The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's "A Classical Christmas" spotlights the beautiful, reverent side of the season. In what has become an annual tradition, JoAnn Falletta conducts the orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in music from some of the great classical composers. Included is usually music everyone knows, as well as things that are lesser-known.

The well-known music this year includes the lovely "Skaters' Waltz" (a favorite of Andre Rieu) and dances from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," as well as Gounod's "Ave Maria" and Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus."

In addition, soprano Sebnem Mekinulov is the soloist in two excerpts from Mozart's beautiful Vespers, K. 339 -- the concluding "Magnificat" and the famous, transcendent "Laudate Dominum." The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus performs "Jachzet, frohlocket" ("Rejoice, Exult"), the triumphant chorus, shining with trumpets, that opens Bach's "Christmas Oratorio."

Music from Korngold's "The Snowman" adds another dimension. And BPO Principal Oboist Pierre Roy is the soloist in a lovely adagio by Baroque composer Alessandro Marcello.

The concert takes place at 10:30 a.m. today and 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $30-$75. For info, call 885-5000.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman