Perfect Pitch: Sounds of the Season

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the Nation’s Capital never disappoints with an array of to get you in the mood for family, friends and cheer.


Photo Courtesy of Donal Fox

Renowned jazz pianist Donal Fox performs three short sets in the Stuart Davis exhibition, right in front of the work “Swing Landscape” An American composer, pianist and improviser, Fox is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1997 Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition. Though this is not billed as a holiday concert, jazz music has that infectious sparkling quality to put you in a cheery mood any time of the year. The National Gallery of Art, West Building. Saturday, December 3 at 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. FREE. www.


Photo Courtesy of The Tallis Scholars

Be prepared to be transported in time as the famed a cappella ensemble makes their Library of Congress debut. Under the direction of Peter Phillips, the vocal ensemble is known around the world for their excellent command of tone and musicianship. They have performed the music of the Renaissance in many prestigious halls, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Sistine Chapel, Wigmore Hall and the Sydney Opera House, among others. Tuesday, December 6 at 8:00 p.m. Coolidge Auditorium, The Library of Congress. Ground Floor-Thomas Jefferson Building. FREE.


Photo Courtesy of Step Afrika

Step Afrika gets audiences in the holiday spirit this year with a twist on a holiday classic! A jazzy twist on Tchaikovsky’s famous musical masterpiece, the outstanding dance troupe swing to the beat of the classic in jazz master Duke Ellington’s arrangement along with standards by Strayhorn and jazz composer Paul Murtha. Semi-staged, performances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will take place at The Music Center at Strathmore and Baltimore’s Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Thursday, December 8, 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD, 20852 Tickets:. $12.50-60.00 

December 9-11 (performance times: 7:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.). Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. 1212 Cathedral Place. Baltimore, MD 20852


Photo Courtesy of the National Philharmonic

The holiday season seems incomplete without the performance of Handel’s most popular choral work “Messiah.” Conductor Stanley Engebretson leads an impressive cast of soloists including soprano Danielle Talamantes, Magdalena Wor, tenor Matthew Smith and Christopheren Nomura with the chorale and orchestra. And if that does not get you excited, imagine standing tall with the other members of the audience to sing the famous “Hallelujah” Chorus. The Music Center at Strathmore. 5301 Tuckerman Lane. North Bethesda, MD 20852. Ticket information:

Saturday, December 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 18 at 3:00 p.m


Photo Courtesy of The Washington Chorus

Join The Washington Chorus for their annual concert of holiday favorites accompanied by organ, brass and percussion. From the procession of the choir by candlelight to the majesty of the brass and organ, this is a concert that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. This concert marks music director Julian Wachner’s last holiday concert with the chorus that he has served conducting for the last 10 seasons. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 2700 F Street NW, Washington, 20566. Ticket information:

Sunday, December 11 at 2:00 p.m
Saturday, December 17 at 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 p.m.


Recently named among the Forty Under 40 for his contributions to arts and humanities, Patrick D. McCoy received a B.M. in vocal performance from Virginia State University and a M.M. in church music from the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va. , where he serves on the alumni board of directors. He has contributed arts and culture pieces to CBS Washington, The Afro-American Newspaper and the newly published book, “In Spite of the Drawbacks” (Association of Black Women Historians), which includes his chapter on legendary soprano Leontyne Price. McCoy has interviewed some of the most acclaimed artists of our time, including Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, Martina Arroyo, Denyce Graves, Eric Owens, Norman Scribner, Julian Wachner, Christine Brewer and Lawrence Brownlee. He is music director at Trinity Episcopal Church, DC. Listen to these interviews and others at Blog Talk Radio. Additionally, he is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America. McCoy may be reached via email at and on Twitter @PatrickDMcCoy.

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