Having yourself a merry little Christmas is fine.
But having yourself a merry big Christmas is better.
The Buffalo music scene invites it. Like a massive box of bonbons all done up in red and gold ribbon, this year's Christmas concert season looms. There's a pie festival. Sacred festivals of Lessons and Carols. And, new this year, a lavish medieval feast with authentic food, music open bar. Deo gratias!
Let's take all the goodies out and look at them.
Tomorrow shall be our dancing day! And tonight, too. The WNY Classical Ballet, formerly known as Lockport City Ballet, dances "The Nutcracker" this weekend at Lockport High School (250 Lincoln Ave., Lockport). At 7 tonight, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $10-$18. 631-1582.
Angels we have heard on high would love to taste the Freudigs' pie. The Freudig Singers' legendary "A Christmas Pie" kicks off the musical advent season in Western New York with some scrumptious arrangements of seasonal choral favorites, followed by Freudig's most famous fresh-baked pie reception and auction at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in St. John's Grace Episcopal Church on Colonial Circle, and again at 4 p.m. Sunday at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church (4369 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park). $12
Every valley shall be exalted! Imagine Handel's "Messiah" surrounded by thousands of angels. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus perform the masterpiece at 8 p.m. Sunday at Our Lady of Victory Basilica (767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna). 885-5000.
They're good, for goodness' sake. The Latshaw Pops Orchestra has put together a variety show with singers, dancers and carols – so good that Santa just might stop in. At 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda). $22-$32. 692-2413.
We're dreaming of "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," wafting into Shea's Performing Arts Center from Tuesday through Dec. 9. $38-$71. 847-1410.
Don't expect a silent night, not with the Buffalo State College Choral Spectacular within 100 miles. Performance is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Rockwell Hall. $10; students free. 878-3005.
O the rising of the sun and the warbling of Wayne Newton. "Mr. Entertainment" visits the Seneca Niagara Events Center for seven holiday performances starting Wednesday. Concerts are at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, 1:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. next Friday, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 9. Tickets start at $20. www.senecaniagaracasino.com.
Angels we have heard in Cheektowaga are really the Harmonia Chamber Singers. They converge at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on beautiful, historic Our Lady Help of Christians Church (4125 Union Road) to join the Ars Nova Musicians, led by Marylouise Nanna, for a Christmas concert called "Joyful Tidings." $10 donation.
Deck Kleinhans Music Hall with boughs of holly. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta conducts "A Classical Christmas," featuring holiday classics and also teenage soprano Emily Tworek-Helenbrook at 10:30 a.m. next Friday and 8 p.m. Dec. 8. $31-$77. 885-5000.
Deo gratias! The 1957 Christmas Cantata by Daniel Pinkham will be performed at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at St. Paul's Cathedral (128 Pearl St.), by the Cathedral Choir of Men and Girls, joined by a festive brass quartet. $10 adults, $5 students. 855-0900, Ext. 242.
A boar's head in hand bear they! Next Friday the Fredonia School of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance roll out a Madrigal Feaste in the newly renovated Williams Center on the Fredonia State College campus. Savor authentic food, costumed performers, rousing music and – we quote – "merriment on a grand scale." It starts with an open bar at 5:30 p.m., and the seated dinner and music program begins at 6 p.m. $65. 673-3501.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo! That's the title that the Camerata di Sant'Antonio, with flourish, gives to its concert at 7 p.m. next Friday in St. Anthony's of Padua RC Church (160 Court St.). Music by the Baroque master Tomaso Albinoni, Romantic composer Ernst von Dohnanyi, a Gloria by Luigi Boccherini and more. Singing the Boccherini will be Amherst High School Concert Chorale, plus distinguished soloists. $17. 854-2563.
The snowy Dickensian town of Orchard Park is home to the Orchard Park Symphony, led by David Rudge. Catch its holiday concert, with music of Otto Nikolai, Johann Strauss and other greats at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Orchard Park High School (4040 Baker Road, Orchard Park). $12 adults, $9 children.
What's better than ringing the bells? Ringing them twice. The Royalton Ringers' Handbell Quartet joins forces with the 120-voice Buffalo Choral Arts Society for "Ring the Bells!" at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Saints Peter and Paul Church (66 E. Main St., Hamburg) and again at 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at St. Joseph Cathedral (50 Franklin St.). $15.
