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Classical 101

Concerts For Advent 2021

Advent Christmas boxes with numbers
Elena Mozhvilo
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Advent is the season of waiting. The four weeks preceding Christmas can be a time of preparation, of expectation. Maybe the promise of a better world. Maybe something wonderful is about to happen.

Music lovers in Central Ohio needn’t wait long for plenty of music bringing “comfort and joy” during Advent and throughout the holiday season. The challenge is wading through the many offerings, all of excellent quality. An abundance of wonderful performances in our immediate listening area. It’s a good problem to have.

The four weekends of Advent will be crowded. Here are performances in our area churches and universities that will offer warmth in chilly weather and make you happy to live among such talent.

Many of these performances were suspended last year. Now, they are back. May the joy continue.

Click links for schedules, tickets and further information.

At this writing, most performance spaces require proof of vaccination (or a recent negative Covid test) and require masks.

DEC 2-5 CAPITAL UNIVERSITY CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

Break Forth is the theme of this year’s festival.

Each concert features four choral ensembles and multiple instrumentalists from the Conservatory and Columbus community. The concerts include choral music unified by a central, spiritual theme and interspersed with readings of poetry, prose and scripture. Using every part of the concert hall, (including the aisles and balcony) the choir embraces the audience in song during this cherished event.

Dec. 3-5 COLUMBUS SYMPHONY HOLIDAY POPS

CSO Holidays Pops, a wonderful community tradition. Perfect for families. Best not be naughty, though. Santa usually makes an appearance, and he’s taking names!

The Columbus Symphony’s holiday tradition is back with spectacular performances of your favorite holiday songs and carols featuring the Columbus Children’s Choir and starring singer Capathia Jenkins and your Columbus Symphony.

Dec. 5 LESSONS AND CAROLS AT ST. JOSEPH CATHEDRAL

Richard K. Fitzgerald’s exquisite cathedral Schola is featured in a beloved Christmas tradition, brought from Victorian England. Central Ohio inspires with music and readings in the great space of St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Columbus. With the Cathedral Brass, Amanda Renee Mole, organ, and the Choir. And you. Show up early.

Dec. 10-16 BALLET MET THE NUTCRACKER

Everyone missed Tchaikovsky’s glorious fairy tale ballet when performances were suspended in 2020. A year later, the Nutcracker returns to the Ohio Theater. Ballet Met presents Gerard Charles’s choreography and Tchaikovsky’s glittering score. Your kids may be dancing. Did you, back in the day? Do you remember your grandparents taking you to the Nutcracker when you were five years old? Do the same for a child this year.

Dec. 19 LESSONS AND CAROLS AT FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

The First Church Choir and guest musicians perform under the direction of Minister of Music Kevin Jones. The choirs of First Church will come together to present music by Howells, Esenvalds, Will Todd, Willocks, and others. Not forgetting your favorite carols. This beautiful festival was part of the WOSU broadcast schedule for many years. We are delighted to continue to promote this annual event, performed in one of Columbus’s loveliest churches. Again, get there early.

Dec. 19 LESSONS AND CAROLS AT TRINITY CHURCH, CAPITAL SQUARE COLUMBUS

Kevin Wines is one of Central Ohio’s most loved church musicians. Trinity Church’s annual Lessons and Carols Festival is a chance to sit and revel in Christmas spirituality in another magnificent interior. Music will fill Trinity Church. And yes, people have “commuted” to the L&C festival between Trinity and First Congregational Church. They are neighbors. The fleet of foot can do it. Others revel in one space.

And here’s one that’s after Advent:

Jan. 7 EARLY MUSIC IN COLUMBUS'S TWELFTH NIGHT CELEBRATION

Performed by The Early Interval and presented by Early Music in Columbus. This year’s celebration is called “Journey to the New World” Featuring vocals, strings, winds and a wealth of percussion, this colorful repertoire showcases the vibrant fusion of cultures and music throughout the Americas.