WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK IN MUSIC (DEC. 17-23, 2014)

(Be sure to visit our monthly concert calendar by clicking on “Events Calendar.”)

CATHEDRAL OF THE MADELEINE, “Christmas Carol Service,” the service features music of the Advent and Christmas seasons, including plainchant, choral works and traditional carols, December 17-18, 8 p.m., December 24, 4 p.m., free, 801-328-8941 for more information, www.utcotm.org.

KURT BESTOR CHRISTMAS, traditional holiday favorites and original music, featuring an all-star band, a world-class chamber orchestra, sophisticated sound and lights, and special guests, combined with warm storytelling and humor, December 18-20, 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances, Abravanel Hall, $20-$47.50, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org.

EXCELLENCE IN THE COMMUNITY CONCERT SERIES, Lark & Spur, traditional and modern carols, December 18, 7:30 p.m., Gallivan Center, free.

DAVIS COUNTY SYMPHONY, Annual “Messiah” Sing-Along, Kent Nelson, music director, December 19, 7 p.m., Center Street LDS Cultural Hall, 261 E. Center Street, Clearfield, free, www.daviscountysymphony.org.

THE STING AND HONEY COMPANY, “This Bird of Dawning,” the Nativity story told through poetry and music, it’s an evening of astonishing imagery and music, including Nativity poetry written by a variety of poets from Shakespeare to W.B. Yeats and Li-Young Lee, December 19-20, 7:30 p.m., Leona Wagner Black Box, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, $12, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org.

SALT LAKE CHORAL ARTISTS, “Advent and Christmas Music Through the Ages,” Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, Vocal Artists, and the Young Choral Artists, the choirs will perform carols that span the centuries, from the 1300s to the present, December 19-20, 7:30 p.m., St. Ambrose Church, 1975 S. 2300 East, Salt Lake City, $20 general, $10 students, available at the door or at www.saltlakechoralartists.org.

ORATORIO SOCIETY OF UTAH, Handel’s Messiah, Nachtmusik Orchestra and local soloists, dedicated to James Fontaine, December 20, 7 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall in David Gardner Hall, University of Utah, $10, 801-581-7100, www.kingtix.com., second performance, December 21, 7 p.m., Cottonwood Presbyterian Church, 1580 E. Vine Street (6100 S.), Salt Lake City, free, however donations would be appreciated.

UTAH SYMPHONY, Family Series, “Here Comes Santa Claus!,” Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor, presented by the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association, December 20, 2:30 p.m., Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, Weber State University, $12 general, child and student discounts are not available online, to purchase these tickets, please call 801-399-9214 0r visit our office at 638 26th Street, Ogden, www.symphonyballet.org.

WEST VALLEY SYMPHONY, “WorldStage!,” Concert Series, Donnie Gilbert, music director, George Dye, associate music director, December 22, 7 p.m.,  Utah Cultural Celebration Center Auditorium, 1355 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, free.

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WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK IN THEATRE (DEC. 17-23, 2014)

(Be sure to visit our monthly theatre calendar by clicking on “Events Calendar.”)

CENTERPOINT LEGACY THEATRE, Scrooge, book, lyrics and music by Leslie Bricusse, directed by Addie Holman, a delightful musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, through December 18, 7:30 p.m., Barlow Main Stage, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, $17-$22, 801-298-1302, www.centerpointtheatre.org.

CENTERPOINT LEGACY THEATRE, It’s a Wonderful Life: Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry from a screenplay by Francis Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling, directed by Carol Thomas, this beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast, through December 20, 7 p.m., Leishman Performance Hall, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, $15 general, 801-298-1302, www.centerpointtheatre.org.

COVEY CENTER FOR THE ARTS, Joyful Noise, by Tim Slover, the play examines how composer George Frideric Handel struggles to write a new masterpiece (Messiah) since his last “blasphemous” opera flopped, causing him to fall out of favor with King George II, through December 20, 7:30 p.m., Brinton Theatre, $14 reserved, $12 seniors/students/military, 801-852-7007, www.provo.org/community/covey-center-for-the-arts.

THE ECHO THEATRE, It’s a Wonderful Life, written by Joe Landry, based on the film, this beloved American holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast, directed by Adam Cannon, through December 20, 7:30 p.m. (performances on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays), 15 N. 100 East, Provo, $10 general, $9 students (presale), $12 general/students, $9 seniors (day of performance), www.theechotheatre.com.

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY, Peter and the Starcatcher, by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, music by Wayne Barker, this wonderfully inventive new play explains how Peter Pan ended up in Neverland and how Captain Hook became Peter’s arch enemy, through December 20, 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m., 2 p.m. matinees, $38 balcony, $59 main floor or loge (tickets will be $5 higher when purchased on day of performance), 801-581-7100, www.pioneertheatre.org.

SCERA CENTER, The Farley Family Xmas, James Arrington’s farewell performance of his signature one-man holiday show, through December 20, 7:30 p.m., 745 S. State, Orem, $12 general, $10 seniors, $10 children (3-11 years of age), 801-225-2787, www.scera.org.

