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O little town of Buffalo, how still we see thee lie!

No more.

Stillness goes out the window starting this weekend, when the holiday music officially begins. Because there are fewer days than usual between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, that means nonstop song and dance. Sit down with some cocoa and whipped cream – or microbrew, as the case may be – with this schedule, your calendar, and red and green markers. The time is short. Let’s get started.

Following yonder star. Nickel City Opera stages “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at 3 and 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda). $10-$25. 692-2413. Also, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday in the Springville Center for the Arts (37 N. Buffalo St., Springville). $18, kids $9. 592-9038.

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Pat-a-pan. With that three-octave voice and a warm stage presence, singer and songwriter Pat Shea easily wins over fans – and keeps them. His popular annual holiday concert is 4 p.m. Saturday in the Lancaster Opera House (21 Central Ave., Lancaster). Stay afterward for the tree lighting in the village. $20. 683-1776.

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This weekend shall be their dancing day. Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” gets a workout around here this time of year. This weekend will mark the fifth consecutive year that the Neglia Ballet Artists and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra collaborate for a Thanksgiving weekend performance of “The Nutcracker” at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Shea’s Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.). $32-$72.

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Visions of candy canes. The beloved bunny siblings fall under the spell of the Tchaikovsky holiday favorite in “Max & Ruby: The Nutcracker Suite” at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday in the Riviera Theatre. $20 adults, $15 children. 692-2413.

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Caroling times three. The Buffalo Choral Arts Society presents three performances of “A Caroling Christmas.” The first is 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church (8445 Greiner Road, Clarence). The second is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at SS. Peter and Paul Church (66 E. Main St., Hamburg). The third is 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at St. Joseph Cathedral (50 Franklin St.).

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Sweet singing in the Place. When Joe Head sings “What Child is This?” surely the Cherubim and Seraphim hover. And, perhaps, enjoy a Tom & Jerry, when Head presides over his traditional Christmas evening at the Place (229 Lexington Ave.) from 7 to 10 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 and Dec. 19. Free. 881-1178.

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What’s more bombastic than a good “Adeste Fideles?” A good “Adeste Fideles” blasting forth on the Mighty Wurlitzer. We can only hope that is on the program when Mark Herman, 26-year-old hotshot organist from Indianapolis, pulls out the stops at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Riviera Theatre for a holiday concert. $10, under 18 are free. 692-2413.

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And a merry Canisius to you! The Canisius College Chorale, led by Frank Scinta, sings at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Montante Cultural Center at Main and Eastwood streets. 888-2536.

A Festival of Lessons and Carols, this early? Yes! It’s at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine (1023 Swann Road, off Route 18E, Lewiston). The lights are on from 5 to 9 p.m., and best of all, they’re selling fish frys from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free. 754-7489.

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Let the 14 Holy Helpers lighten your holiday load. The Buffalo Master Chorale, led by John Fleischman and Paul Ferington, and the Buffalo Niagara Youth Chorus lift their voices in a Family Christmas Concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Fourteen Holy Helpers Church (1345 Indian Church Road, West Seneca). Free. 674-2374. The concert repeats at 4 p.m. Dec. 8 in Clarence Presbyterian Church (9675 Main St., Clarence). $10 general, $5 students. www.buffalomasterchorale.org.

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Treats are coming. That is because the American Academy of Ballet is dancing “The Nutcracker,” joined by Daniel Ulbricht, principal dancer with New York City Ballet, and Misa Kuranaga, principal dancer with Boston Ballet. Performances are 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 7, and 1 p.m. Dec. 8 in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, Amherst. $19.50-$28.50. 645-ARTS.

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Christmas in the city. The young dancers of the Buffalo City Ballet, impeccably schooled by executive director Marvin Askew and associate director Janet Reed, dance “The Nutcracker” at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 7, and 3 p.m. Dec. 8, at the Buffalo Academy of Visual & Performing Arts (450 Masten Ave.). $18-$20. www.buffalocityballet.org.

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Wait, is that one of the dancers we left behind? Oh, look! It’s a whole other “Nutcracker”! Classical Ballet of WNY (formerly Lockport City Ballet) dances the masterpiece at Lockport High School Visual and Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 7, and 2 p.m. Dec. 8. $10-$21. 631-1582, 434-4940.

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Masters in this hall. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s “A Classical Christmas” has new guest stars this year, Buffalo’s Castellani/Andriaccio Guitar Duo, playing Vivaldi. There also will be music from “The Nutcracker,” “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and Handel’s “Messiah” as well as the lovely “Christmas Concerto” by Arcangelo Corelli. Presiding is Ron Spigelman, the BPO’s Australian-born former associate conductor. 10:30 a.m. Dec. 6 and 8 p.m. Dec. 7 in Kleinhans Music Hall. $33-$70. 885-5000.

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It’s a slice! The Freudig Singers hold its annual Christmas Pie celebration – that’s a concert plus pie reception – at 8 p.m. Dec. 6 in St. Matthias Episcopal Church (374 Main St., East Aurora), and 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church (317 Leroy Ave.). 472-0009.

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell jam. Pack up the kids and head to Kleinhans for the holiday kids’ concert at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8, conducted by the genial Ron Spigelman. Music includes songs from “Babes in Toyland” and “A Christmas Story” as well as “Sleigh Ride” and “Silent Night.” Kids who arrive early can make a card to send to Marines overseas. $20. 885-5000.

