Performers from a variety of community groups throughout the Metro region perform free holiday concerts nightly at the 31 st annual Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This year, over 200,000 people are expected to visit what has become a much-loved and anticipated holiday tradition. The festival opens to the public on 6 December and runs through 1 January 2009.

Nightly indoor concerts at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. are free and include Sam Warren, an original member of the Drifters; the renowned Salvation Army National Capital Band; and internationally renowned pianist Marvin Goldstein.

Bell choirs, barbershop ensembles, regional vocal choirs, blue grass bands and many other forms of holiday entertainment will be presented in the Temple Visitors’ Center’s state-of-the-art theater.

December 6, 2008 – January 1, 2009 dusk
to 10 p.m. daily.
Washington D.C. Temple Grounds
9900 Stoneybrook Dr. , Kensington , MD 20895

Features & Exhibits:

  • Over 450,000 sparkling Christmas lights illuminate the temple grounds from dusk until 10 p.m. (includes dazzling LED technology).
  • A crèche exhibit features nativity scenes from over 30 countries.
  • Seventeen decorated Christmas trees inside the Visitors’ Center, including four international trees exhibiting dolls donated by over 90 embassies in Washington.

The Salvation Army National Capital Band will perform at the Visitors’ Center on December 8. Since 1925, the National Capital Band has been The Salvation Army’s musical force in the District of Columbia and the surrounding area. Composed entirely of volunteer musicians, the band has developed an international reputation of excellence. “[Mormon missionaries] have been stalwart volunteers at Salvation Army service projects,” said Maria Mathieson, secretary to the band. “They’ve been like heroes at the Safeway Feast of Sharing [a dinner and job fair for needy D.C. residents], and we wanted to give back.”

Sam Warren  will perform at the Festival of Lights as he presents music of the season and more on December 26. Mr. Warren is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one of the original members of the popular musical group of the 1950s, the Drifters. He has performed in over 4,000 venues, from Atlantic City to the White House.

Highly acclaimed pianist Marvin Goldstein will perform on December 18. He began musical training at age nine and by 18 was awarded a music scholarship to Tel Aviv University School of Music, Tel Aviv, Israel . He continued his formal training at the famed “Mozarteum” of Salzburg , Austria and completed his education with Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida . Marvin travels extensively sharing his gift of music with people throughout the world. Marvin has hosted concerts in Jerusalem , Israel with the noted Israeli singer Gali Atari and in southern California with Gali Atari and Arabic singer Najwa Gibran.

Festival of Lights Performance Schedule

Each concert showcases a different talented community group. Nightly performances are at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , 9900 Stoneybrook Drive , Kensington , Maryland . The public may call (301) 587-0144 for further details.


Suzuki Flute Ensemble
Chapel Ringers – Handbell Choir from Memorial Chapel at Fort Myer
Salvation Army National Capital Band
Madrigal Lords and Ladies – McDonough High School Chamber Choir
Singing Capital Chorus – Men’s Barbershop Chorus
West Springfield High School Madrigals
Capital Carillon – Bell Choir from Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church
Northern Lights Dance Orchestra – Big Band Sound
The Mormon Choir of Washington, D.C.
Yorktown High School Madrigals
Cardinal Brass – Quintet of Accomplished Amateur Musicians
Dominion 4 Quartet – Men’s Barbershop Quartet from Loudon County, Va.
Marvin Goldstein – Professional Pianist
Ukrainian Sant Nikolas Day – Ukrainian Theatre Performance
Todd Thatcher and Tony Favero – Popular Local Musicians
Elizabeth and Nathan Pacheco and Family – Music performance
Seasons – African American Chorus
Jenny Oaks Baker – Renowned Violinist and Church Member from Virginia
Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center Sister Missionaries
Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center Sister Missionaries
Sam Warren – Original member of the Drifters
Rebecca Takemoto and Gene Summers – Vocalists
Festival of Harps – Adult Harp Ensemble
Musical Evening

Suitland Youth String Ensemble – Suzuki Musicians from Washington, D.C. Area (6 p.m. only)

Mormon Orchestra of D.C. (7 p.m. & 8 p.m.)

Chinese Dancers and Instrumentals


Maryland Baltimore Mission – Talents Shared by Missionaries