PLAN-B THEATRE, Christmas with Misfits, a world premiere by Julie Jensen, directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff, four short plays about what is wrong, and could be right, with Christmas, through December 21, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., Studio Theatre, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, $20, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org.

TERRACE PLAZA PLAYHOUSE, Scrooge: A Christmas Carol, through December 23, 7:30 p.m., 99 E. 4700 South, Ogden, $9-$14, 801-393-0070, http://terraceplayhouse.com.

HALE CENTRE THEATRE-OREM, A Christmas Carol, the original musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, through December 23, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances, also 2 p.m. matinees on December 20 and 22-23, 225 W. 400 North, Orem, $16-$22 general, $12-$16 children, 801-226-8600, www.haletheater.org.

HALE CENTRE THEATRE-WEST VALLEY CITY, A Christmas Carol, 30th annual production of this musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic story, through December 24, 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances, $29-$32 general, $16 children ages 5-11, 801-984-9000, www.halecentretheatre.org.

THE OFF BROADWAY THEATRE, The X-mas Men, the evil Jack Frost plans to take over Santa’s magic snowball, to give coal to good children and presents to bad ones, luckily the X-mas Men are here to save the day, through December 27, 7:30 p.m., 272 S. Main, $10-$16, 801-355-4628, www.theobt.org.

SALT LAKE ACTING COMPANY, A Year with Frog and Toad, book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale, based on the books by Arnold Lobel, directed by Penny Caywood, SLAC’s 6th annual professional children’s production, two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special, a story of friendship that endures, through December 27, 7:30 p.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. performances, Upstairs Theatre, 168 W. 500 North, $25 adults, $15 children, 801-363-7522, or log on to www.saltlakeactingcompany.org.

PICKLEVILLE PLAYHOUSE, Juanito Bandito’s Christmas Carol, December 18-20, 22, 7:30 p.m., Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State St., $16-$28, 801-957-3322, https://tickets.slcc.edu/TheatreManager/1/login?event=291.

THE STING AND HONEY COMPANY, “This Bird of Dawning,” the Nativity story told through poetry and music, it’s an evening of astonishing imagery and music, including Nativity poetry written by a variety of poets from Shakespeare to W.B. Yeats and Li-Young Lee, December 19-20, 7:30 p.m., Leona Wagner Black Box, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, $12, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org.

HERITAGE THEATRE, It’s a Wonderful Life, from the film by Frank Capra, adapted for the stage by James W. Rodgers, directed by JuDeane Parkinson, the story deals with all around good guy George Bailey trying to escape boring Bedford Falls but never being able to walk away from the problems of the people he loves, December 19-20, 7:30 p.m., also 2 p.m. matinee on December 20, $10 general, $9 seniors/children under 12, S. Highway 89, Peery, 435-723-8392, www.heritagetheatreutah.com.

DRAPER HISTORIC THEATRE, A Christmas Carol, adapted for the stage by Randy Young, Kyle Woodruff and Aubrey Hicks, one of Charles Dickens’ most beloved tales, the story focuses on the appearance of three apparitions to Ebenezer Scrooge, a Victorian miser, these spirits are sent to teach Scrooge the meaning of charity, goodwill, generosity and forgiveness, December 19-20 and 22, 7 p.m., $9 adults, $7 seniors/students/military, $5 children 12 and under (unreserved seating), $11 adults, $9 seniors/students/children/military (reserved seating), 12366 S. 900 East, 801-572-4144, www.drapertheatre.org.

UTAH CHILDREN’S THEATRE, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, dramatized by Joseph Robinette from a story by C.S. Lewis, siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are sent out of London during World War II, in the darkness of the old country house where they are sent the children stumble through an old wardrobe to the land of Narnia, where it is always winter and never Christmas under the White Witch’s reign, December 19-20, 22-24, 26-27, January 3, 9-10, 16-17, 2015, 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances, 3605 S. State St., $14 general, 801-532-6000, www.uctheatre.org.

PLAN-B THEATRE, Marry Christmas, a world premiere by Elaine Jarvik, directed by Jason Bowcutt, celebrate the first anniversary of marriage equality with us as we share real-life marriage stories from “the 17 days” and the historic 10th Circuit Court ruling en route to the Supreme Court, December 20, 12 p.m., December 21-23, 7 p.m., Studio Theatre, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, $20, 100 percent of ticket sales benefit Restore Our Humanity, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org.

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WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK IN DANCE (DEC. 17-23, 2014)

(Be sure to visit our monthly dance calendar by clicking on “Events Calendar.”)

BALLET WEST, “The Nutcracker,” December 18-24, 26-30, 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. performances, Capitol Theatre, $29-$84, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.balletwest.org.

MOUNTAIN WEST BALLET, “The Nutcracker,” Linda Fenton, Christy McQuaid and Masie Lancaster, artistic directors, Elaina Gillespie, production director, December 18-20, 7:30 p.m., also 2 p.m. matinee on December 20, 19-22, Eastmont Middle School, 10100 S. 1300 East, Sandy, $12-$14 general, $10-$12 students/seniors, $8-$9 children (4-12 years), online or at the door, www.mountainwestballet.org.