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Vocalis we have heard on high! The elegant Buffalo choir sings “A Vocalis Christmas” at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Karpeles Manuscript Museum (453 Porter Ave.) and 4 p.m. Dec. 8 in the intimate, historic Our Lady Help of Christians chapel (4125 Union Road, Cheektowaga). Music includes “Silent Night,” “What Child Is This” and “Deck the Halls.” Hot cider and refreshments will be served at intermission. $15, $10 students, elves under 12 are free. www.vocalischamberchoir.org.

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Rolling in. For 27 years now, Mannheim Steamroller’s annual holiday concert has been welcomed at sold-out venues across the country. A Mannheim Steamroller Christmas returns at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in Shea’s Performing Arts Center with holiday music and state-of-the-art multimedia effects. $32.50-$70. 847-0850.

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Angels we have heard in Amherst. The Amherst Symphony, Steven Thomas, music director, presents “A Time For Tradition” at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 in Amherst Middle School (55 Kings Highway, Snyder). Enjoy cookies, sing along with Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” and savor the soprano voice of Cristen Gregory. A preconcert event at 6:15 p.m. features the Williamsville North Choirs. Free. www.amherstsymphony.com.

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O Colm, let us adore him. The great and graceful Colm Wilkinson warbles “Broadway, Christmas and Beyond” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 in the UB Center for the Arts. Included will be “Silent Night” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which is slowly working its way into the yuletide repertoire. Sold out. 645-ARTS.

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Dave Koz and Friends will be there with bells on. The friends on Koz’s Christmas tour this year are pretty cool: Japanese-born pianist Keiko Matsui, singer Oleta Adams and South African singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler. The concert is at 8 p.m. Dec. 11 in North Tonawanda’s Riviera Theatre. $49-$59. 692-2413.

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Beyond the holidays. There will be festive tunes when Tony Orlando’s Great American Christmas visits the Seneca Niagara Casino Events Center (310 Fourth St., Niagara Falls) for seven shows. But don’t be surprised to hear some of his pop hits, too. Performances are at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12; 7 p.m. Dec. 13; 1:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14; and 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15. $15-$35. 278-4944.

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Three times the favorites. No one does Christmas quite like the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus. They have three performances planned, called “Our Favorite Things.” The chorus sings at 8 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Riviera Theatre, 8 p.m. Dec. 14 in University Presbyterian Church (3330 Main St.) and 3 p.m. Dec. 15 in Westminster Presbyterian Church (724 Delaware Ave.) $20 general, $18 seniors and youth. 883-1277.

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Star in the East. Broadway’s Michele Ragusa makes the trip from New York City to sing in the BPO Holiday Pops. It’s always a splendid spectacle, with Kleinhans swathed in wreaths and garland and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus decked out in red and gold. Join them, and BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta, at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 13, 8 p.m. Dec. 14 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15. $33-$79. 885-5000.

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In harmony. The Harmonia Chamber Singers are celebrating Christmas with music “from the far reaches of Europe” to “American holiday standards.” 8 p.m. Dec. 13 in St. Bernadette Church (5930 S. Abbott Road, Orchard Park) and 7 p.m. Dec. 14 in St. Joseph University Church (3269 Main St.). Free-will offering suggested.

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God rest ye, Cheektowaga! At 3 p.m. Dec. 15, the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra and Cheektowaga Community Chorus present their annual holiday concert in Infant of Prague Church (921 Cleveland Drive). Free.

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O Tannenbaum, artistic Tannenbaum! At 3 p.m. Dec. 15, the lights go on at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Christmas tree, accompanied by the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. Free.

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Orchard Park, the herald angels sing. The Orchard Park Chorale performs “Christmas Cheer and Carols” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, in the Orchard Park Presbyterian Church (4369 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park). Music includes Bach’s “Magnificat,” accompanied by Solisti of Western New York. Also, selections from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and sing-along with carols arranged by John Rutter. $10-$25. 983-5446, www.orchardparkchorale.org.

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On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, five gold ... tubas? Go with it! At 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas blares out its Christmas Concert in the Riviera Theatre. 692-2413.

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A favorite grouch. Travel to Whoville for a visit with that lovable green monster in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,” on stage from Dec. 17 to 22 in Shea’s. $30-$65. 847-0850.

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Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays, no matter how far the Scintas roam. At 8 p.m. Dec. 21 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 22, Buffalo’s first family of Vegas show business perform their Christmas Show in the Riviera, $35-$50. 692-2413.

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Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat! But us, uh uh, we’re too busy running around. Take time out in the last-minute bustle for a dose of British glamour. At 3 p.m. Dec. 22, the august choirs of St. Paul’s Cathedral sing at the traditional Festival of Lessons and Carols in St. Paul’s (128 Pearl St.). Free.

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A rocking time. You’ve heard the radio ads since July. You’ve heard them on Joy FM since Halloween. Now they are finally here! The Trans-Siberian Orchestra brings “The Lost Christmas Eve” to the First Niagara Center at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30. $32.50-$70.50 (www.tickets.com).

email: mkunz@buffnews.com