A Holiday Music Roundup for the Monadnock Region

From elementary school sing-alongs to Christmas night contra dances, the most beloved holiday songs can be heard joyfully emanating from concert venues across the Monadnock region. These annual celebrations remind us that it doesn’t matter if you’re listening in a school auditorium, church, museum, pub, town hall or an iconic theater. That musical traditions bring together our extended communities of friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate the season in peace and gratitude.

Each year the Monadnock region holiday music calendar is packed to the hilt with annual festivities. We hope you enjoy the many wonderful concerts happening.

Cherish the Ladies: A Celtic Christmas

They have grown from a one-time concert concept to an Irish traditional music sensation, literally the most successful and sought-after Irish-American group in Celtic music. In the process, they have shared the stage with the likes of James Taylor, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, The Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem, The Chieftains and loads more. They bring their special holiday show to the Colonial Theatre for an evening that includes virtuoso instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing.

When: Sat. December 12th @8pm
Where: Colonial Theater (95 Main St., Keene)
Tickets: $35/$31/$21

Monadnock Chorus: Christmas In Our Town

Monadnock Chorus annual performance featuring Pinkham ‘Christmas Cantata’, Saint Saens ‘Oratorio de Noel’ with brass accompaniment. The chorus will be joined by the Boston City Singers for this event.

When: Sat. December 12the @7:30pm
Where: Peterborough Town House (1 Grove St., Peterborough)
Price: Tickets $18 advance / $20 at the door

Keene Chorale Holiday Music

The annual Keene Chorale winter concert is a much loved holiday tradition in the Monadnock area. This year’s offering, Songs of the Season, will kick off the holidays as we perform a collection of carols by John Rutter, works by Hector Berlioz, Richard Smith, Daniel Johann Grimm, J. S. Bach, César Franck, and John Jacob Niles. Artistic Director William C. Davis will direct the Chorale, returning Tenor soloist Kirk Bobkowski, and The Keene Chorale Orchestra. Continuing the Chorale tradition at Christmas, Mr. Davis will lead the audience in a carol sing at the end of the program.

When: Sun, December 13, 2pm – 4pm
Where: St. Bernard Church (185 Main St., Keene)
Price: Tickets $5 – $18

Christmas Stories & Caroling with Sebastian Lockwood & Nanette Perrotte

Make this Mariposa tradition a part of your own holiday tradition as we enjoy caroling, wassail, and a reading of two nostalgic Christmas stories: Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” and Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” Sebastian Lockwood is poet, teacher, and traveling storyteller. Nanette Perrotte is a singer, composer, and educator. Together, they create a magical, memorable holiday evening.

When: Thu, December 17, 6:30pm – 6:30pm
Where: Mariposa Museum (6 Main St., Peterborough)
Cost: No charge, but donations gladly accepted.

Hancock Family Christmas Concert

Enjoy the beautiful live music in Hancock presented by Music on Norway Pond. The annual Hancock Family Christmas Concert will feature Lorraine and Bennett Hammond, folk artists, the Junior Minstrels, the Norway Pond Festival Singers, and the Village Ringers.

When: Sat, December 19, 4pm – 4pm
Where: Hancock Meetinghouse, Hancock
Cost: No charge, but donations gladly accepted.

Messiah Sing

The United Church of Christ in Keene on Central Square is hosting its annual Messiah Sing on Sunday, December 20, at 7 p.m. with soloists, organ, and chamber orchestra. Come to sing or to listen.  Singers needing scores may borrow them from the church for the evening. A reception for all follows the concert. The church is handicapped accessible through the rear entrance off Vernon Street.

When: Sun. December 20 @7pm
Where: United Church of Christ (23 Central Square, Keene)
Cost: No charge, but donations gladly accepted.

Christmas Night Contra Dance

It’s the 18th annual Christmas Night dance at the Nelson Town Hall. The holiday festivities and concert, presented by Monadnock Folklore Society, begin at 8:00 pm. Dancing will end early because there will be a dessert potluck afterwards so bring treats. Admission is free — the Monadnock Folklore Society sponsors this dance as a gift to the community. It’s a Christmas night dance. Live music by Gordon Peery will be on piano and we’ll shed a tear for Bob McQuillen. Amy Cann will be on fiddle and if we’re lucky, Avi Fagen will bring his vibraphone. It’s always a good night!

When: Fri, December 25, 8pm – 10pm
Where: Nelson Town Hall (7 Nelson Common Rd., Nelson)
Cost: No charge, a gift to the community

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