UTAH REGIONAL BALLET, “The Nutcracker,” Jacqueline Colledge, artistic director, December 17-20, 22, 7:30 p.m., Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center St., Provo, $12 general, $8 students, 801-852-7007, www.coveycenter.org.

ODYSSEY DANCE THEATRE, “The ReduxNut-Cracker,” ODT brings The Nutcracker to life in present day, with the original Tchaikovsky score reimagined and arranged in a pop/hip-hop style, December 17-20, 22-23, 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on December 20, Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah, $20-$40, 801-581-7100, www.kingsburyhall.org.

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AN UNUSUAL PROGRAM, EXCELLENTLY DONE

NOVA CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES, Libby Gardner Concert Hall, Dec. 14

The Nova Chamber Music Series can be counted on to offer up programs of great diversity and quality. Its concert on Dec. 14 was no exception. In this season of round-the-clock Nutcracker and Messiah, it was so refreshing to listen to an entire program of music I had never heard before, and played so well at that.

If there was a theme to the concert it was that three of the four composers — Igor Stravinsky, Nikolai Tcherepnin, and Sergei Rachmaninoff — were Russian. The fourth, Igor Iachimciuc, a faculty member of the University of Utah School of Music, is Moldovan, but as he explained in his comments prior to the performance of his Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, he often is mistaken for being Russian, so perhaps that made for an unofficial unanimity. Another unifying feature is that all four eventually found a home in the West — Tcherepnin in France, the others in the United States. But there similarities end, as the divergence of compositional styles and perspectives among the composers were striking.

Igor Iachimciuc

The program began with Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet, ably performed by Erin Svoboda, associate principal clarinetist of the Utah Symphony, and was followed by Tcherepnin’s Six Pieces for Horn Quartet. All pieces are miniatures depicting various moods or vignettes of no more than two or three minutes each. Yet Stravinsky’s are clearly forward-looking in rhythmic invention and melodic spareness, and are still refreshingly “modern” after a hundred years. The Tcherepnin pieces, on the other hand, took a deep bow to the 19th century, though they were composed in the same decade as the Stravinsky. Finely crafted musical depictions, most notably “Night,” and “The Hunt,” evoked reminiscences of Wagner and Berlioz in addition to Tcherepnin’s own Russian forebears. All six were wonderfully performed by the horn quartet, three of whom — Ron Beitel, Llewellyn Humphreys, and Stephen Proser — are members of the Utah Symphony. The fourth member, Nathan Basinger, performs frequently with the symphony as well. The high quality of their ensemble playing cannot be achieved other than by years of collaborative effort; and along with their Utah Symphony colleagues who performed on the program provides yet one more reason why a symphony orchestra is a city’s most important cultural resource.

These two lighter works were followed by Iachimciuc’s one-movement clarinet sonata, which was the most engrossing composition on the program. Iamchimciuc spoke of the musical crosscurrents to which he was exposed as a central-European Moldovan. The clearest influence on this particular composition was the Hungarian, Béla Bartók, with echoes of his “Contrasts” and Miraculous Mandarin. There is sometimes a fine line between being influenced by a great composer versus writing a piece that is derivative and imitative. Unlike Tcherepnin (and the Rachmaninoff later in the program), whose music was rooted in the past, Iachimciuc took Bartók’s inspiration (and traditional sonata form as well!) and ran with it. The result was something highly original and new, yet at the same time eminently accessible and compelling. Iachimciuc was aided in his musical vision by an exceptionally fine performance by Svoboda and Utah Symphony pianist Jason Hardink. It’s a challenge to find a workable acoustic balance between clarinet (and in the Rachmaninoff, the cello) and piano in Libby Gardner Concert Hall. Yet, even with all the sonata’s rhythmic complexity and technical challenges, Svoboda and Hardink pulled it off wonderfully.

Following intermission was the meatiest work on the program, the hyper-romantic Sonata for Cello in G Minor by Rachmaninoff, performed by cellist Matthew Zalkind and Hardink again at the piano. Composed in 1901, one senses that Rachmaninoff’s endlessly evolving (some would say long-winded) melodic lines represented a deep, subconscious reluctance to let go of the century that had just ended, of an irretrievable era. If there’s a certain poignancy to that sentiment, Zalkind and Hardink certainly made a good case for it, indulging themselves expressively while never becoming maudlin. Zalkind plays with an alluringly lustrous sound, yet is capable of changing tonal color on a dime to suit the musical needs of the moment. Hardink, always an immensely talented pianist, has also become an exceptionally sensitive accompanist. It would have been so easy to overplay Rachmaninoff’s densely packaged piano writing and drown out the quasi-vocal cello, which was almost entirely devoid of double-stops and chords throughout, yet Hardink played with admirable restraint without sacrificing a jot of expressiveness.

For discerning listeners of eclectic musical tastes, the NOVA Chamber Music Series once again delivered the goods, both in its unusual and creative programing, and in the uniformly high quality of performance.

