Make time to enjoy a little holiday music this season. It all starts this weekend with the Chelmsford Jazz Band's return to the Chelmsford Center for the Arts for its "4th Annual Chelmsford Holiday Party Pops" celebration Saturday, Dec. 2. The family-friendly concerts, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., feature vocalists Leslie Koresky, Brian Henderson and special guests, plus a sing-along and a visitor from the North Pole. Table seating. $15, general; $10, students and CCA members. Visit www.chelmsfordart.org.
The Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra's "Holiday Pops Concert" is Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m., in Chapel Hall at St. Louis School, 77 Boisvert St., Lowell. Selections include "Let It Snow," "The Christmas Song," "Dances from The Nutcracker," "Skaters Waltz," "Sleigh Ride" and "A Christmas Festival." $10, adults; $8, seniors; $5, children and students with ID. For info, visit www.lowellphilharmonic.org.
At Indian Hill Music in Littleton, a "Holiday Soiree" on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., features voice students performing winter-themed songs. $5 suggested donation at the door. On Sunday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m., the New England Flute Orchestra of Indian Hill Music performs a "Holiday Concert to Chase Away Winter's Chill." Featured are selections by Rimsky-Korsakov, Cohen, Isaacson and Daquin, arranged for flute. $10 at door, but free for Indian Hill Music School students. Visit www.indianhillmusic.org.
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On the marquee
TIMELY TALE: Blanchard Theatre Arts, the theater program at the Blanchard Middle School in Westford, presents "Children's Letters to God," a musical by David Evans and Douglas J. Cohen based on the international best-selling book. Performances are Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 1:30 and 7 p.m. The show follows the lives of five young friends as they voice beliefs, desires, questions and doubts common to all people but charmingly expressed by children. It features 16 songs and assorted scenes based on actual letters that explore such issues as sibling rivalry, divorce, holidays and first love. Tickets $10 for evening performances; $5 for matinee, available at the door.
FAVORITE TRADITION: A good book never gets old, and neither does your favorite stuffed bunny. Boston Children's Theatre celebrates both in its 9th anniversary production of the kids' classic "The Velveteen Rabbit," with performances Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17, at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Tremont Street, in Boston's South End. The show combines puppetry with live actors and tells the tale of a strong bond between a young boy and his beloved stuffed rabbit. Visit www.bostonchildrenstheatre.org for tickets and info.
ANOTHER OPTION: New Repertory Theatre presents the classic musical "Man of La Mancha" as an alternative to the usual holiday fare this season. It runs Dec. 1-24 at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. "It's become a New Rep tradition during the holiday season to present a play that invites audiences of all ages to revel in this celebratory time of year," said artistic director Jim Petosa. The Tony Award-winning show recounts "the boundlessly idealistic tale of Don Quixote, epitomizing our season's theme of resilience." Tickets are $22-$72 and are available at 617-923-8487 or by visiting www.newrep.org.