The next two weekends offer a great variety of holiday entertainment in southern Maine. Here’s a sampling:

The Portland Symphony Orchestra launches the 2010 edition of “Magic of Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. “Magic” continues with 10 additional performances through Dec. 19. Maestro Robert Moody will lead the orchestra through this annual seasonal romp. The production is framed around the traditions, the story and the spirit of Christmas.

“Magic of Christmas” 2010 will feature Joe Cassidy portraying Scrooge while providing all the voices in an abridged version of “A Christmas Carol.” He will also perform the Irving Berlin classic “White Christmas” and other seasonal favorites. Cassidy is a TV and Broadway star, and a concert soloist.

Soprano Suzanne Nance will join Cassidy and Moody for “The Oratorio” from “The Nutcracker.” Nance has performed recitals across Maine, and appeared with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the PSO. She also produces and hosts MPBN’s “Morning Classical” music program.

The Saco Bay Children’s Choir will sing “Somewhere in My Memory” from the movie “Home Alone.”

Tickets range from $25 to $55 through PortTix; or 842-0800. For the first show on Friday, all seats cost $25.

•  The St. Mary Schola, an ensemble of 12 singers accompanied by violins, cello and harpsichord, under the direction of Bruce Fithian, will present “Nowell Sing We” at 4 p.m. Dec. 12 and 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 43 Foreside Road, Falmouth. It will also perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at Olin Arts Center at Bates College, Lewiston.

This concert of seasonal early music features medieval English carols, Spanish cantigas, the famous organum “Viderunt” by Perotin, a Corelli Church sonata and concerted motets by Schutz and Monteverdi. Interspersed will be readings in Middle English and poems celebrating the season.

Tickets are $20. Tickets for the Dec. 12 concert will be available at the door or by calling 781-3366. Tickets for the Dec. 13 concert will be available at the door or online at Tickets for the Bates show cost $5 at

•  “Christmas with Renaissance Voices” will have three performances: 3 p.m. Dec. 12 at Sanford-Springvale Museum, 505 Main St., Springvale; and 8 p.m. Dec. 18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Cathedral of St. Luke, 143 State St., Portland.

Harold Stover, director of the 21-voice a cappella ensemble, has assembled a program of music from the 13th to 20th centuries. The centerpiece will be “Quatre Motets pour le Temps de Noil” by Francis Poulenc. Works by Hassler and Scarlatti and a set of French carols by Gevaert will round out the program.

Admission is $15 at the door. Advance tickets cost $12 at Starbird Music or Longfellow Books in Portland, Books Etc. in Falmouth, or at www.Renaissance Student admission is $5 at the door. Call 342-2797 for information about the Springvale performance.

•  The American Irish Repertory Ensemble will join the Celtic music duo Castlebay to present “A Celtic Christmas” featuring the Dylan Thomas classic “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and a “Christmas Revels” program.

The show runs Dec. 15-19 at Portland’s newest performance venue, Lucid Stage, 29 Baxter Blvd. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15-18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Tickets range from $12 for children to $22 for adults.

For information and reservations, call 799-5327 or visit