Ho Ho Holiday Show Round-Up

by Zachary Corsa and Ezra Wheeler

We’re two weeks out from Christmas, folks. The eggnog is flowing, the reindeer’s nose is glowing like a lightbulb, and Wolfchase is a veritable sea of panicking humans desperate to secure that one last perfect gift. Before long, 2021 will only be a memory, a mere number to accidentally write down (and quickly scratch out) for months to come. Let’s see 2021 off in style, Memphis, with a fine selection of holiday-themed music happenings to make your Mid-South Christmas and New Year’s even more memorable.


Horns Aplenty!: Christmas Carols For Charity

5 p.m., Friday, December 10, Crosstown Concourse (Central Atrium)


One of the more eccentric offerings slated for this Christmas season kicks off at 5PM this Friday. The goal is to reach one hundred French horns aligned in delightful cacophony, as the Delta Horn Club and the University Of Memphis Horn Studio lead a performance of French horn carols, with ‘all ages and abilities’ welcome to participate. Bring your horn and a music stand to the East Atrium, and don’t worry if your skills are more than a little rusty – the more horns played, the more memorable those imperfections, so go nuts.


Christmas At The Cove w/ Grape.

9 p.m., Friday, December 10, The Cove

$5 at the door

Broad Avenue Arts District is getting in the swing of things nicely this year, as Saturday sees Grape. and Shorty & The Grooves drop by The Cove in encouragement of eating, drinking, and maximum merriment. Grape. trend towards the fiery, freewheelin’ jam band end of the spectrum, while Shorty & friends provide harmony-laced power-pop and ramshackle indie charm to the proceedings. Your fiver includes entry into the between-band raffle, as well, so it’s more than worth those dollars to head down to Cove on Saturday.


The Germantown Symphony Orchestra: Together Again For The Holidays

7 p.m., Saturday, December 11, Duncan-Williams Performance Hall



If you’re in the mood for something time-honored and traditional in the lead-up to Christmas, GPAC’s got you covered on Saturday, as the beloved Germantown Symphony Orchestra presents ‘Together Again For The Holidays’ in the Duncan-Williams Performance Hall. Treasured selections from The Nutcracker and the wider Christmas carol songbook will be brought to life with the help of a quartet of talented local vocalists, and the carol singalong should be exactly what’s needed to put you in the proper holiday spirit.

Robby Grant Xmas Show

9 p.m., Saturday December 11, Bar DKDC

$10 at the door

Before becoming the Executive Director of local station WYXR, Robby Grant was known as one of Memphis’ most ubiquitous and versatile musicians, but the frequency of his live performances have understandably diminished over the past year. On Saturday, he is back on stage to pay homage to his biggest musical muse: Christmas. For the past several years, Grant has been releasing zany lo-fi originals such as “Awake on Christmas Break,” “Lazy Christmas,” and “Fly on Christmas Dragon,” songs which we’ve come to anticipate each season like, well, a child on Christmas morning. Whether you’re a fan of holiday music or not, Robby Grant’s take on the genre is both funny and surprisingly heartfelt.

Madonna Learning Center Presents “A Christmas Gift”

7 p.m., Wednesday, December 15, Duncan-Williams Performance Hall



Wednesday the fifteenth provides a fine opportunity to warm your heart in the last run of days before Christmas, as the Madonna Learning Center nonprofit presents ‘A Christmas Gift’ at GPAC’s Duncan-Williams Performance Hall. The Learning Center specializes in the education of children with special needs, and this evening of theater and song is presented as a way to give back to the community that so lovingly gives to the Center over the course of a year. Tickets are only six dollars, so go bask in the joy of these students encouraged to share their abilities on stage, and leave full of renewed Christmas cheer.

The Barnes Family Holiday Show

7:30 p.m., Saturday December 18, Crosstown Theater



From the Thomases to the Dickinsons to the Staples, Memphis music has often been defined by the contributions of families. The Barnes siblings (Chris, Courtney, Calvin, and Carla) continue this tradition with their soulful blend of gospel and R&B. On December 18th, the four will perform together for the first time in five years for a holiday concert at the Crosstown Theater. “We are giving them what they’ve been asking for,” says Calvin J. Barnes II. “Expect to hear Christmas classics with a funk and soul twist.”

Robert Earl Keen’s “The Road To Christmas”

Wednesday, December 29, 7:30PM

Duncan-Williams Performance Hall



As the last of the wrapping paper is swept up and stowed away for next year’s holly jolly celebrations, take advantage of the opportunity to check out legendary singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen at GPAC just before the year’s last calendar page turns. The Houstonian’s towering legacy draws on folk, bluegrass, country, and roots music traditions, with a strong sense of storytelling and hard-won reflection. He’ll be at the Duncan-Williams Performance Hall on the 29th, and an Americana troubadour of Keen’s stature should prove both entertaining and insightful as 2022 beckons, so be sure not to miss this appearance.







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