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Volunteer signers rehearse for the annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” in the University of Montana’s School of Music in 2015.

This weekend brings a rich selection of options for holiday concerts: Dolce Canto, the Missoula Community Chorus, the University of Montana Jazz Program's Holiday Swing, and, of course, the community performance of Handel's Messiah that benefits the International Choral Festival. Here's a run-down:

Dolce Canto

(Friday-Saturday, Dec. 7-8)

Dolce Canto, an auditioned choir, will have its first concert with its new artistic director, Yong Mao, this weekend. 

The concert, titled "Unheard Voices," features works from the 17th century to the present. In the Mission Valley, they'll sing at the Ronan Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Dec. 7. Go to for more information. In Missoula, they'll sing at the Music Recital Hall at the University of Montana. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 general admission and $10 for students.

Tickets are available at Rockin' Rudy's, Fact & Fiction, or Tickets available through Dec. 7, at Fact and Fiction and Rockin' Rudys. Remaining tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at the door starting at 6:45 p.m. on the day of the show.

Missoula Community Chorus

(Friday, Dec. 7)

The chorus' concert, "Ecce, Novum Gaudium," promises a "program full of contrasts between the dark mid-winter and the light that continues to show us our way," along with Beethoven, Handel and Christmas traditionals and voices accompanied by a string ensemble and timpani, according to their news release.

Doors for the concert open at 7 p.m. at St. Anthony Church, 217 Tremont Ave., and the music starts at 7:30. Tickets are $12 general admission and available at Rockin’ Rudy’s and at the door a half-hour before the concert,

Holiday Swing

(Saturday, Dec. 8)

The University of Montana's Jazz Program is bringing in a native, Todd Kelly, as its special guest for the seventh annual Holiday Swing concert.

Kelly teaches trumpet and directs the jazz ensembles at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

Kelly, who's performed with Mannheim Steamroller and toured with shows like "Hairspray," will play holiday tunes by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Stan Kenton with the UM Jazz Ensemble I and the Zootown Cabaret.

This year, the concert will take place in the Downtown Dance Collective, which has started hosting jazz concerts from UM and community groups.

This event occurs in part to raise money for the UM Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival, UM jazz scholarships and to help with UM Jazz Program activities.

This year, the show has a matinee and two evening performances. At 3 p.m., you can see a one-hour show, "Swing Set," designed for younger kids. In the evening, there are shows at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., plus a "meet the artist" reception in the Florence Building, hosted by the Red Bird.

Tickets are going fast. For tickets and more information, please call the DDC at 406-360-8763 or go to

Handel's Messiah

(Sunday, Dec. 9)

A holiday tradition returns with the annual performance of Handel's "Messiah."

The performers are community volunteers, plus the University of Montana Orchestra and choirs.

Singers sign up or pay a fee to participate, and then raise more pledges. The proceeds go to the International Choral Festival, now held every third year. It's returning to Missoula on July 17-20. The festival was founded in 1987, and brings hundreds of singers from around the world to the Garden City.

For more information, go to

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre at UM. Tickets are $20 general and $5 for students. They're available at the door or at Rockin' Rudy's.

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