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Music of the Holidays

Each year, the holiday season offers local acts an opportunity to stage their inventive and entertaining takes on classic songs, musicals and dance performances.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap for this season:

<ro1>At The Birchmere

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The Birchmere (3701 Mt. Vernon Ave.) features a full slate of holiday-themed attractions over the next month.

Peter White returns for his annual Christmas Tour, joining Mindi Abair & Rick Braun for two dates at The Birchmere: Monday, Dec. 3 and Tuesday, Dec. 4. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $49.50.

Moya Brennan, "The Voice of Clannad," performs "An Irish Christmas" on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.

The Roches perform their holiday show with Lucy Wainwright Roche on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29.50.

Raul Malo's Christmas Party will be in town on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35.

One of the most anticipated holiday events is Aimee Mann's 2nd Annual Christmas Show, scheduled for Monday, Dec. 17 and Tuesday, Dec. 18. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m., both are $45.50 and both promise to feature a slew of special guests. Check out www.aimeemann.com for more information.

The musical comedy review "Good For The Jews" will be in for shows on Friday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Dec.. 22. show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19.50, and the show promises to put "the Ha in Hanukkah."

\<ro1>The Nutcrackers

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As always, performances of the classic ballet "The Nutcracker" are highlights of the winter season.

The Arlington Center Dance Company will perform "The Nutcracker 2007" from Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre (125 S. Old Glebe Road, 703-228-1850).

The Center Dance Company is a community-oriented dance company committed to presenting quality productions and choreography that people can understand, respect, enjoy, and afford. Tickets and times are available online at www.arldance.org.

The Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax will present its annual "Nutcracker in a Nutshell" event from Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, located on the Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria Campus (3001 North Beauregard St.). "Nutcracker in a Nutshell" is a condensed version of the classic for children.

Friday’s performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday features two performances at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Visit www.thecenterforballetarts.com or call 703-273-5344 for tickets and information.

<ro>Music

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On Sunday, Dec. 2, the Washington Women’s Chorus will perform at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (4000 Lorcum Lane, Arlington) at 4 p.m.

The program features Christmas carols and Advent and Solstice poems and readings. The Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart women's choir and handbell ensemble will join these popular Christmas concerts as part of WWC’s continuing High School Invitational Performance Program.

For more information, visit www.washingtonwomenschorus.org.

The U.S. Army Band Jazz Ensemble will perform Duke Ellington's "Nutcracker Suite" at Kenmore Middle School (School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road) on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. Visit www.usarmyband.com for more information.

On Saturday, Dec. 8 at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road), the Metropolitan Chorus will have a special "Season’s Greetings" concert on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Special featured guests will be the Virginia Bronze Handbell Ensemble with Carol Feather Martin, director. The sounds of Hanukkah and Christmas will be spotlighted in the event. Visit www.metchorus.org for more information.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, the Potomac Harmony Chorus presents its "Celebrate with Light!" program at Thomas Jefferson Theater, 125 South Old Glebe Road in Arlington. The show is a holiday music celebration and sing-along for all ages.

The Potomac Harmony Showtime Chorus was chartered in November 1976 as the result of the consolidation of the former Arlington and Fairfax chapters of Sweet Adelines.

The show begins at 3 p.m. Adults $15, Seniors (62 & over), Children (12 & under) $12. Call 703-764-3896 or 703-979-8028 or visit www.potomacharmony.org.

The Encore Chorales will perform a concert of holiday music on Monday, Dec. 17 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, 125 South Old Glebe Road in Arlington. Also on the program will be the Polymnia Bells of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, under the direction of Melodie Feather, Clarinetist Nancy McAleer, and the Encore Brass. The program is presented by Encore Creativity for Older Adults and the Arlington County Office of Senior Adult Programs.

The free show begins at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.encorecreativity.org.