in the intimate

for the yearly performance of

, complete with period instruments, traditional carols and enough holiday decorations to truly put you in the Christmas spirit.---

In celebration of the holiday season, a collection of local musicians perform the traditional work of Bach, Vivaldi, Boismortier and Handel within the stone walls of the Loretto Chapel. Listeners can expect an array of poinsettias and candles in the superb acoustic space, clearing the way for some sounds of the season.

The performance features the self-directed ensemble as well as the resounding voices of two sopranos carefully chosen for their clean singing and clear diction that typify Baroque-era work.

But the pre-Stradovarian period accuracy doesn't stop there, according to Santa Fe Pro Musica Executive Director Linda Armer. Pro Musica ensemble members have been practicing on Baroque period instruments for quite some time. The stringed instruments are played with a curved Baroque bow. The one-keyed flute plays in harmony. The oboe is played on a special Baroque reed. All of these elements combine to create a sound mellower than the bright-sounding instruments made today.

"It is what's called a 'historically informed' performance," Armer says. "We use the instruments of the period because that's what the composers wanted it to sound like."

The result is a musical event consisting of five traditional carols and three pieces featuring sopranos for an 11-piece performance that lasts just over one hour.

"The combination of music and the setting is extraordinary," Armer says. "It's the true meaning of Christmas to be in an intimate chapel with a small ensemble."

A Baroque Christmas

6 pm and 9 pm

Sunday, Dec. 19

Tuesday-Friday, Dec. 21-24

Sunday, Dec. 26


Loretto Chapel

211 Old Santa Fe Trail