(credit: chanticleer.org)

Holiday celebrations continue around the Bay Area in traditional ways in spite of the stresses and worrisome news we encounter each day. The holidays are a time to appreciate the good things we have, and to hold onto the family and friends we love. Read on for five holiday concerts that fit right in with Bay Area holiday celebrations, 2014.

‘A Chanticleer Christmas’
Various locations
Date: Dec. 12-22, 2014

“A Chanticleer Christmas” is an audience holiday favorite and Chanticleer’s beloved holiday offering. The ardor and depth of “A Chanticleer Christmas” are expressed in the Christmas story telling in Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, traditional carols and Chanticleer’s traditional mix of spirituals, including “Ave Maria,” Franz Biebl’s cherished classic and Chanticleer’s most requested Christmas selection. The concert will be on tour and showcase at several venues around the Bay Area, plus Sacramento and Carmel. Visit the website for price categories and to purchase tickets.

Holiday Guitar Ensemble Concert
Old First Presbyterian Church
1751 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 474-1608
Date: Dec. 5, 2014

Old First Presbyterian Church is presenting Lawrence Ferrara, guitar soloist and ensemble director, for this delightful annual Holiday Guitar Ensemble as the ensemble performs Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” arranged for four guitars. In addition, Mr. Ferrara will perform with pianist Joan Nagano; they will play Bach’s Trio Sonata No.1, BWV 525 and Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto. The program also includes lively works by Astor Piazzolla and Joaquin Rodrigo. This is sure to be a wonderful listening experience, as it is each holiday season.

San Francisco Bach Choir
Calvary Presbyterian Church
2515 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 855-473-2224
Date: Dec. 6-7, 2014

Come and enjoy seasonal music spanning the 15th to 21st centuries, and experience carols that embrace the festive sounds of Renaissance and Baroque sensibilities. The San Francisco Bach Choir will surround the audience with its glorious music from Dufay, Gabrieli, Praetorius, Byrd, Lasso, Mendelssohn and Aprahamian, bringing with it the promise of an enjoyable evening and festive celebration.

9th Annual Christmas in San Francisco
with Russ Lorenson & Friends
Pa’lna Lounge & Restaurant
1865 Post St.
San Francisco, 94115
(415) 826-2642
Date: Dec. 10, 2014

With his reputation as one of the Bay Area’s finest interpreters of jazz standards, and an eclectic sound and style approach, Russ Lorenson is a definite original. In 2007, Lorenson was nominated for a MAC Award by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, and has toured extensively in the US, UK and Europe. He has appeared in concert with some big name talents, including Broadway stars Karen Mason, Dale Kristien and Andrea Marcovicci, among many others. Russ Lorenson is best known too for his highly acclaimed tributes to American music icons, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin. Lorenson’s tributes to the two singing greats have played to sold-out audiences across the US, plus his two CDs were on the Nominating Ballot for the 2006 Grammy Awards for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album,” along with notable talents such as Tony Bennett and Michael Buble. Come and enjoy the show, as Russ Lorenson is much more than a first-rate and likable pop crooner.

Holiday Celebration In Song
Old First Presbyterian Church
1751 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 474-1608
Date: Dec. 12, 2014

Holiday Celebration in Song marks the season of joy with a program of carols and music, and sing-alongs too! A chorus of gifted young women of the San Francisco Girls Chorus has captured the attention and hearts of audiences worldwide, and proudly claims its status as an internationally acclaimed professional choral ensemble. Come and celebrate the 2014 season with the music and thrilling sounds of this celebrated girls chorus who claimed a featured performance at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, a New York debut at Lincoln Center, performances with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera and at the Super Bowl and World Cup as well, plus several other notable appearances. Don’t miss this opportunity to see and hear one of the best and most celebrated choral ensembles around.

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.