John Floridis' benefit concerts
(Sunday, Dec. 16, and Thursday, Dec. 20)
Each December, the top-level Missoula guitarist and songwriter John Floridis sets out on a holiday tour around western Montana to raise money for local charities.
For these shows, Floridis draws on two of his instrumental solo guitar albums, "December's Quiet Joy" and "The Peaceful Season." He describes them as "seasonal" releases rather than "holiday" ones, and the distinction is important. Rather than uptempo Christmas classics a la "Frosty the Snowman," the selections and performances are meditative, calling to mind the calmness and hope in the midst of winter with his thoughtful arrangements and fingerpicking skills.
Floridis has guitar technique to spare, but it's all put in service of the music itself. In addition to these works, the programs will have songs with vocals that he's written, and pieces by Bruce Cockburn, Patty Larkin, Ben Harper and John Gorka.
"The concerts welcome the audience to escape the frantic stress that too often pervades the holiday season, and relax in an intimate listening environment with music to warm the heart and soul," he said in a press release.
All of the proceeds go to local groups, and "generous free-will donations" are encouraged.
He'll be joined by his longtime collaborator, Ed Stalling, on percussion. The Thursday show also features bassist Travis Yost.
Here are his upcoming shows in Missoula:
• Sunday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church. Proceeds go to the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative.
• Thursday, Dec. 20, 7 p.m., Downtown Dance Collective. Proceeds go to the Poverello Center.
Missoula Community Chorus Chamber Chorale
(Saturday, Dec. 15)
The local ensemble is having a special concert with an abbreviated program after last Friday's sold-out show.
"The MCC Chamber Chorale is a smaller 25-voice auditioned ensemble made up of members from the main Missoula Community Chorus. This concert will feature selections from Beethoven's C major Mass accompanied by a small string ensemble as well as other holiday selections," according to a news release.
The concert will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church, 420 Pine St. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the music starts at 6:30. Admission is free but a donation is suggested.
(Friday, Dec. 14)
The rest of the horn section cedes the stage to the tuba and euphonium at the annual TubaChristmas concerts. This year, the low-end holiday tunes are set for 7 p.m. at the Southgate Mall's Clock Court.
Treasure State Chorale
(Sunday, Dec. 16)
The Treasure State Chorale's founder and director, Phil Harris, has returned to Missoula for the group's Christmas concert, "Softly … Gently … Christmas Comes."
The program features music from the 16th century, choral classics by Handel and Praetorius, plus songs like "Grown-up Christmas List" and "When A Child is Born." Also expect choral works by John Rutter, arrangements by Mark Hayes, music from "The Polar Express," an African-American spiritual and "the Christmas story in song," according to the news release.
The audience is invited to take part in a carol singing before the proper concert. Admission is by donation.
The concert will be held at St. Anthony’s Church, 217 Tremont St. Time of the performance is 7 p.m., but doors will not open until 6:30 p.m.