When multi-color lights begin beaming down the sidewalks of each neighborhood and freshly cut trees can be seen on the rooftops of cars, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. One of the most obvious signs of the season is the music. While listening to your favorite mix from the comfort of your home is fun, to get in the true spirit head out to a local event for a live performance that is sure to be a gift for your ears.

Begin spreading holiday cheer for all to hear at Tenino Winterfest on December 2, 2017. Tenino High School hosts this annual event from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Along with a wide variety of local vendors, the sounds of caroling and live entertainment will be provided to those who attend. While the entry to this event is free, it is a fundraiser for the Tenino Food Bank.

olympia holiday concerts
Olympia Youth Chorus’ youngest singers, aged 5 through 6th grade will perform holiday music. Photo credit: Olympia Youth Chorus

Also on December 2, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and continuing on December 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., journey the Hotel RL and the Providence Christmas Forest. Saturday is Kid’s Day with a wide variety of holiday music and entertainment throughout the day including Kids in Concert, Inspired to Move Dance Academy and NTHS Jazz Choir. Sunday offers the SPSCC Jazz Band and Olympia Youth Chorus to name a few. Full schedules and ticket prices found here.

The United Churches of Olympia will host a Carols and Cookies Singalong on December 3. Join the spirit of the season by singing along with some of the classic music of Christmas. A suggested donation of $10 is welcome at this event with all the money raised benefiting the Community Care Center Emergency Needs Fund. The first note plays at 3:00 p.m. and continues until 5:00 p.m.

olympia choral society
The Olympia Choral Society will perform their 20th free holiday concert and donations are always appreciated.

The Olympia Choral Society presents their 20th Annual Christmas concert on December 8, 9 and 10, 2017 at the Koval Center for the Performing Arts. This group is made up of auditioned singers from across the Puget Sound region with a mission to bring free, quality musical performances to the community. This year’s concert theme is “The Best of Christmas Past” focusing on the classic Christmas songs loved by many for decades. Every year, the event is organized to gather donations for a community based project. This year, donations are being accepted to benefit the North Thurston Education Foundation which provides grants and scholarships to students and teachers in North Thurston Public Schools.

Join the community of Tumwater for the 15th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Festival on Saturday, December 9, 2017. Choirs from East Olympia Elementary, Tumwater Hill Elementary, and Peter G. Schmidt Elementary, and the Old Town Center Senior Choir will be on hand to bring the sound of the season to attendees. The festival of music and holiday traditions begins at 2:00 p.m. but be sure to stick around for the ultimate Christmas tree lighting at 5:00 p.m. along with a special visit from the man of the hour, Santa Claus.

Also on December 9, 2017 is the SOGO (Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia) present their annual Brass Choir Holiday show, or SOGO HOHO, entitled, “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.” Enjoy holiday classics including It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, March from The Nutcracker, There’s No Place Like Home  and more. The concert is held at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 2:00 p.m. Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby will join the fun to narrate ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Tickets can be purchased online here. $5 for students, $10 for adults and $25 for a family of four.

Aspire Middle School for the Performing Arts gives students an opportunity to perform holiday classics at the Koval Center for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Emmely Campos

Speaking of North Thurston Public Schools, did you know they have a performing arts based middle school? Aspire Middle School for the Performing Arts is a public, magnet school within the district. Here, students from all over Lacey converge to act, dance, play musical instruments and sing. On December 13, 2017, the choir program will be held at the Koval Center for the Performing Arts. This performance will include holiday hits and wonderful winter songs. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

“Heaven and Nature Sing” with the Women of Note. This auditioned vocal ensemble from South Puget Sound plans to bring a concert featuring a variety of Christmas songs that include animals. Along with the classics we all know and love, the group will feature brand-new carols, too. The performance takes place on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at the Shelton High School Performing Arts Center and is free to the community.

olympia holiday concert
Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along is scheduled for Monday, December 18. Photo credit: Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia

Finally, the Washington Center for the Performing Arts will play host to the Student Orchestras of Greater Orchestra (SOGO) on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. for their 17th annual Messiah Sing-Along. SOGO brings young musicians together to play for the community at a variety of forums. They invite elementary, middle and high school students to audition each year. This free, public performance is a downtown tradition allowing audiences of all ages to sing these classic songs together.

The sound of the season is all around Thurston County! Take one or all of these opportunities to experience the holiday spirit in our community.

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