Best 2014 Holiday Concerts In Chicago

Best 2014 Holiday Concerts In Chicago

Nothing can get you into the holiday mood like music and live music can take you completely away from consumerism. commercials and the constant hawking of goods at the most wonderful time of the year. Here are a mittenful of Chicago holiday concerts that are sure to take away the bah humbug from your seasonal attitude. In addition, check out what were “must-sees” a few seasons ago here.

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Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Welcome Yule
Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 294-3000

Date: Dec. 13 – 23, 2014

Get decked out in your sparkly holiday attire for what has become a Chicago tradition for 20 years – Welcome Yule! – a full-length concert filled with musical favorites of the season. Symphony Center is also adorned with lavish decorations and the concert can be an ideal afternoon or night of seasonal songs for families, friends and couples. Expect a few audience sing-alongs of your favorite holiday tunes and just when the kids start getting antsy, a visit from the North Pole’s most famous resident should help them refocus. Musicians and the Chicago Symphony Chorus are conducted by Duain Wolfe.

‘Handel’s Messiah’
The Apollo Chorus
Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL
(312) 427-5620

Date: Dec. 6 and Dec. 20, 2014

The Apollo Chorus, the oldest musical organization in Chicago,  celebrates its astounding 143rd year and enchants audiences with two spirited performances of what has become a beloved Chicago tradition: the Chorus’s signature version of the classic piece, “Handel’s Messiah.” To say that the chorus is expert at the work is an understatement since the chorus’ rendition of Handel’s holiday piece de resistance has been performed nearly every December since 1879. Soloists Elisabeth Marshall, J’nai Bridges, Samuel Levine and David Govertsen showcase their exceptional voices in a concert that has become a moving tradition for many Chicago-area families.

Related: Best Places To Eat Before The Show In Chicago

‘Suzy Bogguss Swingin’ Little Christmas Show’
City Winery
1200 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9463

Date: Dec. 4, 2014

Grammy winner and Illinois native, Suzy Bogguss, has been knocking around Nashville since the mid 1980s cranking out country hits like “Someday Soon,” “Aces” and “Letting Go.” You’ll get way into the holiday spirit when Bogguss and her band perform a slew of songs from her two well-received Christmas albums: 2003’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and 2010’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Expect to hear some of her top hits and a tune or two from her recently released acoustic album with songs written by Merle Haggard.

The Blind Boys of Alabama Talkin’ Christmas!
City Winery
1200 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9463

Date: Dec. 11, 2014

It’s safe to say that the Boys have some lush harmonies under their belts since they’ve been singing together since 1944. The five-time Grammy Award-winning gospel group will offer seasonal, original tunes based upon the group’s latest effort – Talkin’ Christmas! –  as well as holiday favorites, especially those wonderful Christmas hymns that can only bring the season closer to one’s heart. The Boys have warbled with an impressive array of artists including Patty Griffin, Ben Harper and Jars of Clay and had a recent album produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. If the spirit doesn’t move you during this concert, check your pulse. 

Holidays a cappella
Chicago a cappella
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 281-7820

Date: Dec. 5-7, 12-13 and 20, 2014

If you cannot decide among country, gospel, classical and pop – or if you just adore all of it – consider tickets to a holiday concert by Chicago a cappella and hear what singing without autotune can be. You’ll hear spirituals, familiar holiday songs, Renaissance carols, Hanukkah tunes and contemporary Christmas classics. The professional singers perform at a handful of venues including Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Hyde Park, Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, Fourth Presbyterian Church on the Gold Coast and other inspirational houses of worship in the city, Wheaton and Oak Park.

Related: Best Holiday Celebrations In Chicago

Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at