Four Art Events Not to Miss in December

An Intimate Holiday Concert with Park ICM

After a sellout for its first-ever holiday concert last year, Park International Center for Music returns with more music to make spirits bright.  

According to Steven McDonald, music director of the Park ICM Orchestra, the program will include “a variety of Christmas pieces both familiar and less well-known and serves as an elegant companion and contrast to the music presented by other fine ensembles” in the Kansas City area.

Some highlights of the program include the English Renaissance tune Greensleeves, best known in America as the song What Child Is This? British composer Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves alternates between major and minor keys, creating a mood of wonder and mystery.

Skater’s Waltz by French composer Emil Waldsteuffel evokes an afternoon’s skate on a chilly winter day. Alessandro Scarlatti’s Christmas Cantata references the Sicilian shepherd’s dance, whose rhythm mimics the rocking of a cradle.

And another gift for you: The concert is free, with a reservation.

The Nutcracker from the Kansas City Ballet

In a treasured tradition, Kansas City Ballet leaps anew into the holiday classic The Nutcracker at Kauffman Center, from December 1 through 24. Choreographed by Devon Carney, this production was hailed by the Washington Post as “positively oozing charm.”

You might also add wit. Exuberance. With fabulous costumes and grand sets.

With every telling and dancer’s pirouette, this Victorian-era tale by E. T. A. Hoffman becomes richer and more enchanting. When the music and the story are familiar, you can let yourself drift along in Clara’s colorful dream or notice details that you hadn’t before.

And if you’ve never been to Kansas City’s The Nutcracker, this is your year. If you liked photographing yourself in a Barbie-doll box for the movie, you’ll love taking a photo with a live ballerina or at some of the other selfie photo stations.

Million Dollar Quartet Christmas

And here’s yet another holiday musical experience, more on the gourmet cheeseburger side than the perfectly plated Michelin-star dish.

On Thursday evening, December 7, at Yardley Hall at the Johnson County Community College Midwest Trust Center, the Tony Award-nominated musical Million Dollar Quartet Christmas rolls into town.

In a reimagined time not so long ago but before they were legends, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley meet up with a few gal pals to sing and celebrate. It’s December 1956 and nobody knows whether rock-‘n’-roll is a fad or a revolution.

What ensues is an evening of chart-topping, you-know-them-by-heart songs including Santa, Baby; Blue Christmas; Run, Run, Rudolph; Ring of Fire; Go Tell It on the Mountain; Chantilly Lace; and more.

You can also order dinner to enjoy before the musical. 

Bach Aria Soloists’ Holiday Concert

On Saturday evening, December 9, the Bach Aria Soloists will perform their magic at their beloved Holiday Concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City.

With a program that “warms the heart and soothes the soul,” the concert combines the sounds of the season with intimate chamber music arrangements.

Guest vocalist Lindsay Lang joins the artistic director-founder violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane, Grammy-winning soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson, multi-talented Elisa Williams Bickers on harpsichord/organ/piano, and acclaimed cellist Hanna Collins.

The program highlights include Händel arias and duets, Bach Arioso: Alto aria Gott soll allein BWV 169, In the Bleak Midwinter, Bach Sonata for Violin and Klavier, Wexford Carol, and traditional carols.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed