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'Tis the Season to Listen

From New Age synth rock to serious comic opera, there’s holiday music around town for every taste
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

Nothing ignites the holiday spirit like music — and you can find plenty of festive music happening around town between now and the start of the New Year.

Music is a big part of Light Up Downtown, the city’s third-annual public lighting ceremony, which runs from 5:15 to 6:30 pm Friday, Nov. 17, at the West Park Blocks. Check out everyone from Mayor Lucy Vinis to the UO Duck and Eugene’s Slug Queen Santa Frida Elisa Refugio Babosita at a festive event that includes music by Eugene Concert Choir, Ridgeline Ukulele Extravaganza and the Sheldon High School Dublinaires. The fun continues downtown on Friday evenings in December. FREE.

You’ll hear a progressive New Age holiday sound at the celebration of the 32nd anniversary of the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album at the Hult Center, 7:30 pm Sunday, Nov. 26, when Chip Davis and the ’rollers bring that sound alive, complete with multimedia effects. Tickets $35 and up at hultcenter.org.

For a traditional performance from a long-time Eugene choral group, check out The Eugene Gleemen’s Christmas Holiday Concert at 7:30 pm Saturday, Dec. 2, at Central Presbyterian Church, 555 E. 15th Avenue; and at 2:30 pm Sunday, Dec. 3, at Wildish Theater, 630 Main Street, Springfield. Tickets are $15, $12 student and seniors, at the door or at eugenegleemen.org for the Saturday show or wildishtheater.com for Sunday.

For an oompahing good time, check out the Oregon Tuba Association’s Tuba Carol Christmas at noon Sunday, Dec. 3, at Two Rivers/Dos Rios Elementary School at 10th and G streets in Springfield. FREE.

Jazz it up at The Shedd in December when the Jazz Kings offer An Old-Fashioned Christmas in performances 7:30 pm Wednesday, Dec. 6, and 3 pm Sunday, Dec. 10. The program, with vocals by Shirley Andress, Bill Hulings and others, includes American Songbook standards such as “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Tickets are $24-$34 at theshedd.org.

The concert will be repeated 7:30 pm Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the LaSells Stewart Center in Corvallis and 7:30 pm Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Florence Events Center in Florence. See theshedd.org for tickets.

Finally, no holiday season would be complete in Eugene without the annual New Year’s Eve Eugene Opera performance at the Hult Center. This year the opera is, yet again, back from the dead, having survived its latest operatic brush with insolvency.

To open its new season of two shows it’s putting on Gioachino Rossini’s crowd-pleasing comedy The Barber of Seville with baritone Jake Gardner, bass-baritone Malcolm MacKenzie, soprano Heather Johnson and tenor Javier Abreu. Performances are 2:30 pm Saturday, Dec. 30, and 7:30 pm Sunday, Dec. 31. Tickets are $20 to $79 ($15 for students) at eugeneopera.com.