The Kansas City Symphony, led by associate conductor Aram Demirjian, will offer its annual “Christmas Festival” for seven performances beginning this Thursday.
It’s always a tinsel-filled affair featuring dancing, bell-ringing, carolers and a visit from old St. Nick.
This year, the Symphony welcomes a special guest, pianist Rich Ridenour. Ridenour is noted for his pops collaborations with orchestras around the country. His light touch should be perfect for “Christmas Festival.”
The Symphony is also giving you a chance to bring home some tinsel. At each performance, the Symphony will give away a jewelry prize from Helzberg Diamonds.
As conductor of two of this area’s finest community orchestras, Northland Symphony Orchestra and Heritage Philharmonic, James Murray has a talent for inspiring and bringing out the best in his musicians. He’ll lead the Heritage Philharmonic in “Sounds of Christmas” this Saturday at Blue Springs High School.
Every year, the Heritage Philharmonic pulls out all the stops for a big holiday bash, and this year is no different. The orchestra will be joined by the Delta Woods Middle School Honor Choir and the handbell choir from First United Methodist Church of Blue Springs for a crowd-pleasing, festive program.
The Heritage Philharmonic is also spreading the musical love. Those who attend “Sounds of Christmas” are invited to donate used instruments to Band of Angels, a wonderful, local organization that provides instruments for children in need. The group also raises money for scholarships to music camps. To find out more about Band of Angels, visit bandofangelskc.org.
7:30 p.m. Saturday. Blue Springs High School Performing Arts Center, 2000 N.W. Ashton Drive, Blue Springs. Free. For more information, visit heritagephilharmonic.org.
Royal Ballet’s “Nutcracker”
It’s Nutcrackermania in Kansas City right now. Boulevard Brewing Co.’s Nutcracker ale is flowing, the Kansas City Ballet has a brand-spanking new production of the holiday classic and Sunday at the Tivoli Cinemas in Westport, you can watch a high-definition broadcast of the Royal Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
Of course, nothing can take the place of seeing “The Nutcracker” live, but for bona fide “Nutcracker” freaks, the Royal Ballet production has a lot to recommend it.
Acclaimed dancer and choreographer Peter Wright created the Royal Ballet’s version in 1984. Like Devon Carney’s production for the Kansas City Ballet, Wright’s “Nutcracker” is very traditional. In fact, Wright retains some of Lev Ivanov’s choreography from the original production in 1892.
This is a glorious “Nutcracker” that benefits from all the resources the Royal Ballet has to throw at it. The growing Christmas Tree is especially spectacular.
You can reach Patrick Neas at email@example.com.