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Pleasanton Community Concert Band at Firehouse today

Free Holiday Show from 2-3:15 p.m.

The Pleasanton Community Concert Band will give its annual free Holiday Show from 2-3:15 p.m. today at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton.

Other holiday entertainment at the Firehouse is as follows:

* "December People: Classic Rock Christmas" at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12.

* "Golden Follies, a Toe-Tapping Holiday Revue!" at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13.

* "Jeff Bordes & Friends, a Jazzy Christmas" featuring Don Lewis at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19.

* "A Cash Country Christmas, Holiday Tribute to the Man in Black" at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 20.

* "The Big Fat Year-End Kiss Off!" starring Will Durst & Friends at 8 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 27.

* Pleasanton's Civic Arts Stage Company and the Bay Area Children's Theatre Company will present "Elf Jr." at the Amador Theater with evening and afternoon performances on weekends from Dec. 11-20. This funny and heart-warming classic follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity.

* The Valley Concert Chorale will present its "Annual Holiday Concerts" of sacred and popular holiday songs at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12, at the First Presbyterian Church, 2020 Fifth St. in Livermore; and at 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13, at Lynnewood United Methodist Church, 4444 Black Ave. in Pleasanton. The concerts include an audience carol sing-a-long.

"At our annual December holiday concerts, you'll experience the spirit of the Christmas season with our theme 'There is Sweet Music Here,'" said conductor John Emory Bush. "This text comes from the great Tennyson poem of the same title and set to music by the renowned Canadian composer Stephen Chatman."

"We include the opening and closing movements of Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Christmas Oratorio,' a jubilant chorus and triumphant chorale," Bush said.

Board president Jensen said the audience sing-along has proved to be popular over the years.

"It's obvious that the audience is getting in the spirit of the season as we sing the carols," Jensen said. "You can see it in their faces, and it makes the experience extra special for us singers."

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. High school and college students are $10, and children are free.

For the Valley Concert Chorale performances, telephone 866-4003 or visit www.valleyconcertchorale.org.

* Also on Dec. 12, the Valley Dance Theatre will present its annual full-length production of the "The Nutcracker," with eight performances at the Bankhead.

Tchaikovsky's enchanting score will be played by the Valley Dance Theatre Pit Orchestra, and some of the performances will include pre-performance musical festivities by the Cantabella Children's Chorus and Harmony Fusion Chorus.

This year, a $500 grant from the Rotary Club of Livermore Valley has paid for new costumes for those eight frisky little mice.

"All our costumes are built to last at least 20 years, but you can imagine that, after 23 seasons of use and lots of movement, the old mice costumes desperately needed to be replaced," said Valley Dance Theatre founder Betsy Hausburg.

"The community enables us to keep going with its donations of time and money," she noted. "Whether it is volunteers helping to build scenery or local dignitaries making cameo appearances in shows, whether it's Rotary providing funds for costumes or families including us in their annual giving, the entire community sustains us."

Tickets are $38, $28 for adults and $20 for students 18 years and younger. Go to www.livermoreperformingarts.org, call 373-6800, or visit the box office.

* The annual Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center New Year's Eve Celebration with Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings joined by special guest Carlos Reyes for an evening of original blues-infused music, followed by a reception in the lobby. The show begins at 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 31.

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