La Jolla brings art and culture to the season


La Jolla’s many cultural organizations are adding to the beauty of the holiday season with concerts and performances through the month that celebrate classic and contemporary traditions.

Families and friends can make a night of it by enjoying a theatrical production or enjoy the season by attending a Sunday morning worship service. Whether participating in an annual festivity or joining in for the first time, the holidays are in full swing in La Jolla.

The Reason for the Season

The La Jolla United Methodist Church is infusing their worship services with traditional music and family-friendly programs.

On Dec. 16, members and guests will be treated to Handel’s “Messiah,” performed by the Chancel Choir. The concert will include the Hallelujah chorus.

Two Christmas Eve services will be held on Dec. 24. At 5 p.m. children are invited to dress in costumes to participate in the Children’s Live Nativity. The same program, “A Service of Lessons and Carols,” will be repeated at 7 p.m. with a nativity cast.

There is no cost to attend, and visitors are welcome.

Neurosciences Institute Hosts Sounds of the Season

The Neurosciences Institute Auditorium, an acoustically acclaimed performance center, will host performances from two popular entertainment groups this month.

The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble will present “A Torrey Pines Holiday” on Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Director John Winkelman will lead the wind ensemble in festive favorites, including a narration of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” There’s something for everyone in this show with New Year’s music, carols and show tunes.

General admission tickets are $10. To purchase tickets or for additional information, call (619) 692-2077, ext. 814 or e-mail Venue information, including directions, is available at

Children and adults will delight in a new spin on old favorites at “Harmony Comes Home,” performed by Pacific Coast Harmony chorus on Dec. 8 at 3 and 7 p.m.

“This is an annual event, and the music is done in the barbershop style,” said Paul Girard, Youth in Harmony chairman.

Barbershop is an American music form consisting of four-part harmony sung a capella (without accompaniment) that evolved in the 19th century.

“Because it’s a capella, you hear a lot of clear harmonies,” Girard said. “It’s a very unique form of vocal music.

“Harmony Comes Home” will include renditions of secular and religious Christmas and Hanukkah music.

Tickets are $15 per person, with free admission for military personnel, teachers, students and emergency responders. Call (760) 723-2294 or go to for more information.

Holiday Music Magic

“The Many Moods of Christmas” by American composer Robert Shaw will be performed by the La Jolla Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and a 32-member orchestra on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

Join in singing Christmas carols to get in the spirit of the season at this free performance at the church, located at 7715 Draper Ave.

Child care and free parking are available in the underground garage on Kline Street. Come early for good seats.

The 29th “Messiah-Sing” will be presented by the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus on Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carlsbad.

Known as San Diego’s oldest holiday sing-along, “Messiah-Sing” is an opportunity for audience members to add their voices to those of the chorus in singing Handel’s “Messiah,” accompanied by the chamber orchestra. The event will be lead by Choral Director David Chase.

For tickets and information, call (858) 534-4637 or visit

Christmas on Stage

Beginning Dec. 7, the La Jolla Stage Company will present several showings of a family-friendly adaption of “A Christmas Carol” on the stage at Torrey Pines Christian Church. The line-up includes evening and matinee performances with tickets priced at $15 for students and seniors and $20 general admission. A holiday-themed dinner show on Dec. 14th at 6 p.m. is $45.

This beloved story was adapted especially for the La Jolla Stage Company by David Wiener and this season’s production is the directorial debut of Jessica Seaman.

“Ours does include dancing and singing,” said Merle Lotherington, company president. “It’s a light version that’s not too spooky for kids.”

Tickets and reservations can be made by contacting Charlotte Perry at (858) 454-7798 or Merle Lotherington at (858) 453-2683.

The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus will present a unique holiday experience in an orchestral, choral and guest artists performance of Hector Berloiz’s “L’Enfance du Christ.”

The nuances of this beautiful, delicate oratorio tells the story of Mary and Joseph’s flight into Egypt, with the infant Jesus. A pre-concert lecture will begin one hour prior to the concert.

Performances will be held Dec. 8 and 9, at 8 and 3 p.m. respectively, at the Mandeville Auditorium at UCSD. Ticket are priced $15, $22 and $26. To purchase tickets or obtain more information, call (858)534-4637 or visit