Live Musical Performances
Free tickets available 90 minutes before each performance
Bells of Mount Vernon (7, 8 p.m.)
What better way to begin our Christmas celebrations than with the joyful sounds of a bell choir. This marks the sixth year this vibrant three octave handbell choir has presented a delightful program of beautiful Christmas music at the Festival of Lights.
"Before Tonight: A Musical Nativity," by Rob Moffat and Diego Hellewell (7, 8 p.m.)
Before Tonight: A Musical Nativity is an oratorio that retells the story of Christ's birth from the perspective of its central characters. Weaving all-original music, ranging in style from pop/gospel to musical theater, the concert reminds us of the true and joyous meaning of Christmas.
"Glorious Season"; Washington D.C. Temple Orchestra (7, 8 p.m.)
The Washington D.C. Temple Orchestra presents its 6th annual Christmas concert at the Visitors' Center continuing the tradition of remembering the birth of the Savior and enjoying the holiday spirit. Music is a universal gift that can allow us all to reflect on what is important.
Young Columbians Glee Club (6, 7 p.m.)
A group of 45 singers from Maryland, who range in age from 7 to 20, were created in 1975 for America's bi-centennial. The Young Columbians have performed their Spirit of America, Broadway and Christmas shows in such prestigious venues as the White House, Wolf Trap, Disney World, The Kennedy Center and Merriweather Post Pavilion. Aiming to entertain, teach and inspire, each Young Columbian performance has a polished innocence and freshness rarely seen in our youth today. Directors: Toby Orenstein and Larry Friedman; Accompanist: Ross Rawlings.
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"; Kate Thurgood and Janell Maeger, sopranos (7, 8 p.m.)
This will be an uplifting and inspirational evening of Christmas music, including "O Holy Night," and "O Hear the Angel Voices" sung by two beautiful soprano voices.
"Joy, Joy: A Classical Christmas"; Melinda Baird and Shaundra Culatta (7, 8 p.m.)
Come enjoy the innovation and inspiration of this mother/daughter piano/violin duo as they interpret classical music of composers from throughout the ages and celebrate Christ's birth - "For Christ is Born."
"Christmas in Japanese Style"; Eriko Tokura Murray and Seiko Shimada (7, 8 p.m.)
Japanese performers Eriko Tokura Murray from "7 Sopranos" and Seiko Shimada, vocalist (The Cherry Blossom Festival) will perform songs of Christmas in Japanese style. The program will include the nice surprise of a piano duet of gifted child prodigies. This concert will bring joy and smiles into this Christmas season from far away Japan.
Madrigal Lords and Ladies of McDonough High School choir (7, 8 p.m.)
This prize winning McDonough Chamber Choir has performed in a number of venues including the Kennedy Center. Enjoy these talented vocalists as they perform in the madrigal style.
Singing Sensations Youth Choir (7, 8 p.m.)
The award-winning Singing Sensations Youth Choir, under the direction of Dr. Holly Hood-Mincey, is composed of some 50 students from Baltimore-area public schools. The members range in age from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. For nine years, this highly sought after group has provided refreshing, energizing and heartwarming performances all over the East Cost, in Canada and Trinidad. Many of these choir members struggle daily with difficult life-situations but the manage to rise above their personal struggles by striving to excel academically, socially and artistically.
Mormon Choir of Washington, D.C. (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
A festival of lights tradition and now in its 35th year, the Mormon Choir of Washington D.C. has performed to capacity crowds throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. It will present a program of songs of faith befitting the Christmas season.
Jenny Oaks Baker and friends, violinist (6, 7, 8, 9 p.m.)
Grammy nominated, Billboard No. 1 violinist Jenny Oaks Baker will present "Carols of Christmas Past," featuring Cantori Womens' Chorus and an orchestra conducted by maestro J. Ernest Green; also featuring special guest: "The Baker Kids."
"Bright Star"; Rebecca Takemoto and Eugene Summers, vocalists (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
Returning to Festival of Lights, baritone Gene Summers, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Takemoto and pianist Annalee Whitehead will present a delightful evening of Christmas music. Having performed together for twenty years, the trio will share classical, pop and Jazz vocal duets, including fun audience participation.
Aquia Christmas Festival (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
This program will feature a wide variety of Christmas music performed by professional musicians from the DC area. A brass quartet (all members of military bands), a choir, soprano Jill Pierce, and violinist Karen Johnson, former concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony, who is featured on Deseret Book's "Walk Beside Me" album.
Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
This is an award winning women's chorus comprised of 65 members from Anne Arundel and surrounding Maryland counties. Members of the chorus range in age from the mid-twenties to the mid-eighties. The chorus is known for its creative performances and unique song arrangements.
Ukrainian Saint Nicholas Day (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
Ukrainian Saint Nicholas Day proudly represents their Ukrainian Christmas spirit, traditions, heritage and history going back thousands of years. One legend the thirty member choir and performers will present in the show is that Saint Nicholas, with the love of God, gave Ukraine the gift of "Love to Our Homeland." Along with traditional Ukrainian carols, special handcrafted costumes and decorations have been created for this premiere performance.
Capital Carillon handbell choir (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
This advanced English hand bell ensemble will educate, enlighten, and entertain you through the art of ringing with musical excellence. The choir performs on 82 English hand bells and 82 choir chimes.
