Clara's Journey

A girl's dreams carry her to the Land of Snow and the Land of Flowers in American Ballet Theatre's lavish production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," choreographed by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, opening Wednesday in the Kennedy Center Opera House (Metro: Foggy Bottom-GWU, with free shuttles). The schedule: Wednesday through Dec. 9 at 7:30 and Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 at 1:30 and 7:30 (some shows are near sell-outs). Tickets cost $47 to $112. Call 202-467-4600.

Songs of the Season

* The Washington Women's Chorus and the choirs and handbell ensembles from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart blend holiday favorites with readings by WETA personality David Faircloth at two concerts this weekend: Saturday at 7 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 4000 Lorcom Lane, Arlington, and Sunday at 4 at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 4700 Whitehaven Pkwy. NW. Tickets cost $20, seniors and students $15. Call 202-244-7367 or visit

* The 230-voice New Dominion Chorale sings "Gloria! Gloria!," a holiday program including selections from Handel's "Messiah" and Puccini's "Messa di Gloria" and carol singalongs, Sunday at 4 at the Rachel Schlesinger Concert Hall on the campus of Northern Virginia Community College, 3001 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria. Tickets cost $25, seniors $20, students and children $15. Call 703-442-9404 or visit

* Coral Cantigas, celebrating its 15th anniversary season, sings Latin American holiday favorites at "Feliz Navidad! Carols and Parrandas" Sunday at 7 at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, 6601 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda. The concert also includes Nigerian carols sung in Yoruba, Hanukkah songs and traditional spirituals. Tickets cost $20, seniors $18, students $16, and ages 12 and younger free. Call 301-424-8296 or visit

Santa Rocks

The Nighthawks, Mary Ann Redmond, Linwood Taylor, the Tommy Lepson Band, Perry, Polman & Gamble, Radio Mosaic and other local stars share the stage at the ninth annual Santa Jam, a holiday concert to benefit Northern Virginia family shelters, Thursday at 8 at the State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Admission at the door is one new, unwrapped toy or a $10 donation. Call 703-237-0300.

Scots Take to the Streets

More than 100 Scottish clan organizations, pipe and drum bands, historical reenactment groups, antique car clubs and other units will march through the streets of Old Town Alexandria Saturday at 10:30 in the 35th annual Scottish Christmas Walk. The route begins at Wilkes and South Pitt streets and winds through the city to Wolfe and South Washington streets. Watching is free. The parade is sponsored by the Campagna Center, which is also sponsoring a tour of six historic Old Town homes Saturday from 11 to 4. Tour tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 Saturday. Call 703-549-0111 or visit

Sing With the Marines

Wolf Trap Park hosts its 37th annual "Holiday Sing-A-Long" of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs Sunday at 4 in the Filene Center, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. Lt. Michelle Rakers will conduct the U.S. Marine Band, joined by a mass choir formed from local choral groups. The concert concludes

with "Silent Night" and a candlelight processional. Admission is free, and tickets are not required. Donations of new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots are welcomed, and each participant is encouraged to bring a bell and a candle. Call 703-255-1900 or visit

Christmas in Celtic Lands

The Linn Barnes & Allison Hampton Celtic Consort headlines Dumbarton Concerts' 20th annual "Celtic Christmas" celebrations through Dec. 10 at Dumbarton Church, 3133 Dumbarton St. NW. The consort, joined by drummer Steve Bloom and flutist Joseph Cunliffe, will weave traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and other lands with readings by WETA personality Robert Aubry Davis, including Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales." The schedule: Saturday at 4 and 8, Sunday at 4, Thursday at 7, Dec. 9 at 8 and Dec. 10 at 4 and 8. Tickets cost $28, seniors and students $24. Call 202-965-2000 or visit

Star-Crossed Lovers

Soprano Wei Huang, who has starred in "La Boheme" on Broadway, and Chi Liming, a leading tenor with the Shanghai Opera, portray teenagers in love in the Virginia Opera production of Charles Gounod's "Romeo & Juliet" at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the campus of George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. Performances are Friday at 8 and Sunday at 2;

discussions with members of the Norfolk-based company begin 45 minutes before each show. Tickets cost $44 to $84 from To order, call 888-945-2468. For information, call 703-993-8888.

-- Compiled by Barry Barriere

Julie Kent is the Sugar Plum Fairy in American Ballet Theatre's "Nutcracker."Pipe and drum bands lead the way at the Scottish Christmas Walk in Alexandria.Wei Huang, left, and Chi Liming star in the Virginia Opera Company's production of "Romeo & Juliet" at George Mason University.