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WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK IN MUSIC (DEC. 10-16, 2014)

(Be sure to visit our monthly concert calendar by clicking on “Events Calendar.”)

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Utah Philharmonia, Robert Baldwin, conductor, program features this year’s concerto competition winner Ivan Fantini performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, other music includes John Luther Adams’ Dark Eyes and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, December 10, 7:30 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall, David Gardner Hall, $7 general $3 seniors, staff, faculty, and non U. students, free for U. students, 801-581-7100, www.kingtix.com.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, An Evening with the Opera Chorus, December 10, 7:30 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, free.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, Donald Peterson and Kirt Saville, conductors, December 10, 7:30 p.m., de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, $10 general, ($4 off with BYU or student ID, $1 off seniors and BYU alumni), 801-422-4322, www.byuarts.com.

UTAH SYMPHONY, Entertainment Series, “Pink Martini,” Jerry Steichen, conductor, presented by the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association, December 11, 7:30 p.m., Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, Weber State University, $26-$44, for more information and tickets, www.symphonyballet.org.

WESTMINSTER COLLEGE, Chamber Orchestra, December 11, Vieve Gore Concert Hall, Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory, $5 general, Westminster staff, faculty and students get one free ticket, www.westminstercollege.edu/culturalevents.

THE GRAND THEATRE, “Christmas with Eclipse 6,” annual Christmas concert, December 11-15, 7:30 p.m., Salt Lake Community College, 1575 S. State St., $14-$20 general, $12-$18 seniors/military. $9-13 SLCC students/staff/faculty, 801-957-3322, www.the-grand.org.

SALT LAKE MEN’S CHOIR, “The Best of Christmas,” Dennis McCracken, artistic director, December 12-13, 7:30 p.m., December 14, 4 p.m., First Baptist Church, 777 S. 1300 East, $10 general, tickets available at the door, from a choir member or online at www.saltlakemenschoir.org.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, University Choirs Holiday Concert, featuring the Chamber Choir and A Cappella Choir, directed by Barlow Bradford, and the Women’s Choir, directed by Jessica Napoles, December 12, 7:30 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall, David Gardner Hall, $7 general $3 seniors, staff, faculty, and non U. students, free for U. students, 801-581-7100, www.kingtix.com.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY, Chamber Choir Holiday Concert, December 12, 7:30 p.m., Kaysville Tabernacle, 198 W. Center Street, free.

UTAH SYMPHONY, Entertainment Series, “Joy to the World,” Pink Martini, guests artists, Jerry Steichen, conductor, December 12-13, 8 p.m., Abravanel Hall, $23-$90 (tickets are $5 more on the day of the performance), see website or contact box office for information regarding student tickets, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org, for further ticket information please call 801-533-6683, www.utahsymphony.org.

UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY, “Bitter for Sweet,” Opera and Symphony Orchestra, Tyler Nelson, artistic director and Cheung Chau, conductor, program features a fully staged performance of opera, operetta and musical theater’s most famous scenes, December 12-13, 7:30 p.m., Heritage High School, 5600 Heritage School Drive, Provo, $10 general, $8 students, 801-863-7529, or box office located in Noorda Theatre, or Campus Connection, www.uvu.edu/arts.

UTAH SYMPHONY, Family Series, “Here Comes Santa Claus!,” Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor, Santa Claus will be visiting in the lobby area, December 13, 11 p.m. and 12:30 p.m., Abravanel Hall, $6-$18 general, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.utahsymphony.org.

AMERICAN HERITAGE LYCEUM ORCHESTRA AND YOUTH CHORUS, “American Heritage Christmas,” Kayson Brown, music director, featuring Michael and Vanessa Ballam, and special guest Lexi Walker, December 13, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances, $15 general, $10 students/faculty/seniors, $50 family (5+), by phone at 801-642-0055, at the door, or online at www.american-heritage.org.

SALT LAKE SYMPHONIC CHOIR, “There is Faint Music in the Night,” Christmas Concert,” Erin Pike Tall, music director, December 13, 7:30 p.m., Waterford School, 1480 E. 9400 South (access from 9500 S. 1700 East), ticket information not available, “The Story of Christmas in Sacred Word and Song,” December 14, 7 p.m., St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 3015 East Creek Road, Cottonwood Heights, free, however donations of canned food is appreciated, www.saltlakesymphonicchoir.org.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Early Music Ensemble, December 13, 4 p.m., Thompson Chamber Music Hall, David Gardner Hall, free.

EXCELLENCE IN THE COMMUNITY CONCERT SERIES, Lark & Spur, traditional and modern carols, December 13, 7:30 p.m., Viridian Center, free.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY, High School Honor Band, December 13, 4 p.m., Austad Auditorium, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, free.

OQUIRRH MOUNTAIN SYMPHONY, “Breakfast with Santa, Polar Express Christmas Concert and Story,” Shane Mickelsen, guest conductor, December 13, 9 a.m., Midvalley Bible Church, 13991 S. 2700 South, Bluffdale, $10, includes breakfast with Santa, concert, story, gift and free photo shoot, at the door with cash, check or credit card, or www.omsymphony.org, or www.showtix4u.com.

