Arts & Culture

A free Harmony Project KC show, a ‘Messiah’ Sing-Along, this list has holiday spirit

Harmony Project KC was started in 2015 at the Northeast Community Center to assure that any student, no matter the family’s income level, can receive an instrument and music education.
Harmony Project KC was started in 2015 at the Northeast Community Center to assure that any student, no matter the family’s income level, can receive an instrument and music education.

Harmony Project KC was recently bestowed a gift that is turning into a gift for the community.

The Metzler-Copaken Initiative awards grants to Kansas City arts organizations that allow them one free performance at Folly Theater. Harmony Project KC was a recipient, and will present its free performance Dec. 8.

The concert will showcase Harmony Project’s various instrumental ensembles, who will play everything from traditional music to classical fare.

Harmony Project KC was started in 2015 at the Northeast Community Center to assure that any student, no matter the family’s income level, can receive an instrument and music education. It originally started with three students and now, more than 160 students are receiving choral and instrumental music lessons, mentoring, leadership courses and college preparation.

10:30 a.m. Dec. 8. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. Free. To learn more about Harmony Project KC, visit www.harmonyprojectkc.org.

Bach Aria Soloists at JCCC

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Elisa Williams Bickers (left), Elizabeth Suh Lane and Sarah Tannehill Anderson make up the core of Bach Aria Soloists. Dan White

The Bach Aria Soloists — comprising violinist and founder Elizabeth Suh Lane, harpsichordist Elisa Williams Bickers and soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson — is joining with actors from the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival for “A Winter’s Tale in Words and Song” Dec. 7 at Johnson County Community College’s Carlsen Center.

Sidonie Garrett, the executive artistic director of the Shakespeare Festival, is directing the production, which draws on the works of Shakespeare to create a winter-themed story. Some of the music to be performed includes Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, Vivaldi’s Winter Concerto, Bach’s Viola da Gamba Sonata No. 1, and the Wexford and Coventry carols.

8 p.m. Dec. 7. Polsky Theatre, Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park. $25. 913-469-4445 or tinyurl.com/yb8lgaz7.

KC Symphony’s ‘Messiah’

There are so many different approaches to Handel’s “Messiah,” from spare, authentic period instrument performances to historically inaccurate but nevertheless crowd-pleasing arrangements. The Kansas City Symphony always seems to find the sweet spot in its “Messiah” interpretation. The symphony usually takes the work at a brisk tempo, as do most early music groups. But the Kansas City Symphony’s “Messiah” has a big sound, a quality that hearkens back to an old-fashioned Cecil B. DeMille approach.

The symphony’s former associate conductor Aram Demirjian is coming home to conduct Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 7-9 at Helzberg Hall. The Kansas City Symphony Chorus is being prepped by Charles Bruffy and will be joined by some terrific soloists: soprano Rachele Gilmore, mezzo-soprano Sofia Selowsky, tenor Jonathan Johnson and baritone Davóne Tines.

7 p.m. Dec. 7 & 8 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. $25-$75. 816-471-0400 or www.kcsymphony.org.

Te Deum Chamber Choir

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Te Deum Chamber Choir Mark McDonald

Count on Matthew Christopher Shepard and the Te Deum Chamber Choir to put on a Christmas concert filled with delights and discoveries.

“Peace and Joy” will include music for the season by William Walton and Francis Poulenc and sacred minimalists John Tavener, and Arvo Pärt. There also will be newer settings of traditional carols by contemporary composers.

7 p.m. Dec. 3. at Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Create-It Studio, 1409 W 11th St. $15-$50. www.te-deum.org.

A Bach Christmas concert

The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra conducted by Bruce Sorrell and Musica Vocale led by Arnold Epley are collaborating on a big Christmas concert Dec. 4 at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. The two excellent ensembles are joining forces for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, a work not often heard live in Kansas City. It’s Bach at his most joyful, welcoming the season with brassy flourishes and good cheer.

7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W 13th St. $10-$35. 816-235-6222 or www.kcchamberorchestra.org.

Messiah Sing-Along

Some people like to bake their own Christmas cookies, make their own Christmas ornaments and sing their own “Messiah.”

Choral conductor William Baker will give D.I.Y. types an opportunity to do just that when the Summer Singers of Lee’s Summit, the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lee’s Summit present a “Messiah” Sing-Along Dec. 2 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lee’s Summit.

Scores for “Messiah” will be available for purchase, and don’t worry, you won’t have to sing any solos. Those will be provided by four of Kansas City’s finest singers: soprano Beth Kakacek-Munce, mezzo-soprano Erica Seago, tenor Sean Sweeden and baritone Chris Munce.

4 p.m. Dec. 2. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 416 Southeast Grand Ave., Lee’s Summit. Free. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/yampzrot.

Advent Lessons and Carols

Mario Pearson leads the Schola Cantorum of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in its annual Advent Lessons and Carols Dec. 6 at the cathedral. The evening will include scripture and poetry readings appropriate for the season, as well as music ranging from Gregorian chant to an “Ave Maria” composed by Pearson. There will be a free reception following the concert.

7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 W. 12th St. Free. www.kcgolddome.org.

You can reach Patrick Neas at patrickneas@kcartsbeat.com and follow his Facebook page, KC Arts Beat, at www.facebook.com/kcartsbeat.

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