9 Don’t-Miss Holiday Events in Westchester

The holiday season is here and Westchester has festive events for audiences of all ages, including fresh renditions of The Nutcracker, live performances of A Christmas Carol, holiday concerts, gift-making activities and much more! Explore our list of upcoming can’t-miss holiday events below.

For many, the Christmas holiday season doesn’t truly begin until the melody of Handel’s Messiah fills the room. On December 9, Westchester Oratorio Society (WOS) will present a “Scratch” version of the holiday favorite. This edition will invite audience members to join the WOS chamber chorus and St. Luke’s choir in singing the choruses of the song. The concert will be accompanied by a pipe organ in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Somers. westchesteroratorio.org

ArtsWestchester will keep its gallery open late for an evening of holiday festivities. Guests can participate in a do-it-yourself holiday gift-making activity, browse the current Brick by Brick exhibition and network with other arts enthusiasts. DJ CLIFFMATIC will provide the soundtrack for the night. The event is part of ArtsWestchester’s “Gallery Nite Out” (GNO), a series of creative interactive events that take place on the first Thursday evening of every month. January’s GNO event will take place on a special date, January 10, and will include live DJs and beer and food tastings during a “Craft Beer and Brushstrokes”-themed night. artsw.org/galleryniteout

In celebration of Kwanzaa, teaching artist Pamela Tucker will lead a free collage workshop that explores African ceremonial textiles. During the session, which is supported by an ArtsWestchester Arts Alive grant, children will paint geometric and organic patterns. These works will later be combined into a large collaborative art piece. Pieces from this and two previous workshops will be on display at the Mount Vernon Public Library at a later date. The workshop will also take place at the Library. mountvernonpubliclibrary.org

In 1867, Charles Dickens toured the United States to perform the story told in his own classic novel, A Christmas Carol. Today, M&M Performing Arts has adapted these presentations by recreating the author’s performances. Actor Michael Von Brodeck will play Dickens, telling the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the many spirits and characters that fill his life. “Dickens” will wander the rooms of Lyndhurst Mansion, which is decorated for the holiday season. For instance, the parlor is staged to represent a traditional Victorian Christmas display. Performances take place between December 14 and 30. Tours of the mansion take place through December 30. lyndhurst.org

The a-cappella quartet New York Polyphony will perform twice in Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts’ Music Room on December 15. The group will present “Sing Thee Nowell,” a program of sacred Christmas music from seven centuries. Guests are encouraged to tour the Center’s Rosen House between performances. Other holiday events in the Music Room this season include Caramoor’s Holiday Tea Musicale tradition – an afternoon of holiday music, decorations and tea service from December 5 through 13, and a visit from Santa that will be accompanied by games and holiday songs on December 16. caramoor.org

Sanctuary Series presents a performance by organist, harpsichordist and Bach specialist Anthony Newman who, leading into the holiday season, will play a selection of Bach compositions. Three trumpeters, David Glukh, Max Morel and Sam Jones, will accompany Newman during a program that includes selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier and portions of Christmas Oratorio, Italian Concerto and more. Newman is music director of Bach Works, New York’s all-Bach association. The concert will take place at the South Salem Presbyterian Church. thesanctuaryseries.com

Songcatchers24th annual Concert for Peace will begin and end this year with songs about bringing peace to a troubled world. These include This is My Wish by Tim and Angela Lauer and There is Peace by Jim Papoulis. The multigenerational choir of about 60 singers will sing a selection of multicultural and interfaith songs for the holiday spirit, including Christmas carols (Carol of the Bells, O Come All Ye Faithful), Hava Nashira in Hebrew, a Spanish carol and an African peace song or spiritual for Kwanzaa. A “Litany of Peace,” will also discuss the hopes and wishes of the choir’s young participants. The concert takes place at the College of New Rochelle Chapel. songcatchers.org

Westchester Philharmonic’s annual “Winter Pops!” concert will include Time for Three, a trio consisting of two violinists – Nicolas Kendall and Charles Yang – and bassist Ranaan Meyer. The group, which will be led by conductor Rachael Worby, will play classics, American Songbook standards and holiday favorites at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College (PAC).  Other holiday events at PAC include the Italian folk tale of Amahl and the Night Visitors, which tells the story of the Nativity and Epiphany (12/8); Boston Brass & Brass All-Stars, which performs big band arrangements of holiday classics (12/9); the annual rock, jazz and blues holiday concert by Rob Mathes, with special guests Sting, David Sanborn and Vanessa Williams (12/14 and 12/15); and more. artscenter.org

A family-friendly adaptation of the classic seasonal ballet The Nutcracker brings Westchester’s professional ballet company Ballet des Amériques to the Emelin Theatre stage. Inspired by the choreographic works of Marius Petipa and Rudolf Nureyev, choreographer Carole Alexis’s vision channels the essence of the classic dance in her one-hour adaptation. Among other events at Emelin Theatre this holiday season is a concert by The Klezmatics called “Happy Joyous Hanukkah, Lyrics by Woodie Guthrie,” a concert of Hanukkah songs written by Guthrie. emelintheatre.org

A version of this article first appeared in the December/January issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.
presented by Mamaroneck Artists Guild

December 8 | Festival Orchestra Winter Concert: The Young Masters
presented by Hoff-Barthleson Music School
at Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation (White Plains)

December 16 | Family Holiday Concert
presented by New Rochelle Public Library

December 16 | Winter Holiday Concert
presented by Westchester Chordsmen
at First Presbyterian Church of Ossining

December 18 | Holiday Evening (Bûche et chants)
presented by Alliance Francaise of Westchester

December 13, 24, 25 | It’s a Wonderful Life
presented by Bedford Playhouse on 12/13 and Jacob Burns Film Center on 12/24-25

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