NOVA CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES, “Russian Greats and Moldovan Greats,” cellist Matthew Zalkind, Salt Lake City native and finalist of the Tchaikovsky Competition, performs Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata, members of the Utah Symphony horn section perform a reading of Tcherepnin’s Horn Quartets, and former NOVA artistic director, Barbara Scowcroft plays Stravinsky’s Divertimento, also music by Utah composer Igor Iachimciuc, December 14, 3 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall, University of Utah, $20 general, $18 seniors (60+ years), $5 students, free for U. students, tickets online or cash or checks at the door, www.novachambermusicseries.org.

UTAH WIND SYMPHONY, Midwest Send Off Concert, Scott Hagen, conductor, December 15, 7:30 p.m., American Fork High School, 510 Caveman Blvd.,  ticket information not yet available, www.utahwindsymphony.org.

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WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK IN THEATRE (DEC. 10-16, 2014)

(Be sure to visit our monthly theatre calendar by clicking on “Events Calendar.”)

CENTERPOINT LEGACY THEATRE, Scrooge, book, lyrics and music by Leslie Bricusse, directed by Addie Holman, a delightful musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, through December 18, 7:30 p.m., Barlow Main Stage, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, $17-$22, 801-298-1302, www.centerpointtheatre.org.

CENTERPOINT LEGACY THEATRE, It’s a Wonderful Life: Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry from a screenplay by Francis Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling, directed by Carol Thomas, this beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast, through December 20, 7 p.m., Leishman Performance Hall, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, $15 general, 801-298-1302, www.centerpointtheatre.org.

COVEY CENTER FOR THE ARTS, Joyful Noise, by Tim Slover, the play examines how composer George Frideric Handel struggles to write a new masterpiece (Messiah) since his last “blasphemous” opera flopped, causing him to fall out of favor with King George II, through December 20, 7:30 p.m., Brinton Theatre, $14 reserved, $12 seniors/students/military, 801-852-7007, www.provo.org/community/covey-center-for-the-arts.

THE ECHO THEATRE, It’s a Wonderful Life, written by Joe Landry, based on the film, this beloved American holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast, directed by Adam Cannon, through December 20, 7:30 p.m. (performances on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays), 15 N. 100 East, Provo, $10 general, $9 students (presale), $12 general/students, $9 seniors (day of performance), www.theechotheatre.com.

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY, Peter and the Starcatcher, by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, music by Wayne Barker, this wonderfully inventive new play explains how Peter Pan ended up in Neverland and how Captain Hook became Peter’s arch enemy, through December 20, 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m., 2 p.m. matinees, $38 balcony, $59 main floor or loge (tickets will be $5 higher when purchased on day of performance), 801-581-7100, www.pioneertheatre.org.

TERRACE PLAZA PLAYHOUSE, Scrooge: A Christmas Carol, through December 23, 7:30 p.m., 99 E. 4700 South, Ogden, $9-$14, 801-393-0070, http://terraceplayhouse.com.

HALE CENTRE THEATRE-OREM, A Christmas Carol, the original musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, through December 23, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances, also 2 p.m. matinees on December 13, 20 and 22-23, 225 W. 400 North, Orem, $16-$22 general, $12-$16 children, 801-226-8600, www.haletheater.org.

HALE CENTRE THEATRE-WEST VALLEY CITY, A Christmas Carol, 30th annual production of this musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic story, through December 24, 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances, $29-$32 general, $16 children ages 5-11, 801-984-9000, www.halecentretheatre.org.

THE OFF BROADWAY THEATRE, The X-mas Men, the evil Jack Frost plans to take over Santa’s magic snowball, to give coal to good children and presents to bad ones, luckily the X-mas Men are here to save the day, through December 27, 7:30 p.m., 272 S. Main, $10-$16, 801-355-4628, www.theobt.org.

SALT LAKE ACTING COMPANY, A Year with Frog and Toad, book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale, based on the books by Arnold Lobel, directed by Penny Caywood, SLAC’s 6th annual professional children’s production, two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special, a story of friendship that endures, through December 27, 7:30 p.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. performances, Upstairs Theatre, 168 W. 500 North, $25 adults, $15 children, 801-363-7522, or log on to www.saltlakeactingcompany.org.

SCERA CENTER, “It’s a Jolly Holiday,” annual holiday music revue, SCERA Youth Theatre, December 10, 7 p.m.  745 S. State, Orem, $5 general (12 years of age and over), $2 seniors, $2 children (3-11 years of age), 801-225-2787, www.scera.org.

UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY, “Holiday Night Live 2014,” written and directed by UVU students, the show employs original songs, sketches, and digital shorts to poke fun at the holidays, and give unexpected twists to familiar holiday situations, December 11-13, 7:30 p.m., Noorda Theatre, $12 general, $8 students, 801-863-7529, or box office located in Noorda Theatre, or Campus Connection, www.uvu.edu/arts.

