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Gifts of the season // Let there be music, in great abundance

From a classical guitarist to the most familiar of seasonal classical works and movie themes, the holidays will ring out with music.

* Guitarist Richard Gilewitz returns to the Art Center Theatre for his holiday concert at 8 p.m. Saturday. Gilewitz, an Inverness resident, tours the world giving guitar concerts. Expect to hear holiday favorites, some classical selections and some of his own compositions. Tickets at the box office are $15 for adults, $12 for students. Call 746-7606 or 746-0648 to reserve tickets. The Art Center Theatre is 2644 N Annapolis Ave., Citrus Hills.

* The Citrus Community Concert Choir announces its fourth annual presentation of G.F. Handel's Messiah. This year's concert will be performed with an orchestra, a first for the choir. Performances will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Faith Lutheran Church, 935 S Crystal Glen Drive, Lecanto; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, at First Lutheran Church, 1900 State Road 44 W, Inverness; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 again at Faith Lutheran Church in Lecanto. Admission is $8 at the door, free for children 12 and under. Call 628-6452.

* The Singing Christmas Tree is brought to the community free of charge by the Crystal River First Baptist Church at 700 Citrus Ave. It is presented by the Celebration Choir, community members, and dance and drama participants from the church. Performances are 4 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Wednesday; 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9, and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10. Although tickets are free, you must have a ticket to enter. Tickets are available online at www.firstbaptistcr.org or by calling the church at 795-3367. Choir members sing from an animated Christmas tree. The Journey to the Manger focuses on Nathan Wise, a sculptor who has a great deal of difficulty sifting through the commercialism of the season to get to what Christmas might really mean.

* The Central Florida Community College Winter Concert will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the college's Fine Arts Auditorium, 3001 SW College Road, Ocala. The CFCC Patriot Singers, Concert Band, Brass Ensemble, Flute Choir and String Ensemble will perform a variety of favorites including Mozart's Regina Coeli and Rutter's For the Beauty of the Earth. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 through 12, free for those under 4. For tickets or more information, call the college box office at (352) 873-5810.

* Folk musician Mem Semmes, along with her son Jon Semmes and bassist Pete Price, will perform a holiday concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Lions Club building at Walnut Avenue and State Road 40 in Dunnellon. Refreshments will be available. Admission is $8 at the door. Call (352) 489-2181.

* The Citrus Springs Community Chorus will perform selections from its upcoming concert Tuesday at the Quail Roost campground. The concert is a salute, in solo as well as ensemble numbers, to the entertainment industry with selections from TV cartoons and feature films, such as Charlie Brown, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Preacher's Wife and Polar Express. The chorus is under the direction of Nancy Gordon and accompanied by Kay Kelble. The chorus will also perform at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Citrus Springs Community Center with two new instrumental ensembles. It will be free to the public.

* The Suncoast Harmony Chorus will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church of Inverness on S Pleasant Grove Road. Special guests will be the Citrus High School chamber choir and the Alligator Eight from the Chorus of the Highlands. Call 726-8666. Admission is free.

* The Madonna Cafe at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Citrus Springs will feature two concerts of traditional Christmas music by pianist Charlie Childes. A dinner and concert will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 15, and tickets are $15. A brunch and concert will be at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 17, and admission is $10. The parish center is at 1401 W Country Club Blvd. in Citrus Springs. Tickets will be available there from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.

* Singer Carol Kline will give a holiday concert at the Beverly Hills Recreation Association Clubhouse at 2 p.m. Dec. 10. Ticket are $6. Call 745-4882.

* The Pope John Paul II Catholic School Band and Choir, with special guests the Citrus Swing Band, will perform at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Pope John Paul School, at 4341 W Homosassa Trail in Lecanto. Tickets are $10 at the school office. Call 746-2020.

* The Citrus Concert Band will perform holiday music at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Hernando Church of the Nazarene and 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at First Baptist Church of Crystal River, 700 Citrus Ave. Call 563-5611.

* The Chorus of Beverly Hills will perform at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 in the sanctuary of Beverly Hills Community Church, 82 Civic Circle. Admission is $5.

* Four Tickets to Christmas is a family musical that combines a wonderful variety of music and a reminder of the new beginnings of the holidays. The show will be presented by the ministries of First United Methodist Church in Inverness and includes solos, choirs, a barbershop quartet, ragtime and parlor music, and both new and traditional Christmas music. Four Tickets to Christmas will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16 at the church, 3896 S Pleasant Grove Road. Admission is free and nursery services will be available. For more information, call 726-2522.

* The Citrus County Historical Society will present Jazz for the Holidays featuring the Still Waters Jazz Trio at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 upstairs at the Historic 1912 Courthouse on Courthouse Square, Inverness. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, One Courthouse Square. Canapes and a cash bar will be available during the event. Proceeds will benefit the Citrus County Historical Society. Call the society office at 341-6427 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

* The Citrus Swing Band will host its annual "Swing in the Holidays" dinner and concert Dec. 15 at the Citrus High School cafeteria in Inverness. This year's event will include performances by Citrus High School's Brass Choir, Woodwind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and Symphonic Band and Encore. "Swing in the Holidays" begins with dinner served at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments, baked goods and snacks will be available during the evening. Tickets are $15 and are available from any Citrus High School band member or by calling Gary or Becky Saslo at 344-9758. All proceeds from this fundraising event benefit the Citrus High School band program.

* The Central Florida Symphony Orchestra will present its third annual Symphony Under the Lights Concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 on Ocala's Historic Downtown Square. The program will feature holiday music and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, and many sing-along carols. It will also feature three songs by John Williams from the movie Home Alone. Bring your own chair. This is an outdoor community event and admission is free. For concert information, call the orchestra office at (352) 351-1606 or e-mail inquiries to www.cfso_assistant@yahoo.com.

* The American Irish Club of West Citrus offers "Christmas With the Celts'' at 4 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Citrus Springs Community Center. The show features accomplished dulcimer player Marcille Wallis and her special guests, 2004 Florida state fiddle champion Matt Miller, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Don Pigeon, vocalist Elly Gilmore, piper Robin Hendrickson, Celtic dancers Ann and Cal Lloyd, and an appearance by the Inverness Highland Dance Troupe. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 12, available at the Citrus County Chamber offices in Inverness, Crystal River and Homosassa. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Irish Club in Lecanto during its regularly scheduled meetings. Tickets at the door, if available, will be $15 and $5. Call Owen or Carol Lee Shevlin at 257-1015.

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