Fennelly: Plenty of arts to experience before December

November 22, 2013 

I noticed last week that a local radio station had already switched to what I would call an “All-Santa Claus” format, so it must be time for the rest of us to get organized for the holidays. An abundance of music will soon arrive -- never mind the theater and dance also on the way.

A bit of advance planning will ensure that the maximum of holiday joy comes your way, so let’s start marking calendars and making reservations.

Holiday music

December will be just 16 hours old when the Macon Symphony Orchestra teams up with the Choral Society of Middle Georgia, the Mercer University Children’s Choir and conductor David Keith from the Townsend School of Music for “Home for the Holidays.” Just days later, Richard Kosowski and the popular Mercer Children’s Choir will be performing at Mulberry Street Methodist Church. The following night, Macon’s newest musical group, the Macon Pops Orchestra -- with special guests Floco Torres and Betty Cantrell -- will be bringing holiday cheer to the City Auditorium.

Wait: There’s more! That same evening, conductor Stanley Roberts, the Mercer Singers and organist Jack Michener will present “A Festival of Carols” at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

The very next day, the Music and the Arts at Vineville series will host harpist Betsy Fitzgerald and flautist Wendy Cohen in “Joyeux Noel” at Vineville United Methodist Church.

Think about it: All this music (and more) is on the calendar between Thanksgiving and Dec. 8, and we haven’t even mentioned the array of theater also arriving. For example, the national touring production of “Memphis” (the 2010 Tony winner for Best Musical) will roll into the Grand Opera House on Dec. 2-3, and just days later the holiday productions at Macon Little Theatre and Theatre Macon will open.

Right now

And, yes, there’s still a lot of important stuff on the calendar between now and Thanksgiving. Still running are the Mercer Theater production of Vladimir Volkoff’s “Love Kills,” the Backlot Players’ “Christmas Belles” and the Milledgeville Players’ “Smoke on the Mountain.”

Note also that the excellent production of “King Lear” at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern closes Dec. 1. There’s music before Thanksgiving, too. Don’t overlook the Saturday performance by the Mercer Singers and Women’s Choir. “Thanksgiving Song” is free.

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