will be sung in German. Note: Sunday's performance will not feature visual elements. Part of the Spiritual Masterworks series.

Handel's Messiah (DEC. 15 & 17, 2016)

Composed in just 24 days, Handel's Messiah is the composer's most popular work and might be the most performed classical work of all time. From the gentle simplicity of the Pastorale to the colossal final choruses, Handel’s universally beloved musical epic on the life and mission of Jesus Christ continues to permeate the hearts and souls of audiences. Taking place at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Dec. 15 and 17, the Messiah experience will be elevated by the choral sound of La Chapelle de Québec. The acclaimed ensemble was founded by guest conductor Bernard Labadie, known worldwide as one of the leading conductors of the Baroque and Classical repertoire. Part of the Spiritual Masterworks series.

The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along (DEC. 16, 2016)

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. 16 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Bundle up and sing along to live musical accompaniment under the stars. Lyric sheets are provided, no experience necessary. Free admission, capacity is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are distributed starting at 5:30 p.m. One ticket per person waiting in line - first come, first served.

DEBBIE ALLEN'S HOT CHOCOLATE NUTCRACKER (DEC. 16-17, 2016)

The Debbie Allen Dance Academy and The Annenberg Foundation in association with The Music Center present The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. This seventh annual presentation is written, directed and choreographed by Debbie Allen. In this adaptation, three wise-cracking rats take over the story, whisking the audience off on an adventure through Candy Cane Land, The Rainforest, Bollywood, Egypt and more. Filled with lively characters, new music and spectacular dancing, The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker will delight audiences of all ages. Three performances - at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16 and on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

ADAMS @ 70: EL NINO (DEC. 16 & 18, 2016)

Composer John Adams set himself the extraordinarily ambitious goal of writing a nativity oratorio for our time. The powerful, provocative result is El Niño ("The Child") - with multilingual texts drawn from Scripture, medieval tracts and contemporary poetry. El Niño retells the Christmas story following the traditional narrative, but with added commentary and reflection from a wide range of poets across history, including many women. Part of the Spiritual Masterworks series. 

Walt Disney Concert Hall Holiday Sing-Along (DEC. 17, 2016)

The entire family will enjoy lifting their voices together for the Holiday Sing-Along, hosted by Melissa Peterman and taking place on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Guests will sing songs of the season accompanied by the hall's massive pipe organ, a choir and a jazz combo. Two performances, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. No children under two years old will be admitted to the concert.

36th Annual Messiah Sing-Along (DEC. 18, 2016)

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

Featuring the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the annual Messiah Sing-Along packs Walt Disney Concert Hall every year. On Sunday, Dec. 18, Artistic Director Grant Gershon conducts you and 2,199 other singers in this joyful sing-along with orchestra and four soloists on stage. This year, the Master Chorale will be onstage to sing along with the audience for the choral passages and fill the hall with an even bigger holiday sound. Bring your own score or buy one in the lobby and join the chorus. The sing-along begins at 7:30 p.m.

A Chanticleer Christmas (DEC. 20, 2016)

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 Tuesday, Dec. 20 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.

Sweet Honey in the Rock: Celebrating the Holidays (Dec. 21, 2016)

Sweet Honey in the Rock
Photo courtesy of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Facebook

Grammy Award-nominated Sweet Honey In The Rock returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall with a special holiday performance that is guaranteed to spread joy and cheer. The beloved female African-American a cappella ensemble entertains and empowers its audience and community through their dynamic and stunning vocal prowess. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, Sweet Honey in the Rock will bring the audience an unforgettable holiday experience.

SWINGING CHRISTMAS WITH THE ARTURO SANDOVAL BAND (Dec. 22, 2016)

Arturo Sandoval
Photo courtesy of Arturo Sandoval, Facebook

On Thursday, Dec. 22, trumpet virtuoso and 10-time Grammy Award winner Arturo Sandoval leads a Latin-flavored jazz program for the holidays. A protégé of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval is renowned as a world-class master of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as an extraordinary classical artist, pianist and composer.

“White Christmas” Sing-Along (Dec. 23, 2016)

"White Christmas" Sing-Along
Photo courtesy of "White Christmas," Facebook

Gather your family and friends for a sing-along 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.” Two screenings, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. No children under age six will be admitted.

L.A. County Holiday Celebration (DEC. 24, 2016)

Every Christmas Eve since 1959, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission has produced the L.A. County Holiday Celebration on behalf of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. L.A.’s biggest holiday celebration takes place on Saturday, 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 on 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. The show will be broadcast live on PBS SoCal KOCE and pbssocal.org.

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