Fantasy of Lights in Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven, CT

This Week in New Haven (December 18 - 24)

The sounds of the season—blown through bassoons and concertinas, strung through guitars and violins, channeled through effects pedals and car radios—reach the top of their annual crescendo.

Monday, December 18
Bassoonists are usually somewhere towards the back. Tonight at 7:30, they’re out front, as Yale School of Music professor Frank Morelli’s students present “The ABCs of Bassoon: Amadeus, Berlioz, Brazil and Christmas.” Held in Sudler Recital Hall in Yale’s William L. Harkness Hall (100 Wall St, New Haven) and “featuring a reimagining of staples from the classical and holiday repertoires,” the program spans jaunty festive tunes like Winter Wonderland and songs that inspire a more timeless sort of wonderment, like Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte. Free.

Tuesday, December 19
Irish pub and restaurant The Playwright (1232 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-2401) is celebrating a “Celtic Christmas” from 8 to 10 p.m. “Hosted by Loretta Murphy on the accordion and concertina and Katie Morris on the violin and concertina, the session will feature Christmas music as well as Irish Traditional music.” There’s no cover, as far as we can tell.

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Peace on Earth - 2017 Christmas crèche exhibit at the Knights of Columbus Museum

Wednesday, December 20
Cafe Nine’s got a $5 “Christmas nightmare” show that seems a lot more pleasant than that. Opening act The Sharp Flats describes its music as “ambient electro jazz” and its songs as “sonic sculptures;” second act Emily Bordonaro is an “acoustic blues singer-songwriter;” third act Eugene Gallagher “performs stark yet upbeat indie rock through a kaleidoscope of effects;” and bill-topper Light Upon Blight performs “free jazz with a psychedelic noise aesthetic or an exorcism.” 250 State Street, New Haven; (203) 789-8281.

Thursday, December 21
In Woolsey Hall (500 College St, New Haven), the New Haven Symphony Orchestra gives a Pops performance of “seasonal favorites including White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride, a Christmas carol sing-along and more!” Conducted by Chelsea Tipton and featuring guest vocalist Connor Bogart, the show starts at 7:30 p.m., with tickets running between $15 and $74.

Friday, December 22
Stony Creek Brewery (5 Indian Neck Ave, Branford; 203-433-4545) is hosting “A Cranky Story: A Stony Creek Holiday Party & Food Drive.” Serving “one-of-a-kind cask beers,” special holiday cocktails and “complimentary small bites,” with a pizza truck in the parking lot, “holiday movies on the projection screen” and an “ugliest sweater fashion show” with prizes, admission is secured via nonperishable food or cash donations to the Branford Food Pantry.

Saturday, December 23
Punxmas Vol. 2, a $10, two-stage showcase of 18 currently announced punk bands “going all day and all night”—specifically, from 3 p.m. to about 1 a.m.—is happening at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400). This year, organizers say, “we will be donating part of the proceeds to charity,” with “a big box set up for anyone who wants to donate clothes, jackets non-perishable food items.”

At 9 p.m. at Toad’s Place (300 York St, New Haven; 203-624-8623), guitarist Rohn Lawrence, keyboardist Jay Rowe and drummer Trever Somerville—all local jazz pros—are putting on a “Holiday Jazz Spectacular.” Details are light, but it seems likely a bunch of holiday classics will be made particularly velvety.

Sunday, December 24
While churches throughout the area pursue their Christmas Eve services, another Christmastime tradition continues in Lighthouse Point Park (2 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven): Fantasy of Lights. Open from 5 to 9 p.m. and benefiting Goodwill of Southern New England, it’s got 100,000 bulbs in “over 60 animated light displays” lining a course throughout the park, which vehicles of couples, families and other groups drive past and gawk at. Admission costs $10 per car or van, $25 per mini-bus and $50 per bus, with 3D glasses available at $2 a pop, and once inside, you can “tune your radio to 87.9 to hear holiday music and information about our displays.”

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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