Traditional meets nontraditional next weekend when the Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus presents "Cool Yule." The concert takes place at 8 p.m. next Friday in the Riviera Theatre, 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at St. Paul's Cathedral (128 Pearl St.) and 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (1080 Main St.). $20.
We're dreaming of a hip Christmas. "Will Holton's Christmas to Remember" features Christy Smothers and Kissena with Bruce Wojick, Jamie Holka and Daniel Powell at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Tralf Music Hall. $25 ($20 advance). 852-2860.
Old manuscripts go with old carols. They just do. At 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum North Hall (220 North St.), the Vocalis Chamber Choir presents the first of two annual Christmas concerts this year. The second takes place at 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at St. Peter and Paul Church (5480 Main St., Williamsville). $15 at the door, $10 for students. Kids 12 and under are free.
Dancers may play the part of Christmas treats – but they don't get to eat them. Appreciate their sacrifice when the American Academy of Ballet dances "The Nutcracker" at 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 1 p.m. Dec. 9 in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, North Campus, Amherst. $19.50-$27.50. Call 645-ARTS.
It's a jolly holiday with Matthew! At 2:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in Kleinhans Music Hall, BPO Resident Conductor Matthew Kraemer leads a Christmas kids' concert, "A Jolly Holiday." Kids create seasonal art with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery before the concert, and scarf cookies afterward with a certain special guest. 885-5000.
Shout the glad tidings! That's the name of Houghton College's sixth annual Christmas Prism at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at First Presbyterian Church, Symphony Circle. More than 200 students, with choral and orchestral music, as well as dance, visual art and poetry. (585) 567-9210.
White Nights! The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker transforms the Historic Palace Theatre (2 East Ave., Lockport) at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 9. $28 and up. 438-1130.
God rest ye merry gentlemen! Revel in old seasonal ditties when the Hutchinson Family Revival, complete with Victorian costumes, performs a lunchtime concert at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 12 in St. Paul's Cathedral (128 Pearl St.). Free. 855-0900.
The Riv's red velvet meets Ireland's green grass when Eileen Ivers performs "An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas" at 8 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Riviera Theatre. $30. 692-2413.
Stay in Ireland one more night! The BPO's Holiday Pops this year features Irish tenor Ronan Tynan at 8 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 16. (A morning concert at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14 will not feature Tynan.) $31-$77. 885-5000.
God bless them, every one. The Harmonia Chamber Singers present "Christmas With Harmonia" 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at St. Bernadette Church (5930 S. Abbott Road, Orchard Park) and 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at St. Joseph University Church (3269 Main St.). The choir promises "music of Bruckner, Chilcott, Rockapella and more." Donation of $10 suggested.
Winter dreams! The Greater Buffalo Youth Ballet dances "Three Wishes," a yule-themed ballet with music by Dmitri Shostakovich, at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at Buff State's Rockwell Hall. $20. 878-3005.
The trumpets shall sound. ?The Cheektowaga Symphony's Holiday Concert takes place at ?3 p.m. Dec. 16 in Infant of Prague Church (921 Cleveland Drive, Cheektowaga). Music by Leroy Andersen, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and others, plus David Bondrow narrates "Brother Heinrich's Christmas," the legend behind the beautiful carol "In Dulci Jubilo." 895-1047.
The little drummer boy dreams of playing with the award-winning American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, warming up for "An American Legion Christmas," at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Riviera Theatre. $12, children $10. 692-2413.
Once in Royal David's City. That's the start of Lessons and Carols at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 in St. Joseph Cathedral (50 Franklin St.). Free. 854-5855.
Twice in Royal David's City. A Candlelight Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols takes place 3 p.m. Dec. 21 at St. Paul's Cathedral. Free. 855-0900.
We're dreaming of a lounge Christmas! The Scintas, renowned Vegas family troupe, brings its Christmas show to the Riviera Theatre at 8 p.m. Dec. 21. $35-$55. 692-2413.
We're putting the tree up, the kids shouldn't be awake – but they are, so your only option is to get them out of the house. The Buffalo City Ballet dances "The Nutcracker" at 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22 and 3 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Buffalo Academy of Visual & Performing Arts (450 Masten Ave.). $20 general, $15 for children under 5. Call 833-1243.
Sleep in heavenly peace? Not yet, Sugarplum. Rock around the Christmas tree at 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 27 in the First Niagara Center, when the Trans-Siberian Orchestra presents its yuletide extravaganza, "The Lost Christmas Eve." $30-$68. 855-4170.