This will be a season of farewells for two of Portland’s longest-serving musical ambassadors.

Robert Moody, who is leaving the Portland Symphony Orchestra after 10 years as music director and maestro, will conduct his final “Magic of Christmas” concerts at Merrill Auditorium, beginning Dec. 8. And Ray Cornils, the affable municipal organist of 27 years, will perform his farewell “Christmas with Cornils” concert on Dec. 19.

Cornils is one of two municipal organists in the country (the other is in San Diego). His recent tenure is noteworthy for his stewardship of a $2.6 million rebuild of the Kotzschmar Organ at Merrill. His Christmas concert is a popular longstanding tradition, and this year’s will be especially festive. In addition to it being Cornils’ final Christmas concert, it’s also his final concert as the city’s organist.

James Kennerley will become the city’s 11th municipal organist in 2018. The 105-year-old Kotzschmar is one of the city’s cultural jewels, known throughout the organ world for its range, size and sonic majesty. It shows itself best during the holidays, when Cornils features festive, reflective and inspirational music from throughout the centuries. He will be joined by the Kotzschmar Festival Brass, ChoralArt Singers and the Parish Ringers. In celebration of his retirement, a public reception will follow the concert.

Cornils has planned a momentous program “overflowing with music from many time periods and a variety of styles. I look forward to sharing the stage one last time with longtime friends and colleagues, as we all celebrate the joy, peace and hope of the season as it has been expressed through music from throughout the centuries from a variety of places in the world.”

Cornils called “the marvelous” Kotzschmar organ “a worthy partner in my music-making for so many years in Portland. The program will surely highlight all of its resources.”

MOODY’S RETIREMENT celebration will wait until the spring, when he conducts his final concerts as PSO music director. For his final “Magic of Christmas” concerts, Moody invited soprano and former Maine Public Classical radio music host Suzanne Nance to join him. Also performing this year will be soprano Susie Pepper, who has sung with the PSO many times under Moody’s direction, including the “Patriotic Pops” concert on Portland’s Eastern Promenade.

Robert Moody is stepping down as the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s music director. Photo courtesy of Portland Symphony Orchestra

“It will be an experience bringing both of these amazing singers together on stage who have played such an important part of Robert’s time here with the symphony,” said PSO executive director Carolyn Nishon.

There will be the traditional fun and festive “Sleigh Ride” and a new “Magic” medley. The Magic of Christmas chorus will be featured, and Moody will sing a number or two.

Cornils also will perform with “Magic” and will provide a one-hour musical prelude before each concert as people settle into their seats.

The orchestra will perform 12 “Magic” concerts over two weekends, with concerts twice daily Friday to Sunday.

“Christmas with Cornils,” 7 p.m. Dec. 19, Merrill Auditorium; $15 to $50; 842-0800 or “Magic of Christmas,” 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 10; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15-16; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 17; $32 to $82; 842-0800 or