You want to believe that for every bit of tinny Muzak at the mall, every carol-singing robotic bass or frog, every dancing Santa destined to have its batteries removed before sundown on the 25th, there’s someone with a guitar or a trumpet or drum or a group of willing voices making a joyful noise. Music is rich in this season, and from the ringing out at Meymandi Hall to the rhythm and elegance of six a capella singers to a morning serenade for a vision of hope, we still have neighbors who play it from the heart.

In the spirit: The Durham Carolers

Three hundred bells–one instrument: The Raleigh Ringers

Love songs for a dark lady: “Que viva la Virgen!”