Holiday Music, from Mountain to Valley

[December 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage]

MUSIC IS A MAJOR PART of this December’s holiday season. Because the celebration of Christmas is based on the birth of Jesus Christ, traditional music, with or without lyrics, celebrates the Nativity. Christmas “carols” are sung in churches, public performances, and even by carolers going door-to-door singing throughout neighborhoods. Secular music is loosely based on related legends (Santa Claus and his reindeer, for example) and activities such as gift giving, merrymaking, and shopping  Here in our little corner of Colorado, we definitely celebrate in song. Almost every weekend from the first of December through the 31st, from the highest mountains to the lower valleys, you hear the sound of music.

Silverton, elevation 9,318 ft

Although this tiny town, surrounded by high mountains topping 14,000 feet, doesn’t have any “official” music celebrations, there’s plenty of caroling and joyous singing at local churches and in people’s homes.

Telluride, elevation 8,750 ft

Known for its high-mountain culture, Telluride is also renowned for festivals and festivities, especially those involving skiing. Telluride and Mountain Village have music events throughout December, everything from organized concerts at the Sheridan Opera House and Palm Theatre to bar gigs and street-corner musicians entertaining anyone who will listen.

Dec. 4. Noel Night and Christmas Ski Tree Lighting & Ullr’s Ceremonial Ski Burn to honor the Norse god, Ullr, Patron Saint of Skiers. 7:30-11 P.M.

Dec. 7. Old Fashioned Christmas at Schmid Ranch.

Dec. 14-15. Holiday Prelude. Mountain Village is transformed into the North Pole with a variety of festivities. 1-5 P.M.

Dec. 14. Tree Lighting Ceremony with Santa. Joined by merry carolers, Santa leads the countdown to the ceremonial lighting of the Mountain Village Christmas tree. 6 P.M.

Dec. 20-24. Telluride Theatre Holiday Cabaret, featuring music, performances, dance, and more. 7 P.M. nightly.

Dec. 21. The Wizard of Oz. HPalm Arts Dance, 6 P.M.

Dec. 24. Christmas Eve, Torchlight Parade. Dusk.

Dec. 31. New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks.

Ouray, elevation, 7,792 ft

In the scenic Alpine village of Ouray, fills the crisp air. Best of all, wherever you take in music, you can end up with a soak in a hot springs pool!

Dec. 4. Wright Opera House presents Leonard Soloway’s Broadway, the story of a legendary Broadway producer who staged over 100 shows.

Ouray, elevation, 7,792 ft

Dec. 7. Yule Day Celebration, downtown Ouray, includes parties, Community Christmas lighting, live music, a parade, and Yule Night events at the Elks Lodge.

Dec. 8. A Christmas Story. Wright Operea House, 3 P.M.

Dec. 9. Holiday Kick-Off Concert with violinist Tessa Lark and bassist Michael Thruber at the Brickhouse. Dec. 12. Middle & High School Winter Concert. Ouray School, 6 P.M

Dec. 31. Grand Opening of The Tavern and New Year’s bash at the Wright Opera House, celebrating the Roaring Twenties.

January 1. Fireworks Celebration on Main Street at midnight (pictured on our cover.)

Ridgway, elevation, 6,985 ft

Ridgway has hot springs, too. And two great year-round venues for ongoing music. Most restaurants and some shops also host entertainment during the holiday season.

Dec. 4. Chipeta Solar Springs Resort re-opens its Four Corners Restaurant, featuring live music by David Nunn.

Dec. 6. Noel Night in Ridgway. Many businesses and restaurants will have live music.

December 15. Ouray County Chorus presents Carols and Cheer. Sherbino Theater, 7 P.M.

Montrose, elevation, 5,807 ft

Down in the valley instead of up in the mountains, and with a lot less snow, Montrose offers the advantage of easier access to a variety of music. Yet, it’s an easy drive (most of the time) to take in celebrations at neighboring mountain towns.

Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Christmas by Candelight XI, Valley Symphony Orchestra. Montrose Pavilion, 3:30 P.M.

Dec. 4. “Music at Noon” with Robin Freed Ensemble. United Methodist Church. Noon.

Dec. 5-8. Weehawken presents The Nutcracker. Montrose Pavilion. (Times, dates, see ad, pg. 13.)

Dec. 6. First Friday Downtown Montrose. Music at various locations, including Montrose Center for the Arts. 5-7 P.M.

Dec. 6 & 7. All I Want for Christmas. Methodist Church. 7 P.M.

Dec. 6-8. Magic Circle Players present A Christmas Carol, 1940s Radio Broadcast-Style. (Times, dates, see ad, pg. 13.)

Dec. 14. “Let’s Dance!” With live music by New Vision. Montrose Pavilion Senior Center. 7 P.M.

Dec. 15. Montrose Community Band Christmas Concert. Montrose Pavilion, 3-5 P.M.

Dec. 16. “Winter Concert.” Montrose High School Choir Concert, Montrose Pavilion, 7-9 P.M.

Dec. 18. Ringers of Glory Handbell Choir, Methodist Church. Noon.

Dec. 20. Christmas concert featuring Harps in Motion and Valley Youth Orchestra Ensembles. United Methodist Church. 4 P.M.

Dec. 31. New Year’s Eve Dance with Ghost River Band. Montrose Pavilion, Senior Center. 7 P.M.


Ouray County Chorus. That’s our own Alice Billings, front row, 3rd from left.  (Courtesy photo)