Albuquerque Holiday Music

Holiday Performances in Albuquerque and Santa Fe

Holiday Piano
••• Photo © Aileen O'Catherine

Holiday music rings out in Albuquerque. Celebrate the Christmas and holiday season with musical favorites such as carols, the Messiah or a medieval tune.

Find Nutcracker Ballet performances for the holiday season.
There's always music played at the holiday strolls found around town.

Updated for 2015. Information subject to change.

November 22
Musical Feast: Handel's Messiah
The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus present Handel's Messiah with the Symphony Chorus.

November 28 - December 6
Nutcracker Ballet
Hear Tchaikovsky's classic music of the Nutcracker. The New Mexico Ballet Company will be accompanied by the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra for two weekends of the Nutcracker. Special guest dancers from the New York City and American Ballet troupes will perform.

November 28 - December 31
Bugg Lights
The famous Bugg Lights will be on display at the Harvey House in Belen, along with food, crafts, music, nativity scenes and more.

November 29 - January 2
River of Lights
The River of Lights runs nightly through January 5. Every year, there are new sculptures, a snowman village made of glass, music, carolers, a holiday railroad train (featuring Snoopy), and more. Live entertainment includes carolers, handbells and holiday sounds.

December 3
Nob Hill Shop and Stroll
The annual shop and stroll features  carolers and great shopping and food. Entertainment includes holiday music.

December 3 - 13
Nutcracker on the Rocks
The Keshet Dance Company's Nutcracker defies expectations, performs classic rock and roll tunes, uses wheelchairs for ballet to create an exciting performance that has become an Albuquerque classic.

December 4
Hanging of Greens
The tradition continues at UNM as the university community gathers at University House to celebrate the holiday season.

Carolers will gather in front of Popejoy Hall at 5:45 p.m., where everyone will gather to make the walk to University House. There will be hot chocolate, biscochitos and posole available; attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped children's book as a donation for UNM Children's Hospital. More than 14,000 luminarias are expected to decorate the campus this year.

December 4
Old Town Holiday Stroll
Enjoy live music, dancing, strolling carolers and even a visit from Santa Claus. The luminarias will be glowing and the shops will be overflowing with holiday fare.  The tree will be lit at 6:10 p.m. The Santa parade begins at 6:15 p.m. Explora, the Natural History Museum and the Albuquerque Museum will all be open for free and have holiday activities. Get discounts in the museum stores.

December 4
Handel's Messiah
Hear the Central United Methodist Church Choir perform Handel's Messiah, with David Felberg conducting and the New Mexico Philharmonic performing.

December 4 & 5
Home for the Holidays Concert
Bradley Ellingboe, conductor and composer of choral works, will conduct the UNM concert choir, recital choir and Lobo men's chorus in holiday favorites. This is a fundraiser event.

December 4 - 6
The Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for Carrie Tingley Foundation to help the hospitals' special needs kids.

Carrie Tingley hospitals offer children a place to get well and improve their chance at life. Donate your time, purchase an ornament, or make or bring your own to help the cause. The Mingle and Jingle Gala is Thursday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m. and is a fundraiser. All other days the event is free.

December 6
Albuquerque Concert Band Holiday Concert
The free concert at the KiMo Theatre features holiday favorites.

December 5
Madrid Christmas Open House
Santa will be on hand to listen to whispered wishes, along with Mrs. Claus, stage coach rides, mule rides, the Town of Lights, music, carolers and a variety of entertainment. There will also be the open galleries and art shows Madrid is famous for. Businesses will be open late in New Mexico's Christmas Town. The Christmas Parade is December 5 at 4 p.m. 

December 6
Holidays Take Flight
Enjoy decorating holiday cookies, making crafts and getting a photo with balloon pilot Santa. Hot drinks and treats will be for sale as well as a New Mexico shopping "village" with local businesses and artisans. Enjoy live world music, all at the International Balloon Museum.

December 6
Handel's Messiah
The East Mountain Community Chorus and Orchestra perform the holiday favorite. Call (505) 228-0607 for information. 

December 17 - 23
Noche Serena
The Santa Fe Desert Chorale will perform carols and lullabies in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

December 11
Christmas at the Palace
The annual tradition brings the community together at the Palace of the Governors, where there is hot cider, live music and entertainment. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will pay a visit.

December 5, 11 - 13
New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus Holiday Concert: Hopes and Fear for All the Years
The chorus will sing international holiday music and traditional holiday tunes. See them in Santa Fe or Albuquerque.

December 12
The Ten Tenors
The Ten Tenors will perform holiday favorites such as Sleigh Ride, White Christmas and more at Popejoy Hall.

December 13
Mariachi Christmas
Swirling dresses, stomping feet and mariachi music combine into one unforgettable show at Popejoy Hall.

December 12 and 13
Handel's Messiah
The East Mountain Community Chorus and Orchestra perform the holiday favorite. Call (505) 228-0607 for information. 

December 12 and 14
Holiday Concert
The Santa Fe Concert Band will give a free public concert. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m.

December 12 - 24
Ballet Repertory Theater Nutcracker Ballet
The Ballet Repertory Theatre brings the classic tale of toy soldiers, dancing snowflakes the nutcracker and little Clara to life. The Ballet Repertory Theatre has performed the Nutcracker since 1996. Additional ticket charges for the Christmas Eve performance includes attendance to a Nutcracker Tea following the performance. Meet your favorite Nutcracker characters and taste treats from the Land of Sweets.

December 13
Christmas Treasures
The Santa Fe Symphony Chorus presents holiday favorites, led by guest conductor Jason Altieri.

December 13
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
The Moscow Ballet has toured across America for 20 years. See the company of 40 Vaganova-trained dancers this holiday season as they perform the classic holiday dance for one show only. This is an all ages event.

December 18
Mannheim Stemroller
Mannheim Steamroller brings its multimedia music to the stage at Popejoy Hall.

December 18 - 20
Nutcracker Ballet in the Land of Enchantment
Performed by the Festival Ballet Albuquerque, the traditions and heritage of New Mexico are paired with the classical tale of the holidays. Choreographed by Patricia Dickinson Wells. Live music will be played under the direction of Maestro Guillermo Figueroa. Tickets can be purchased at Dance Theatre Southwest (296-9465) or the NHCC (724-4771); call for box office times.

December 19 - 24
A Baroque Christmas
Santa Fe Pro Musica presents music by Bach, Corelli, Handel and Vivaldi, as well as traditional carols. See it at the Lensic in Santa Fe.

December 19
Holiday Pops
The New Mexico Philharmonic features conductor Jason Altieri leading the orchestra in arrangements of classic holiday music. Manzano Day School and the Bosque School choirs will perform favorites.

December 19 - 20
Nutcracker Ballet
The production highlights dancers, actors, circus artists and students in a show that is a Santa Fe tradition. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performs at the Lensic.