Arts & Culture

Musical merrymaking

Christmas carols, Celtic ballads, instrumental favorites … The possibilities are practically endless when it comes to holiday music.

Here’s a handful of options for the merry music lover in your life. Check out our Holiday Calendar online (www.sanluisobispo .com/2012/11/26/2307427/slo-county-holiday-events -guide.html) for more events sure to put a song in your heart.

• Brocelïande — Coalesce Bookstore, Friday ($15)

• "Christmas with the Celts" — Chumash Casino Resort, Dec. 15 ($15 to $35)

For a truly traditional celebration, look no further than Friday’s yuletide concert by Brocelïande. The trio, which consists of harpist Margaret Davis, guitarist Kristoph Klover and cellist Kris Yenney, specializes in Celtic, medieval and Renaissance music.

The concert pairs perfectly with “Christmas with the Celts” on Dec. 15, featuring an array of Irish and Scottish carols performed on traditional Gaelic instruments and accompanied by Irish dancing. Proceeds benefit the Central Coast Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots drive.

• "Chanson for Christmas" — United Methodist Church, Saturday ($12 to $15)

Here’s a blast of holiday cheer, courtesy of the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra.

Led by music director William Johnson, Cal Poly’s former director of bands, the 45-member woodwind and percussion group offers a joyful concert featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Blessed Be the Man” and Gregory B. Rudgers’ “Chanson for Christmas,” based on the 16th-century French carol “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella.” There’s also a medley of fun Christmas favorites.

• Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks — SLO Brewing Company, Friday ($28 to $30)

Dan Hicks is “Crazy for Christmas.”

On his first-ever holiday album, Hicks and his band, the Hot Licks, put their own special spin on the season — reinterpreting classics such as “Carol of the Bells,” “I Saw Mommy Kissin’ Santa Claus” and “Run Run Rudolph.”

Each track is replete with wit, humor and Hicks’ signature sound blending elements of swing, folk, jazz and country music.

Join Hick and the Hot Licks as they celebrate “Holidaze in Hicksville.”

Cuesta Master Chorale and Orchestra — Cohan Center, Cal Poly, Dec. 15 ($11 to $32)

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s choral masterpiece, “All-Night Vigil,” is at the center of the Cuesta Master Chorale’s annual holiday concert.

Inspired by the Russian Orthodox prayer service traditionally lasting from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. the following morning, Rachmaninoff wrote his opus during the winter of 1915. The piece, which premiered in Moscow that March, remains “a true monument of early 20th century a capella choral music,” said conductor Thomas Davies, director of choral activities at Cal Poly.

• Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday Concert and Sing-Along — Cohan Center, Cal Poly, Dec. 16 ($9)

• Christmas and Holiday Sing-Along — Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 4 p.m. Dec. 16 ($6 to $12)

Get out that pitch pipe. It’s time for a good, old-fashioned holiday sing-along.

In San Luis Obispo, the Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday Concert and Sing-Along invites audiences to help the Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Central Coast Children’s Choir and Cal Poly organist Paul Woodring celebrate the season.

The Christmas and Holiday Sing-Along in Arroyo Grande features performances by a host of community groups — including the Big Rock Balalaikas, Chrome Addicts Steel Drum Duo and Claddagh Irish Dancers — all centered on the theme “Joy to the World.” Attendees are invited to wear traditional folk costumes.

• The Irish Tenors with the San Luis Obispo Symphony — Cohan Center, Cal Poly, Dec. 21 ($34 to $75)

Fresh from the Emerald Isle, the Irish Tenors are back for an evening of holiday cheer.

The legendary singing trio, which previously performed in San Luis Obispo in 2006 and 2007, returns with more traditional Christmas songs and classic Irish ballads. Group members Anthony Kearns, Ronan Tynan and Finbar Wright will perform alongside 30 members of the San Luis Obispo Symphony.


Chumash Casino Resort, 3400 East Highway 246, Santa Ynez ; 800-248-6274,

Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande; 489-9444,

Coalesce Bookstore, 845 Main St., Morro Bay; 772-2880, http://coalesce

Cohan Center, Cal Poly; 756-4849,

SLO Brewing Company, 1119 Garden St., San Luis Obispo; 543-1843, www.slobrewing

United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks St., San Luis Obispo; 456-3333,