Sounds of the Season: 2021 Holiday Concerts

By Ed Healy

Published on | Last Updated

For most of us the holidays are magical because they are so musical. Buffalo offers music lovers ample opportunity to experience the sounds of the season live and in person in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas and this year is no exception. There’s an impressive line-up of rock, jazz, classical and choral concerts that should keep you in the holiday spirit all the year through.

1. The Nutcracker (Nov. 27 and 28, Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo)

2. Elf in Concert (Dec. 3 at 7:30pm, Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo) –

3. Vocalis (Dec. 3 at 8:00pm S.S. Peter & Paul Church in Williamsville; Dec. 4 at 7:30pm Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Buffalo) – Breathtakingly beautiful acapella arrangements of choral classics, overlooked repertoire and holiday standards.

4. ESI Events Presents The BBC Band 6th Annual Holiday Show (Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 7:30pm,  Tralf Music Hall)

5. Charlie Brown is in Town with Ed Croft (Dec. 3 and 4 from 7:00pm-10:00pm, Pausa Art House, Buffalo) – The jazz Christmas classic by the Vince Guaraldi Trio will be brought to life in the cozy confines of Allentown’s Pausa Art House.

6. Orchard Park Symphony – Holiday Stories! (Dec. 3 at 7:30pm, Orchard Park Middle School)

7. Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus (Dec. 4 at 7:30pm, Trinity Episcopal Church, Buffalo; Dec. 5 at 3:00pm, North Presbyterian Church, Williamsville) – This much-loved choral group brings its good cheer to two beautiful churches.

8. “The Nutcracker” performed by American Academy of Ballet at the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts (Dec. 4, 1pm and 6pm at UB) – This perennial family favorite makes a return visit to UB.

9. A Charlie Brown Christmas at Seneca One (Dec. 5 at 2:00pm, Seneca One Tower, Buffalo)

10. Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun Honky Tonk Holiday Show (Dec. 5 at 5pm, Sportman’s Tavern, Buffalo) – Bill Kirchen cut his considerable chops with Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen back in the day and is still on the road bringing the twang ‘n’ roll to roadhouses like the Sportsmen’s.

11. Winter Choral Spectacular (Dec. 10 at 7:30pm, Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College, Buffalo) – The Buffalo State Chamber Choir, Chorale, and Vocal Jazz Ensemble will celebrate the winter season in song.

12. BPO: JoAnn’s Classical Christmas (Dec. 10 at 10:30am and Dec. 11 at 7:30pm, Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo) – The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonic Chorus treat listeners to an array of holiday favorites in the incomparable surroundings of Kleinhans Music Hall.

13. BPO Jingle Bell Jam (Virtual FREE BROADCAST this year on Dec. 12th at 2:30pm) – The BPO’s annual kids’ concert ends on a very high note with an appearance by Santa Claus.

14. Musicians of Buffalo 2021 Christmas Event (Dec. 15 at 7pm, The Stage, Buffalo) – This is a fun event that consists of Christmas tunes with a rock and big band edge as well as a full rock set consisting of classics and originals. You will not want to miss this very special show. Portions of the proceeds are donated to Robby Takac’s Music is Art Organization.

15. “The Twelve Days of Christmas with Harmonia” presented by the Harmonia Chamber Singers (Dec. 18 at 7:30pm, St. Peter RC Church, Lewiston; Dec. 19 at 4:00pm, St. Joseph University Church, Buffalo) – Another opportunity to sample Buffalo’s wealth of acapella talent.

16. Christmas with The New York Tenors (Dec. 15th at 7:00pm, Riviera Theatre, North Tonawanda)

17. John Morris Russell’s Holiday Pops (Dec. 16-19, Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo) – John Morris Russell, the BPO’s Pops Conductor, leads this stellar ensemble in an always entertaining celebration of holiday standards.

18. A Carpenters Christmas (Dec. 17 at 8:00pm, Riviera Theater, North Tonawanda)

19. East Aurora Carolcade (Dec. 18, Main Street, East Aurora) – For the past 49 years, the people of East Aurora have been gathering in front of Vidler’s 5&10 to sing the season in. Bob Cratchit and George Bailey would be right at home among this friendly crowd of well-wishers.

20. Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Eve & Other Stories (Dec. 21, KeyBank Center, Buffalo)

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Ed Healy

Ed Healy is the vice president of marketing for Visit Buffalo Niagara.