PLAN-B THEATRE, Christmas with Misfits, a world premiere by Julie Jensen, directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff, four short plays about what is wrong, and could be right, with Christmas, December 11-21, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., Studio Theatre, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, $20, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org.

EGYPTIAN THEATRE PARK CITY, The Wind in the Willows, from the young adult novel by Kenneth Graham that was the inspiration for Disney’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a YouTheatre production set in a steam punk world, December 12, 7 p.m. and December 13, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main, Park City, $14 adults, $9 youth (aged 17 and younger), 435-649-9371, www.egyptiantheatrecompany.org.

HERITAGE THEATRE, It’s a Wonderful Life, from the film by Frank Capra, adapted for the stage by James W. Rodgers, directed by JuDeane Parkinson, the story deals with all around good guy George Bailey trying to escape boring Bedford Falls but never being able to walk away from the problems of the people he loves, December 12-13, 15, 19-20, 7:30 p.m., also 2 p.m. matinees on December 13 and 20, $10 general, $9 seniors/children under 12, S. Highway 89, Peery, 435-723-8392, www.heritagetheatreutah.com.

DRAPER HISTORIC THEATRE, A Christmas Carol, adapted for the stage by Randy Young, Kyle Woodruff and Aubrey Hicks, one of Charles Dickens’ most beloved tales, the story focuses on the appearance of three apparitions to Ebenezer Scrooge, a Victorian miser, these spirits are sent to teach Scrooge the meaning of charity, goodwill, generosity and forgiveness, December 12-13, 15, 19-20 and 22, 7 p.m., also 2 p.m. matinee on December 13, $9 adults, $7 seniors/students/military, $5 children 12 and under (unreserved seating), $11 adults, $9 seniors/students/children/military (reserved seating), 12366 S. 900 East, 801-572-4144, www.drapertheatre.org.

PICKLEVILLE PLAYHOUSE, Juanito Bandito’s Christmas Carol, December 12-13, 7:30 p.m., December 15, 7:30 p.m., also 2 p.m. matinee on December 13, Ellen Eccles Theatre, 43 S. Main St., Logan, $16-$28, 435-752-0026, https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=50203.

UTAH CHILDREN’S THEATRE, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, dramatized by Joseph Robinette from a story by C.S. Lewis, siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are sent out of London during World War II, in the darkness of the old country house where they are sent the children stumble through an old wardrobe to the land of Narnia, where it is always winter and never Christmas under the White Witch’s reign, December 13, 19-20, 22-24, 26-27, January 3, 9-10, 16-17, 2015, 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances, 3605 S. State St., $14 general, 801-532-6000, www.uctheatre.org.

SCERA CENTER, The Farley Family Xmas, James Arrington’s farewell performance of his signature one-man holiday show, December 15-20, 7:30 p.m., 745 S. State, Orem, $12 general, $10 seniors, $10 children (3-11 years of age), 801-225-2787, www.scera.org.

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WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK IN DANCE (DEC. 10-16, 2014)

(Be sure to visit our monthly dance calendar by clicking on “Events Calendar.”)

BALLET WEST, “The Nutcracker,” December 18-24, 26-30, 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. performances, Capitol Theatre, $29-$84, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.balletwest.org.

UTAH HISPANIC DANCE ALLIANCE, 15th annual dance spectacular, the program will feature colorful costumes, authentic music and native dancers that will take the audience on a cultural tour of Latin America, with special guests Ballet Amalgama from Asuncion, Paraguay, December 11, 7 p.m., Jeanné Wagner Theatre, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, $15, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Utah Ballet Ensemble, December 11, 5:30 p.m., December 12-13, 7:30 p.m. also a 2 p.m. matinee on December 13, Hayes Christensen Theatre, Marriott Center for Dance, $12 general, $8 students, U. students free with ID, 801-581-7100, www.kingtix.com.

UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY, “Let Christmas Shine?,” Ballroom Dance Company, Paul Winkleman, company directory, celebrate the holiday season with a high energy, family friendly concert featuring spectacular music, dancing and dazzling costumes, December 11-13, 7:30 p.m., also a 12 p.m. matinee on December 13, Ragan Theater, $12 general, $8 students, 801-863-7529, or box office located in Noorda Theatre, or Campus Connection, www.uvu.edu/arts.

MOUNTAIN WEST BALLET, “The Nutcracker,” Linda Fenton, Christy McQuaid and Masie Lancaster, artistic directors, Elaina Gillespie, production director, December 12, 13, 15, 18-20, 7:30 p.m., also 2 p.m. matinees on December 13 and 20, 19-22, Eastmont Middle School, 10100 S. 1300 East, Sandy, $12-$14 general, $10-$12 students/seniors, $8-$9 children (4-12 years), online or at the door, www.mountainwestballet.org.

