Artists from the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, and Houston Ballet will unite on Dec. 6 at Houston Methodist Hospital to perform Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker and other seasonal favorites at the Center for Performing Arts Medicine's annual Holiday Concert.

Performances are scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. on Friday in Crain Garden (Main Building, first floor) and will last about an hour. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and some space will be reserved for patients.

Providing additional color to the orchestral festivities, Houston Ballet dancers in character as the Sugar Plum Fairy and a toy soldier will usher attendees to their seats while Houston Grand Opera singers lead familiar carols. The concert is part of the Margaret Alkek Williams Crain Garden Performance Series.

"The performing arts at Houston Methodist help us take care of the entire patient, as well as our nurses, physicians, and other staff," said otolaryngologist C. Richard Stasney, M.D., founder of the Center for Performing Arts Medicine and a renowned voice expert. "Research has shown providing comfort and inspiration through kindness and art can result in better outcomes for patients. We believe there are spiritual aspects to music and dance that enhance our collective success, too."

The entire concert will be available to patient rooms throughout the hospital via closed circuit.

The Houston Symphony will be led by principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski. The 2013-14 performance season is the Houston Symphony's centennial.