The holiday season begins this weekend with several area classical music groups getting into the spirit early.
The Mohawk Valley Chorus, under new director David Rossi, will present a program with a variety of Christmas, Hanukkah and winter songs at 7 p.m. today at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Schenectady and 3 p.m. Sunday at United Presbyterian Church in Amsterdam ($11, $8, free to seniors and kids 12 and under). Click here for more information.
There are two other possibilities for today. At 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Albany, there’s a Handel “Messiah” (Part I) chorus sing-along with soloists and organ ($10). At 7:30 p.m., the Albany Symphony Orchestra under conductor David Alan Miller brings “The Magic of Christmas” to the Palace Theatre, with several area choirs, dancers and a flamenco guitarist as guests. The show will be repeated at 3 p.m. on Sunday ($25, $12). Click here for more information.
The Glens Falls Symphony — under conductor Charles Peltz at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Glens Falls High School — will feature internationally known Irish tenor Emmanuel Lawler in “A Celtic Christmas.” Lawler, who is coming from Ireland just for this concert, will sing “Phil the Fiddler,” “Every Valley” and Handel’s “Comfort Ye.” Also on the program are Malcolm Arnold’s Four Irish Dances, traditional holiday pieces and some surprises ($25, $10). Click here for more information.
Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” with a Baroque orchestra will be the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society’s focus at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Edward the Confessor in Clifton Park ($18, $14). Only four of the six parts will be sung in German, otherwise the entire oratorio, which is actually six cantatas strung together, would have taken more than two hours to perform, said director Rand Reeves. Click here for more information.