No show ever feels small at the Kennedy Center and the 200-voiced, symphonic Washington Chorus is no exception with their holiday concert, “A Candlelight Christmas.”

The Washington Chorus is now led by the humorous, lively Christopher Bell who opens the show with glittery jacket and dry humor. He refuses to let his audience sit – he makes them participate in dances during the rousing “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Bell is as entertaining as the music itself – his personality is a welcome addition to an already festive show.  

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When the show began, the lights dimmed and the choir sang angelic, peaceful opening chords as they filled the aisles and walked to the stage. Singing classics from “Once in Royal David’s City,” to “And the Glory of the Lord,” a supreme standout was the touching “I Pray.” A tear-jerking ballad about passed-away loved ones during Christmas time, Bell smiled at the awed audience, saying “It’s available on iTunes.”

The sopranos of the chorus were particular standouts. Their voices blended and soared on the heavenly “Silent Night,” particularly.

One welcome addition to the concert was the Eleanor Roosevelt Concert Choir who sang a soulful “Get Away, Jordan,” and spirited “Christmas Bells are Ringing.”

Overall, the Candlelight Christmas concert is a perfect show for all audiences – families, individuals, couples looking to escape from every day and feel more connected with the holiday season. Bell shows a promising future as the director with his uncensored personality and limitless energy, adding more depth to the concert.

“A Candlelight Christmas” shows how music feeds the soul, especially during a busy holiday season, reminding audiences why we still keep singing those same classic carols over and over again.

There are three shows left at the Kennedy Center which will be running on Sat. Dec. 16 at 4pm; Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7pm; and Friday, Dec. 22 at 7pm at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Buy tickets here.