REPERTORY DANCE THEATRE, “Ring Around the Rose,” RDT’s Ring Around the Rose is a “wiggle-friendly” series of performances that introduces children to the arts: South Valley Creative Dance, enjoy the holiday season with a fun dance performance, December 13, 11 a.m., Black Box Theatre, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, $5, children 2 and under free, 801-355-2787, www.arttix.org, season tickets/flex package tickets are $4, and can be purchased directly from RDT, www.rdtutah.org.

UTAH REGIONAL BALLET, “The Nutcracker,” Jacqueline Colledge, artistic director, December 13, 15-20, 22, 7:30 p.m., Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center St., Provo, $12 general, $8 students, 801-852-7007, www.coveycenter.org.

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BEAUTIFUL AND INSPIRING HOLIDAY CONCERT BY THE UTAH CHAMBER ARTISTS

UTAH CHAMBER ARTISTS, Libby Gardner Concert Hall, Dec. 8

Musicians often work toward adapting their performances to sound best in a particular concert hall. Concert halls are often varied in their unique acoustic signatures, and it can be a challenge to find the ideal sound in some halls. As a former music student at the University of Utah, this author has become well acquainted with the unique and challenging acoustic characteristics of Libby Gardner Concert Hall, which was the venue for Monday evening’s Utah Chamber Artists concert, conducted by artistic director Barlow Bradford. The ensemble, with its arsenal of 20 strings, 14 winds, four percussion and harp, managed to find a really beautiful and inspiring sound that seemed to harness the especially reverberant acoustics of the hall in a way that promoted resonance and energy. It was often beautiful and inspiring.

The opening five-movement work of the concert, Welcome All Wonders, found the Utah Chamber Artists revisiting a work they had commissioned more than 20 years ago. Penned by Utah-born composer J.A.C. Redford, the work brimmed with complex harmony and rhythm. The combined orchestral and vocal elements were harnessed to create a lush yet articulate texture. Redford has done all kinds of work in film and theater, including composition and orchestration projects with some of the most celebrated film musicians in the world. In this composition, Redford stepped away from film music conventions to compose a large scale concert work based on five sacred texts from a variety of authors, all celebrating the biblical story of the birth of Jesus. The music was intellectual and contemporary, while also drawing strong influence from the western classical music tradition. Congratulations to the musicians for giving such a spirited and glowing performance of this challenging score.

The concert’s final half featured shorter works by Bob Chilcott, arrangements of traditional holiday music by David Willcox and Bradford, and an audience sing along. Chilcott’s choral work Lullay, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child was simple, lush and hypnotically beautiful. Bradford’s new arrangement of Sing We Now of Christmas closed the concert, and the ensemble really stepped up by playing with energy and precision, a satisfying conclusion to an impressive concert filled with holiday spirit.

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VIVALDI BY CANDLELIGHT CONCERT SPOTLIGHTS VARIETY FOUND IN BAROQUE MUSIC

VIVALDI BY CANDLELIGHT, First Presbyterian Church, Dec. 6

Mixing the familiar with the obscure, this year’s edition of the annual Vivaldi by Candlelight concert – a benefit for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy – featured a delightful selection of works by the concert’s namesake, along with Francesco Geminiani and Carlos de Seixas, and culminating with J.S. Bach’s magnificent Concerto No. 3 in D major for Harpsichord and Strings, BWV 1054.

Gerald Elias

Music director and conductor Gerald Elias always knows how to pick works that make each concert interesting and different — and unique. This year, he found a pair of pieces that are unusual in one way or another, with one of them ostensibly receiving its world premiere at Saturday’s concert.

Geminiani, while not as well known today as Vivaldi, Bach or Handel, nevertheless gets his due in the recording studio and in the concert hall. But the piece that Elias and the Vivaldi Virtuosi played, the Concerto No. 5 in B flat major, is an oddity. Originally written as a violin sonata, it was arranged as a concerto by one of Geminiani’s contemporaries, the composer Charles Avison. The manuscript of the concerto disappeared, only to recently turn up in a house in London that was being renovated. And as far as anyone knows, it had never been performed in its concerto form until Saturday.

The concerto is a wonderfully melodic piece with a prominent violin part, which concertmaster Hasse Borup played with beautifully turned phrases and expressions. The string ensemble offered solid support and Elias brought out the score’s nuances with his perceptive direction.

The other rediscovered gem on the program was de Seixas’ Concerto in A major for Clavier and Strings. The Portuguese de Seixas’ music is almost completely unknown today not because the manuscripts went missing, but because most of them were destroyed in a devastating earthquake that hit Lisbon in 1755.

The concerto is a charming work, full of luminous lyricism that Elias and the ensemble brought to the fore. Soloist was Mark Kroll, whose exquisite harpsichord playing was infused with finely crafted expressiveness and emotional warmth.

Mark Kroll

Kroll is one of today’s foremost harpsichordists. And while he gave a radiant account of de Seixas’ work, it was in the Bach concerto where he could put his virtuosity and musicianship on full display.

The Bach is a substantial work, better known today in the composer’s own arrangement for violin in E major, but the harpsichord original is one of the most magnificent keyboard concertos from the period. And Kroll made the most of it. His playing was wonderfully articulated and defined, with a wealth of expression and finely molded lyricism.

