The Delaware Symphony Orchestra makes its Kennedy Center debut this afternoon with Stephen Gunzenhauer conducting a program that includes Ellen Taafe Zwilich's Celebration for Orchestra, a violin concerto by Du Ming-xin and Saint-Saens' Third Symphony.

The National Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Robert Kleiman, will give its first performance Tuesday evening in the Terrace Theater as part of the Kennedy Center's Cultural Diversity Festival. The program will be devoted entirely to music of black composers, including George Walker, Ulysses Kay, Hake Smith and Howard Swanson.

Continued from last week: the Catholic University production of Puccini's "Giani Schicchi" and "Suor Angelica," this afternoon and Friday night in the Operafest '86 festival at Montgomery College in Rockville. The Theater Chamber Players' program, featuring Leon Fleisher as conductor and pianist, this afternoon and tomorrow night at the Terrace Theater. DANCE

Dance Theatre of Harlem presents the last two programs of its current Kennedy Center visit today -- "Giselle," with Virginia Johnson in the title role, this afternoon; and a mixed bill including "Firebird" this evening. Fifteen Costa Rican Dancers, following a six-week residency at George Washington University, offer a program that includes newly choreographed works by Maida Withers and Liz Lerman, as well as other repertory by Daniel West, Marina Keet and Daniel McCusker, at a free performance Friday and Saturday at GWU's Studio K. The Maryland Youth Ballet will perform "Sleeping Beauty, Act III" ("Aurora's Wedding"), as staged by Michelle Lees; "Ballet Daze," by company director Tensia Fonseca; and Eric Hampton's "Nocturne I," in four performances at the University of the District of Columbia Auditorium Friday through Sunday. Appearing as Aurora and featured also in Hampton's ballet will be 16-year-old Julie Cox, the single American award winner two weeks ago in the prestigious Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition. FILM

Film noir belonged to those sometimes ignored heroes, the cinematographers, and two of the best are showcased this week in the continuing Noir Landscapes series at the Library of Congress' Mary Pickford Theater. Tuesday at 7:30, "Pursued," shot by James Wong Howe; Thursday at 7:30, "T-Men," shot by John Alton.

Speaking of film noir, one of the best is showing tonight at the American Film Institute, at 7 p.m.: Robert Aldrich's "Kiss Me Deadly." In Paul Schrader's phrase, the hero is "a midget among dwarfs." And there you have it.

Among current releases, Woody Allen's masterful romantic comedy, "Hannah and Her Sisters"; Ken Burns' "Huey Long," historical documentary making at its most accomplished and entertaining; "F/X," a thriller that takes its time getting going -- but boy, does it get going. POP MUSIC

Robert Cray, the young bluesman who is credited with revitalizing the moribund genre, joins Washington's Nighthawks Sunday at the Bayou.

Here comes the sons: Arlo Guthrie, son of Woody, and Josh White Jr. share the Birchmere stage on Tuesday, just like their fathers shared many a stage three decades before.

Two underrated rock songwriters make solo acoustic appearances on Tuesday. Nils Lofgren, lately of Bruce Springsteen's band and long a fixture in the local rock hierarchy, is at the Roxy, while John Hiatt, whose albums have been mystifyingly ignored, appears at the 9:30 club.

Emerging out of the ashes of the English Beat, the Fine Young Cannibals are shaping up as one of the few genuinely interesting and exciting bands crossing the Atlantic in 1986. At the 9:30 club on Wednesday.

Classic jazz styles fill the air this coming weekend, with the crusty but foot-stomping turn-of-the-century New Orleans jazz of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Barns on Friday and the Dixieland Rhythm Kings at the Marriott Twin Bridges in Arlington on Saturday.

A number of people, including the wild pianist Dorothy Donegan and tenor saxophonist Buck Hill, will help the Charlin Jazz Society celebrate its anniversary Saturday in the best way -- hard, swinging music at, apporopriately, the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts' newly refurbished theater. THEATER

Actor Edward Duke has fashioned himself a spiffy one-man show from the novels and short stories of P.G. Wodehouse, in which he plays a gallery of eccentric characters romping through manor houses and over the English countryside in the 1920s. "Jeeves Takes Charge" (at Ford's Theatre) is a civilized delight.