Not so silent nights: holiday music events

Three holiday musical events to carry you into the New Year

Photo provided by Ian Smart Photography.

With the holidays quickly approaching along with the obligations they entail, tracking down good musical events can be a daunting task. Here are three holiday musical events that will make the search easier and tide you over until 2015.


The Bison Men’s Chorus Annual Christmas Concert

On Dec. 14, the University of Manitoba Bison Men’s Chorus will be performing their annual Christmas Concert at Charleswood United Church. The event will include audience participation to get people in the festive spirit, as well as performances of both traditional and seldom-heard Christmas songs

“As always, the chorus members will attempt to express their love of music and fellowship with enthusiastic and sensitive performances of all types of Christmas music,” chorus member Paul Hope told the Manitoban.

The Bison Men’s Chorus began in September of 1985 by Larry Patterson of the U of M faculty of education, and is affiliated with the Desautels faculty of music. The community-based chorus is comprised of U of M graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni, in addition to community members of the surrounding Winnipeg area. Since its inception, the group has released two cassettes and three CDs, their most recent being He(a)rd Across Canada (2010).

In keeping with their Christmas tradition, the chorus will be donating any of the free event’s offerings to a local charity. This year, the proceeds will go to Ronald McDonald House Manitoba, an organization that offers housing for families in Winnipeg when their children are receiving treatment for an illness.

While the event is off-campus, Hope wishes for continued support from the U of M.

“We’d love to see lots of members of the university community to help us celebrate the season.”

The U of M Bison Men’s Chorus performs their annual Christmas concert on Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. at Charleswood United Church (4820 Roblin Blvd). It is free admission to attend, with donations to the Ronald McDonald House Manitoba greatly appreciated.


The Bros. Landreth: “Bros. on the Run”

To help ring in the New Year, local alt-country act the Bros. Landreth will be performing a cover show at the Park Theatre. The band will be covering the music of Paul McCartney and the Beatles for a “Retro New Year’s Eve Party.”

The Bros. Landreth, made up of brothers David and Joey Landreth, have received critical and popular appraisal since the release of their debut album Let It Lie in 2013.

In addition to plans for more continental success, the band has remained prominent in the local music scene. Along with their special New Year’s show, the band will continue their reign in Winnipeg with a sold-out show at the West End Cultural Centre on Dec. 6.

For the New Year’s Eve cover show, it was an easy decision to focus on the music of Sir Paul McCartney.

“We came up with the idea together with Erick Casselman, who owns and runs the Park [Theatre]. We have started almost every Bros. Landreth concert with a Paul McCartney song and we’re all pretty huge fans of his,” explained David to the Manitoban.

“When he suggested a tribute as a theme for the night Joe [Landreth] and I blurted ‘Paul’ simultaneously.”

Along with playing multiple sets of classic rock music, the night will be themed around the era of the groovy 70s.

The Bros. Landreth bring “Bros. on the Run” to the Park Theatre (698 Osborne St) on Dec. 31. Tickets are $34.99 (champagne included) and are available at


The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra with Erin Propp: Suite Messiah

Bringing the big jazz band flavour to the holidays, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra (WJO) will be performing George Frideric Handel’s suite Messiah at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Dec. 14.

The suite Messiah, composed by Handel in 1742, was originally presented around the Easter holiday. However, over time, the composition took on a new interpretation.

“Like the Nutcracker (which we performed last December), Handel’s Messiah is very much associated with the Christmas season,” explained WJO artistic director Richard Gillis to the Manitoban.

The Messiah suite will be split into three movements: “And The Glory,” “Sheep to Keep,” and “Hallelujah.” While pieces of the Messiah such as “Hallelujah” are often attributed to choruses, the WJO’s interpretations are more “opened up” – in “Hallelujah”’s case coming to a ravishing conclusion.

Along with Handel’s magnum opus, the event will feature jazz renditions of holiday favorites such as “Huron Carol,” as well as music by other jazz artists, such as Nat King Cole.

The event will also feature collaboration with singer-songwriter Erin Propp.

Propp has collaborated with the WJO on two other occasions, including debuting with the WJO in 2012. For the December performance, Propp will be joining the orchestra for a rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

“We always love to collaborate with the talented and charismatic Juno-nominated Erin Propp,” said WJO general manager Brent Johnson to the Manitoban. 

The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra performs Suite Messiah on Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Tickets are $35 and are available at