Holiday music for all tastes in December at TPAC and the Schermerhorn

Christmas carols won’t be the only thing you hear this December if you want to get out and enjoy some of the fantastic variety of mostly holiday-themed music available downtown in the Music City. It would be impossible to list all of the choices, but here are a few of the more intriguing ones, arranged by two great venues, Nashville’s Symphony Hall and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and its affiliated venue, the War Memorial Auditorium.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center



A Holiday Music Experience with KEM & Friends will be presented without orchestra on Sunday, December 22 at 7:30 pm.
Celebrate the season and spend a very special evening with R&B superstar KEM when he performs at the Schermerhorn for the first time! Born in Nashville, this phenomenal singer-songwriter-producer burst onto the scene a decade ago when Motown Records released his debut album KEMISTRY. His spiritual and soulful sounds will bring the house down when he performs music from his holiday album What Christmas Means. Special Opener: actor Anthony Anderson.

The Irish Tenors Christmas Show is on Thursday, December 5 at 7:00 pm, featuring the Nashville Symphony with Lloyd Butler, conductor.

The Snowman will be presented as part of the Children’s Series on Saturday, December 7 at 11:00 am, with the Nashville Symphony.

Enjoy Handel’s Messiah on Wednesday, December 11 at 7:00 pm.; Thursday, December 12 at 7:00 pm.; or Friday, December 13 at 8:00 pm with the Nashville Symphony, Matthew Halls, conductor, and the Nashville Symphony Chorus, with Kelly Corcoran, chorus director, will feature Lei Xu, soprano; Hyona Kim, mezzo-soprano; Andrew Stenson, tenor; and Jeongcheol Cha, bass.

Christmas with Amy Grant & Vince Gill is Thursday, December 19 at 7:00 pm; Friday, December 20 at 8:00 pm; Saturday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m.; and Saturday, December 21 at 8:00 pm with the Nashville Symphony, Kelly Corcoran, conductor.


A Christmas Story will be at Andrew Johnson Theater November 29 through December 22 — Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his unflappable campaign to get Santa (or anyone else) to give him a “legendary official Red Rider carbine-action 200 shot range-model air rifle.”

Nashville Ballet presents Nashville’s Nutcracker at Andrew Jackson Hall December 7 through December 22. Nashville’s own version of this timeless holiday classic tells the tale of Clara, a young girl who goes on a fantastic journey with the help of her magical uncle Drosselmeyer. Almost 200 dancers perform to the famous music of Tchaikovsky’s in this ballet classic set in Nashville, introducing audiences to beloved characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, the Nutcracker, the Dancing Bear and historic characters from Nashville’s past.

Studio Tenn’s A Christmas Carol will be at James K. Polk Theater December 12 through December 22, adapted by Paula Y. Flautt. Featuring design elements inspired by the Victorian/Industrial Era – presently enjoying a resurgence in the world of high fashion – this unique production evokes the styling and silhouettes of Charles Dickens’ day, but with strikingly modern twists. Fusing classical and current aesthetics and theatrical techniques, Studio Tenn’s innovative re-imagining of this holiday favorite transforms the familiar tale of Ebenezer Scrooge into a fresh, enthralling and unforgettable experience – a contemporary triumph for a truly timeless piece.

30 Seconds To Mars

30 Seconds To Mars

War Memorial Auditorium

A December Hallelujah is December 8.
102.9 The Buzz’s Swanky Sweater Christmas Jam starring Thirty Seconds to Mars is December 10 at 7:00 p.m. Special Guests: Atlas Genius and Beware of Darkness.
Written and recorded around the world from Europe, to India, to the band’s studio in California, LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS was produced by Jared Leto with previous collaborator Steve Lillywhite (U2, The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel) co-producing four of the twelve tracks. Jared says that “this is more than an evolution, it’s a brand new beginning. Creatively, we’ve gone to an entirely new place, which is exciting, unexpected, and incredibly inspiring.” THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS – comprising Jared Leto, Shannon Leto and Tomo Milicevic – has sold over 5 million albums worldwide and the band’s videos have more than 300 million views on YouTube. The group has received numerous awards, including a dozen MTV awards worldwide, a Billboard Music award and honors from NME, Kerrang!, and Fuse.

A John Waters Christmas will be at War Memorial Auditorium December 11 at 8:00 pm. VIP tickets include premium Cabaret Table seating and a Meet and Greet with John Waters. John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, A Dirty Shame) performs an unforgettable night of holiday mischief with his critically acclaimed one man show, “putting the X in Xmas” for the open minded and slightly left-of-center audience.Regarded as a shocking entertainer, John Waters carefully chooses his material and exploits it through a dirty lens. “It’s my obsession with Christmas: what I want for Christmas, what you should want, how to handle every holiday disaster,” Waters says. His rapid-fire monologue explores and explodes the traditional holiday rituals and traditions as he shares his religious fanaticism for Santa Claus, and an unhealthy love of real life holiday horror stories.

Dave Barnes presents A Very Merry Christmas with Special Guests on December 13

It’s a Wonderful Life at War Memorial Auditorium December 14 at 5:00 pm.
The Wonderful Life Foundation invites you to an evening of holiday cheer; their tenth annual holiday gathering. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm, followed by a special viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life at 6 pm. After the film, in the ballroom is a festive reception complete with holiday fare, drinks, live music, dancing, and a silent auction. This event is funded entirely by generous sponsors, and 100% of the money raised directly benefits families in need. Tickets are free of charge.
The Wonderful Life Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to ease the financial burdens encountered by families of children with cancer. To learn more about the foundation’s efforts, for event information or sponsorship opportunities, or to donate directly, please visit us at Notes: This is a free event, and reservations are strongly encouraged.
Donations to The Wonderful Life Foundation will be accepted at the door and throughout the evening.
For patrons attending the party only, the reception will begin at approximately 8:15 pm.

John Tesh Big Band Christmas will be at War Memorial Auditorium December 18 at 8:00 pm. John Tesh and his Big Band Orchestra are “swinging” into town so you can “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”! On stage with 14 performers, John will play favorite holiday tunes in the big band style, will treat you to piano solos, and will charm you with his engaging rapport with the audience. Designed to delight all ages, this show is sure to entertain young and old alike. With three gold albums, two Grammy nominations, and the nationally-syndicated “John Tesh Radio Show”, John Tesh is known worldwide as a leading and respected figure in the entertainment industry.