If you could harness the energy this weekend of all those conductors waving their batons, singers flexing their voices and instrumentalists pounding out their chords, you'd be able to power the lights on Christmas Tree Lane.
There's always an uber-busy weekend during the holiday concert season, and this one is definitely it. Nearly every ensemble in town is making some sort of joyful noise. While we've written about several of these events before (check the Nov. 26 cover story of 7, still available online), here's a handy grouping just for the weekend:
Youth Philharmonic Orchestra: Conductor Thomas Loewenheim and his most advanced young players have waited until the end of the year to mark the centennial of the Mexican Revolution and the bicentennial of Mexican independence. The program for "Viva México!" includes Aaron Copland's "El Salon México," and works by Mexican composers Carlos Chavez, Arturo Marquez, and Pablo Moncayo. Also featured is pianist Andreas Werz in a performance of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."
The concert is a collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Fresno, and the post-concert reception will feature performances by the Roosevelt High School mariachi ensemble.
Details: 7 p.m. Dec. 5, Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall, Clovis North Educational Center, 2770 East International Ave. youthorchestrasfresno.org, (559) 275-6694. $15, $12 seniors, free for under 18 or with school I.D.
Fresno Philharmonic: The orchestra's "BRAVO! Holidays" concert includes three esteemed Broadway singers: Doug LaBrecque, Anne Runolfsson and Tony Award winner Debbie Gravitte. The program includes Tchaikovsky's Trepak, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and, of course, "Sleigh Ride." Theodore Kuchar conducts. (For a preview interview with LaBrecque, whose starring Broadway roles included "The Phantom of the Opera," see the Dec. 5 Spotlight section.)
Details: 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Saroyan Theatre, 700 M St. fresnophil.org, (559) 261-0600. $20-$68.
Fresno State Opera Theatre and Concert Choir: On the bill this holiday season is the one-act English opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" under the purview of conductor Anna Hamre and director Anthony P. Radford. Special guests at this semistaged production are the Bach Children's Choir and Youth Chorale under the direction of Valerie Quiring.
Details: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 4, Fresno State Concert Hall. csufresno.edu/music. $7, $6 senior, $5 students and children.
Fresno State Symphony Orchestra: Guest conductor David Effron, the head of conducting at Indiana University and former head of conducting of the Eastman School of Music, leads the ensemble in performances of Beethoven's 5th Symphony and the Dvorak Cello Concerto.
Details: 8 p.m. Dec. 4, Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall, Clovis North Educational Center, 2770 East International Ave. csufresno.edu/music. $15, $10 seniors, $5 students.
Fresno Community Concert Band: 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 5, Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. fresnocommunityconcertband.org, (559) 440-9429. $10, $5 children.
Oakhurst Community Band: 3 p.m. Dec. 5, Yosemite High School Theater, 50200 Road 427, Oakhurst. (559) 760-3849. Free.
Musica Viva: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 2101 N. Fruit Ave.; 7 p.m. Dec. 5, Holy Family Catholic Church, 1275 Smith Ave., Kingsburg; and 7 p.m. Dec. 6, First Mennonite Church, 1208 L St., Reedley. (559) 392-1425.
Fresno Pacific University San Joaquin Chorale: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, First Mennonite Church, 1208 L St., Reedley (free); and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5, First Congregational Church, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd. ($12, $8 seniors and student). fresno.edu/department/music/events.