McLean Virginia Stake handbell choir (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
Established three decades ago, this bell choir provides a full variety of instruments, techniques, and repertoire. Under the direction of Gary Fuller it offers captivating soloists and the spoken word.
"A 'Mary' Christmas"; Broadway star Sandra Turley, vocalist (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
Sandra Turley performed the role of Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway in New York City. She is currently a recording artist with Deseret Book. Her albums include "Sandra Turley: On Broadway" (2012) and "Inside My Soul" (2014). She is a popular speaker and singer for Deseret Book's Time Out for Women and Girls events across the country. Sandra and her husband live in the DC area where they are raising 4 incredible (and busy!) children.
"A Christmas Tradition"; Todd Thatcher, vocalist, and Tony Favero, pianist (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
Two of the most gifted musicians to perform at the Visitors' Center, Todd Thatcher, vocalist, and Tony Favero, pianist, return to the Festival of Lights by popular demand. Their wonderful interpretation of Christmas standards has become a tradition to which people from throughout this area look forward with much anticipation.
"We 'Four' Kings"; Free State Saxophone Quartet (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
The Free State Saxophone Quartet presents a variety of light-hearted, fun and serious Christmas music. These talented musicians, Ashley Taube, Joseph Briscuso, Brett Taylor, and Phil Barnes perform on the full family of saxophones, soprano, also, tenor and baritone. Come and enjoy this delightful mix of pop, jazz and classical favorites.
"The Night of the Nativity: A Chinese Christmas Eve" (7, 8 p.m.)
Chinese music lovers from chorus societies all over Maryland and Virginia, both Christian and non-Christian, have come together to praise Christ's birth by singing sacred songs on Christmas Eve. Their enthusiasm is inspired by a love of the Lord and a desire to share the joy of this season.
"He Is Born"; sister missionaries, vocalists and instrumentalists (7, 8 p.m.)
The young sister missionaries bring a special spirit to this sacred day. Their love of the Savior Christ Child will shine through in music and spoken words. There is no better way to celebrate this time of year. All who attend will have a memory to last the entire year.
"Feliz Navidad"; Spanish musical variety (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
"Combo Latino of Maryland" presents a program comprised of Latin American Christmas and New Year favorites performed in Spanish. It is an energetic, happy program of song with a variety of instruments and performers of all ages.
"Christmas Joy"; Nathan, Rebecca, and Elizabeth Pacheco (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
The Pacheco Family, from Northern Virginia, is arguably one of the country's most talented musical families. Their beautiful singing voices, and their ability to artfully play musical instruments puts them in high demand for performances throughout the year.
"A Big Band Christmas"; Olney Big Band (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
Back to the Visitors' Center for a fourth Festival of Lights performance, this award-winning group of all volunteer musicians has performed at such prestigious venues as the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Blues Alley, Music Center at Strathmore and the BlackRock Center for the Arts. The band's Festival performance will consist of traditional Christmas music played with swing, jazz and dance beats.
Lyons sisters, violinists (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
Jessica Lyons (age 19) and Katelyn Lyons (age 17) are talented young violinists who have performed in some of the world's finest concert halls. Both are in college studying violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. They return to the Festival of Lights to entertain you with an evening of beautiful Christmas music your whole family will enjoy.
Trifecta; holiday jazz trio (6, 7, 8 p.m.)
This trio of musicians from the US Army Band "Pershing's Own" and the US Air Force Band play saxophone, bass and piano. This will be the fifth year that they have performed at the Festival of Lights, and they have become huge audience favorites.
Gina Ling Chinese Dance Chamber (7, 8 p.m.)
These vibrant young Chinese dancers are very popular and in great demand. They have appeared at many community events, receiving accolades for the artistic ability and highly skilled performances.
"Magnify His Name" Bernadette and Winston Charles, vocalists
Bernadette and Winston Charles are award winning classically trained vocalists. Winston is a bass baritone and Bernadette is a lyrical soprano. They have performed in various venues around the DC Metropolitan area, as well as in New York, London and their native Trinidad and Tobago.
About the Festival
NOVEMBER 30, 2012 to JANUARY 1, 2014
Lights illuminated each night at dusk.
As one of the D.C. area's great community traditions, the Festival features free performances nightly in the comfortable, state-of-the-art theater located in the Visitors' Center.
A different performing artist or group is showcased each night, beginning December 4th. Enjoy bells, bands, choirs, violinists, flautists, swing music, and more!
The Visitors' Center of the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Each performance is presented at least twice nightly. (Click here for printable performance schedule)
- Temple grounds glow with 600,000 lights
- Nightly performances in indoor theater
- Christmas trees decorated in international themes
- Exhibit of crèches from around the world
- Life-sized outdoor nativity
Directions and Concert Tickets
Washington D.C. Temple Visitors' Center
9900 Stoneybrook Drive
Kensington, Maryland 20895
If you would like to attend a concert, please pick up a free ticket for each person attending.
- Tickets are handed out ninety minutes before each concert inside the Visitors' Center, on a first come, first served basis.
- After receiving your ticket, you can enjoy the lights, and see the Christmas trees and international crèches until the concert begins.
Everything is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed for the lights or crèche exhibits.