For some folks, the holidays are all about food and family, while others look forward to parties and gift-giving. But let’s not forget that the holiday season comes with its very own soundtrack, and for many of us, it’s simply not December without hearing all our favorite carols.
Palm Desert delivers that soundtrack in a big way this holiday season, and it’s guaranteed to get you in the spirit. We’ve highlighted some of the noteworthy shows below. Be sure to plan in advance and purchase your tickets early, as many events sell out well in advance. Enjoy the show!
Tony Orlando & Dawn
It looks like it’s time to tie a yellow ribbon ’round the ol’ Christmas tree as Tony Orlando and Dawn—Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson—bring their Christmas Reunion tour to Fantasy Springs. Expect a mix of their hits and holiday classics, plus a whole lot of humor.
Coachella Valley Symphony
Agua Caliente Ballroom
Kick off the holiday season with the Coachella Valley Symphony and their Joyous Jubilee. The evening starts at 6pm with a silent auction and cocktails, and is followed by dinner and the concert at 7pm.
Modern Men – Cool Yule
St. Margaret’s Church, December 2
Jewish Community Center, December 8-9
Modern Men, the Coachella Valley Men’s Chorus, invites you to their Cool Yule, a toe-tapping trip back to the 20s, 30s and 40s featuring swinging harmonies and tunes you know and love.
Celebrate the Season
The Gardens on El Paseo
For a fun, free concert, don’t miss the Palm Desert’s Celebrate the Season at The Gardens on El Paseo. Starting at 5:30pm, the Center Lawn will echo with the sounds of Scot Bruce performing as Elvis Presley in his “Rockin’ Holiday Tribute to the King.” Free pictures with Santa Claus, strolling Victorian carolers, hot cider and cocoa, and fun children’s activities add to the festive spirit.
Tony Bennett, the multi-platinum, multi-Grammy Award winning musical legend, returns to the desert for a show at Fantasy Springs Event Center on December 7. You can anticipate a mix of standards from the American songbook plus holiday favorites from one of the desert’s favorite crooners.
The Colors of Christmas
A holiday tradition at McCallum Theatre, Colors of Christmas returns with Peabo Bryson, Taylor Dayne, Jon Secada and Deniece Williams. Don’t miss this sparkling evening of holiday music and classics backed up by a hot 12-piece band and a spectacular choir.
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
St Margaret’s Episcopal Church
This traditional service of Christmas through readings and music by the St. Margaret’s Choir and organist Frederick Swann highlights the glory of the season. Arrive early and enjoy the organ prelude that begins at 6:30 pm. A free-will offering will be received and a donation of canned food to benefit the St. Margaret’s Outreach Center is appreciated.
California Desert Chorale
Indian Wells Theater at California State University, San Bernardino/Palm Desert Campus
December 9, 12 & 16
Holiday Harmony offers a wonderful variety of familiar Christmas carols and other holiday tunes in rich arrangements, all centered on a theme of the holiday spirit and rejoicing.
With a mix of humor and musicianship, Canadian Brass has been winning over audiences for decades. They return to Palm Desert and the McCallum Theatre with their Christmas Time is Here concert, a program of festive classics and brass standards.
Sounds of the Season
Palm Canyon Theatre
Join your favorite Palm Canyon Theatre performers for a journey through some of the most beloved holiday tunes of all time.
Irish singing group Celtic Woman will create an enchanting and festive evening when they take to the stage of the McCallum Theatre with music from the ensemble’s second Christmas album, Home For Christmas.
Share the magic and joy of the season with country music star LeAnn Rimes as she plays some of her favorite Christmas classics for her fans at the McCallum Theatre.
The Show at Agua Caliente
Pop music legend and local resident Barry Manilow returns to the desert with his special Very Barry Christmas concert featuring his hit songs and with holiday favorites. Past holiday concerts have surprised audiences with a performance by a children’s choir, an appearance by Santa Claus, and even snow. Proceeds from the December 16 show will benefit local charities.
One of the nation’s premier ensembles, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de José Hernàndez, headlines Merri-Achi Christmas on the McCallum stage. You’ll enjoy a colorful and traditional Mexican holiday celebration full of seasonal songs, dance and festive merriment.
Dave Koz and Friends
A Palm Desert holiday tradition, Dave Koz returns to the McCallum with his Christmas Tour and jams with friends Mindi Abair, Jonathan Butler and Keiko Matsui. You’ll enjoy fresh, lively arrangements of seasonal favorites in a high-energy show for the entire family.
Brian Setzer Orchestra “Christmas Rocks!” Tour
Fantasy Springs Special Events Center
Looking for a surefire crowd pleaser? The Brian Setzer Orchestra promises to deliver the most rockin’ holiday concert of the season. Setzer’s trademark guitar work and vocal stylings will be matched by his 19-piece orchestra’s big band horn arrangements, making for a thoroughly entertaining holiday combination.