Classical Calendar, December 4-9, 2008

'Tis the season to hear music! Here are some classical and holiday concerts coming up this week in Valdosta, Augusta, Rome, Albany, Morrow, Atlanta and elsewhere.

Thursday & Saturday, December 4 & 6

  • The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus, led by Norman Mackenzie, present their annual performance of Handel's Messiah. 8:00, Atlanta's Symphony Hall.
Friday, December 5
  • Cecylia Arzewski, recently retired concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony, plays solo violin works by Bach. Noon, Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta. Free.
Friday-Saturday, December 5-6
  • The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Gospel Choir, led by Chelsea Tipton II, present an ASO Gospel Christmas. Atlanta's Symphony Hall. 8:00 Friday, 2:00 Saturday.
Saturday, December 6
  • Under the baton of another potential new music director, Jonathan Pasternack, the Valdosta Symphony performs Beethoven's Fifth and music from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, plus the Hummel Trumpet Concerto featuring Kenneth Kirk. Whitehead Auditorium, Valdosta State University.
  • Richard Prior directs the Rome Symphony, Shorter College Chorale and Shorter Chorus in a Feaste of Caroles, featuring John Rutter's Gloria. Rome City Auditorium.
  • The Ocmulgee Symphony Orchestra, with Chuck Quinn, performs at Middle Georgia Technical College.
  • The Cobb Symphony Orchestra and Chorus's Holiday Pops Concert includes Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Tyzik, Anderson and a Messiah singalong. Two performances: Murray Arts Center, Kennesaw, 3:00, and Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, Marietta, 7 p.m.
  • Columbus State University presents the Empire Brass in concert with CSU vocalists. RiverCenter, Columbus, 2:00.
  • Irish fiddle superstar Eileen Ivers presents An Nollaig, An Irish Christmas at Atlanta's Ferst Center for the Arts.
Saturday-Sunday, December 6-7
  • Georgia State University's annual gala holiday family concert features over 200 student and faculty musicians. This year's theme is A Night in Old Vienna. Think masked ball. Strauss, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Handel and more, from grand opera to cool jazz. Saturday 8:00, Sunday 3:00. Rialto Center, Atlanta.
Sunday, December 7
  • The Augusta Opera at St. Paul's. This annual pre-Christmas Augusta tradition continues, with four of the opera company's talented young singers. 3:30 and 6:00, St. Paul's, Augusta.
  • Christmas with the Empire Brass (including Rolf Smedvig, first trumpet). A celebration of Christmas music from the Renaissance to now. 3:00, Spivey Hall, Morrow.
  • The Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Youth Symphony and Lee Harper & Dancers present A Kid's Christmas. Repeats the 14th. Symphony Hall, Atlanta.
Monday, December 8
  • The Albany Chorale presents A-Caroling We Go. 8:00, First Presbyterian Church, Albany.
Tuesday, December 9
  • 17th Annual Peppermint Pops with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Admission is by canned food donation for area food banks and soup kitchens. 7:30, James Gray Civic Center, Albany.
  • Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, another Augusta tradition, featres the Augusta Collegium Musicum. 7:30, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, Augusta.