Capital Region

Season underway with crescendos, grand jetes

'Nutcracker,' 'Christmas Carol,' 'Messiah' and more kick-start holidays this weekend
The Mohawk Valley Chorus rehearses for its holiday concert.
The Mohawk Valley Chorus rehearses for its holiday concert.

Categories: Entertainment

Editor’s note: This was updated at 7 p.m. Thursday. Incorrect locations were listed for Mohawk Valley Chorus shows on Friday and Sunday.

Holiday events start early this year with many choruses, dance companies, orchestras and other organizations getting into the spirit.

Mohawk Valley Chorus under David Rossi likes to travel to spread the cheer. 

And this year they’re starting Friday at the First Reformed Church in Scotia (8 p.m.). On Saturday the chorus heads to Johnstown High School (7 p.m.) and on Sunday the concert is at Amsterdam High School (3 p.m.). 

(518) 779-5061;

Northeast Ballet Company under Darlene Myers gives a full scale production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at Proctors. 

The colorful performance also features Lauren Lovette and Gonzalo Garcia of the New York City Ballet. 
The show begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Youngsters can also meet Santa and play with crafts before the Sunday show.

(518) 346-6204;

On Saturday, audiences will be treated to something different at the United Methodist Church in Saratoga Springs with a dramatic reading of Charles Dicken’s “Christmas Carol” complete with special scenery and music. 

This Victorian evening includes wassail, the miserly Scrooge, the Spirits of Past, Present and Future ­— and a toothsome take home surprise at the end. 

The fun begins at 7 p.m. The church is at 175 Fifth Ave., corner of Henning Road.

(518) 885-5472

The Thursday Musical Club under Julie Panke brings its 104th Christmas program at 3 p.m. on Saturday to the Eastern Parkway United Methodist Church, 943 Palmer Ave., Schenectady. 

The women’s chorus will sing carols and spirituals. Elinore Farnum will accompany along with cellist Olivia Cox. 

(518) 894-1597

The Albany Symphony Orchestra under music director David Alan Miller offers its annual “Magic of Christmas” at 3 p.m. on Sunday with a celebration that includes more than 250 youngsters from The Music Studio, Capital District Youth Chorale and the Boland School of Irish Dance. Santa may even visit. 

(518) 694-3300;

The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys at the Cathedral of All Saints, 62 S. Swan St., Albany, will present at 7 p.m. on Tuesday the annual production of Handel’s “Messiah.” 

Led by director Woodrow Bynum, the choir will be supported by a period instrumental ensemble. Soloists will be soprano Sarah Brailey, alto Emily Marvosh, tenor Ruairi Bowen and baritone Jonathan Woody. 

(518) 465-1342;

The community-based Music Company Orchestra under Gerald Lanoue offers several free holiday concerts in December. 

The first begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School. The 60-piece orchestra, whose members are mostly retired professionals, come from a wide geographic area, including Vermont.

Moscow National Ballet returns on its 25th anniversary, 130-city, North American tour at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to the Palace Theatre to give a Russian-themed version of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” 

The lavish production includes 40 dancers and soloists from some of the most prestigious Russian companies, colorful sets that feature Russian heritage, handmade costumes of the Victorian Era, and extra props like the Christmas tree that grows to 60 feet, birds with wings that flap and 10-foot-tall puppets.

(800) 745-3000;

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