Weekend MusicWatch

Sacred and secular sounds abound on this wet, wintry Oregon weekend

As you’d expect, it’s mostly holiday music on Oregon stages this weekend, but there are some secular sounds around for the grinches among us too. This list represents only a fraction of the many holiday shows around the state, so please add others you recommend to our comments section below.

Gourmet Opera
December 9-13
Studio Theater, Lincoln Hall. 1620 SW Park Ave. Portland State University.
PSU’s well endowed and acclaimed opera program always boasts high spirits and technical standards, and this fully staged production of a pair of one act operas with food at their centers makes a tasty pairing. Bizet’s short, early comedy Dr. Miracle features wooing by omelette, while Lee Hoiby’s 1989 Bon Appetit stars PSU prof Christine Meadows as uber foodie Julia Child. There will be cake.

A pair of food related one act operas are on the menu this weekend at Portland State. Photo: John Rudoff.

A pair of food related one act operas are on the menu this weekend at Portland State. Photo: John Rudoff.

“The Spirit of John Coltrane: from Birmingham to PDX”
Dec. 9
Alberta Abbey, 126 Alberta St. Portland.
A quartet of Portland’s supreme jazzers (pianist Darrell Grant, saxophonist Devin Phillips, drummer Alan Jones, and bassist Jon Lakey) play composer/saxophonist John Coltrane’s classic quartet’s magisterial, half century old, four part, album length suite, A Love Supreme. At 6 pm at the former Baptist Church turned concert hall, Oregon ArtsWatch journalist Marty Hughley will lead a panel discussion on the connections between that Birmingham bombing and this year’s racist Charleston massacre and music’s role in response to such race-related issues, with Grant, Portland jazzer Carlton Jackson, writer/performer S. Renee Mitchell, and Pancho Savery.

Yo-Yo Ma
December 9, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland, and December 11, Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center, Eugene.
Wednesday’s sold out Portland show is a solo recital featuring J.S. Bach’s immortal cello suites along with contemporary music by Mark O’Connor and others, while Friday’s sold out Eugene concert pairs the world’s most famous cellist (and an admirably exploratory musician despite his celebrity) with the Eugene Symphony in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto and rhapsodies by Eastern European composers. Since the shows have long been sold out, we’re only telling you about it to taunt you for your tardiness if you didn’t score overpriced tickets.

David Friesen
December 9, East Glisan Lounge, December 10,  No Ho’s Hawaiian Cafe, December 12, Solae’s Lounge.
For the 40th year, one of the Northwest’s greatest jazzers presents Christmas concerts at various Portland venues, featuring his quintet.

Andrew Endres Collective, Blue Cranes
December 10
Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Ave. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the young Portland jazzers’ CD release show.

“Swinging On A Star!”
Emerald City Jazz Kings
December 10 & 13, The Shedd, 868 High St. Eugene.
Singer Shirley Andress leads a parade of vocalists in the Kings’ 20th annual Christmas show featuring swing-era style arrangements of carols and other wintry songs.

Spanish Brass
December 11
Winningstad Theatre, 1111 Broadway, Portland.
The international award winning quintet of top-notch brass players (trumpets, trombone, tuba, horn) focuses on American and English holiday tunes (including a pair of Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown classics) for its current tour of Christmas music, but still finds room for Italian Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli’s ever-popular Christmas Concerto and music from their Iberian homeland.

“Anything Goes”
December 11-12
Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this new production of the 1987 revival of Cole Porter’s exuberant 1934 musical, featuring some of the greatest songs of the era.

Portland Gay Men's Chorus performs its holiday show this weekend.

Portland Gay Men’s Chorus performs its holiday show this weekend.

“The Most Wonderful Season”
December 11-13, Newmark Theater, 1111 Broadway, Portland.
December 19, First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street, Eugene.
Portland Gay Men’s Chorus
Augmented by brass and percussion and then a rock band, the 130 voice choir sings music by Handel and Palestrina, Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, Stevie Wonder, and other holiday songs for Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, and Kwanzaa, including Randol Alan Bass’s Gloria, written for the New York Pops.

“Glory of Christmas”
Oregon Repertory Singers, December 11 & 13
First United Methodist Church, 1838 SW Jefferson St. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the choir’s annual holiday show.

“Gospel Christmas”
December 11-13
Oregon Symphony, Northwest Community Gospel Choir, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland.
Guest conductors Charles Floyd and Gary Hemenway lead the orchestra and chorus in the 17th annual seasonal celebration.

December 11-13
Portland Baroque Orchestra and Cappella Romana, First Baptist Church, SW 12th & Taylor, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of PBO’s annual historically informed, complete performance of Handel’s stirring oratorio. Check this rehearsal video for a special version of its famous chorus dedicated to the newly crowned MLS champion Portland Timbers.

Vox Resonat
Dec. 12, First Presbyterian Church, 823 SE Lane Ave, Roseburg
Dec. 13, Central Lutheran Church, 18th and Potter, Eugene
The early vocal music consort led by University of Oregon prof and Sequentia singer Eric Mentzel sings 16th and 17th century Christmas music by Schütz, Praetorius, and more.

“On This Day the Earth Shall Ring”
Choral Arts Ensemble
Dec. 12, First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1126 SW Park Avenue, Portland, and Dec. 13, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, 3228 SW Sunset Blvd, Portland.
David DeLyser leads the choir through a fresh program traditional and contemporary music (by Ola Gjeilo and another rising choral composer, Jake Runestad) of the season, including Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to the Virgin, Randall Thompson’s Frost-y setting, Stopping by Woods, and more.

Newport Symphony, Corvallis Repertory Singers and Central Coast Chorale
December 12-13
Steve Zielke leads singers and players in Christmas carols plus music from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Beaverton native Morten Lauridsen’s popular Lux Aeterna and Mozart’s even more popular Exultate, Jubilate.

Portland Symphonic Choir
December 12-13
Central Lutheran Church, Portland.
The 140 voice choirs offers its annual holiday music program.

December 12-13
Central Oregon Mastersingers, Tower Theatre, Bend.
Handel on the east side of the Cascades.

Junior Symphony of Vancouver
December 13
Northside Baptist Church, 5201 NE Minnehaha St, Vancouver, WA.
The youth orchestra plays music by Telemann, Leopold Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Christmas carols.

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