The range and depth of expressions that Kroll brought to his part were mirrored by Elias and the ensemble, They, too, played with shimmering lyricism that captured the very essence of the work.

Rounding out the concert was another work by Geminiani , the Concerto in C minor, op. 2, no. 1, as well as two sinfonias by Vivaldi, in C major (RV 192a) and in G major (RV 146), both of which were played with cleanly defined phrasings and articulation.

There was also an encore — a reprise of the first movement of Vivaldi’s Sinfonia in C major, this time without Elias conducting.

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BEETHOVEN’S NINTH ON UTAH SYMPHONY PROGRAM THIS WEEKEND

UTAH SYMPHONY, Abravanel Hall, Dec. 5; additional performance 8 p.m. Dec. 6, tickets at 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787 or www.utahsymphony.org 

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a staple in the Utah Symphony’s repertoire. It’s played here fairly frequently, and along with the Fifth, it’s also among his most popular and best known works.

The Ninth is again on the program this weekend. Beethoven’s music does do wonders with concert attendance in Salt Lake City, and programming it this weekend was a good marketing decision, since the Masterworks concerts in early December traditionally don’t attract a big audience. Thanks to Beethoven, Friday’s performance was sold out.

Thierry Fischer, who conducts this weekend, tends to be adventurous in his Beethoven interpretations, and his Ninth is no exception. He went for dramatic impact and a big sound. He got all that, but at the expense of clarity and clean articulation. That was most noticeable in the first two movements. Fischer likes fast tempos, and these two movements were taken at a sprightly pace that didn’t always serve the music well. There were many instances in which the subtle interplay among instrumental sections was lost; the resulting sound was, therefore, rather jumbled.

Nor did it help that Fischer’s baton flew out of his hand towards the end of the Scherzo. It  broke the momentum that he had been building to this point. Fischer kept on conducting and he and the orchestra finished the movement without further incident. Associate principal viola Roberta Zalkind, at whose feet the baton landed, handed it back to Fischer at the end of the movement.

The most successful movement was the Adagio. One of Beethoven’s most reflective slow movements, Fischer’s treatment underscored the exquisite lyricism of the music. The orchestra played magnificently, especially the strings, and principal clarinet Tad Calcara did a magnificent job with his solos.

The Utah Symphony Chorus was wonderful, as it always is, as were the soloists: soprano Celena Shafer; mezzo-soprano Cynthia Hanna; tenor Chad Shelton; and bass-baritone Michael Dean.

Also on the program is Henri Dutilleux’s 5 Métaboles, written in 1964 for George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra.

The five-movement work is fabulously crafted. Dutilleux is a meticulous composer; there is a lot of detail in his music, but this doesn’t distract from the broader picture he paints. And thanks to his keen talent for orchestrating (a common trait among French composers), his music is virtuosic, vibrant and dynamic.

Fischer showed a solid grasp of the score and conveyed his thoughts succinctly to the orchestra. They, in turn, played with crisp articulation, clean execution and beautifully expressed lyricism.

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SUPERB CONCERT THURSDAY BY THE JUPITER QUARTET AND GUEST VIOLIST JAMES DUNHAM

CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF SALT LAKE CITY, Jupiter String Quartet, with violist James Dunham, Libby Gardner Concert Hall, Dec. 4

Jupiter String Quartet (Photo courtesy of the artists)

It’s always a treat to have the Jupiter String Quartet in town — it’s been nearly four years since the group last played in Salt Lake City. In the intervening time, the quartet has been honing and polishing its craft and garnering accolades wherever they appear. The four (sisters Megan and Liz Freivogel, playing second violin and viola, respectively, first violinist Nelson Lee and cellist Daniel McDonough) are masterful interpreters who get to the core of the works in their repertoire, whether it’s from the 18th or 20th centuries. They bring feeling and emotional involvement to their playing, there is a wonderful chemistry among them and they’re just plain fun to watch.

For their concert Thursday in Libby Gardner Concert Hall, they brought along violist and long time collaborator James Dunham for two works — Mozart’s Quintet in G minor, K. 516, and Brahms’ Quintet No. 2 in G major, op. 111. Dunham fit right in and was a wonderfully supportive and integral addition to the quartet.

James Dunham (Photo: Thomas Lavergne)

They opened the concert with the Mozart. The G minor Quintet, along with the C major Quintet, K. 515, are the pinnacles of Mozart’s chamber music for strings. They are large scale works and he treats the structure and thematic material symphonically.

The G minor is an overwhelmingly dark and somber work, with an Adagio that is filled with sorrow. The five players captured the pathos of the work with a sensitively executed treatment that was imbued with a large palette of expressions.

The finale, after a heart wrenching Adagio introduction, is the only optimistic movement in the quintet. As such it offers a striking, and much needed, contrast to the rest of the work. The players reveled in the unbridled joyfulness of the music and delivered a triumphant account of this glorious movement.

Even though it sports a high opus number, Brahms’ G major Quintet is not what one would expect from one of his late works. Instead of the introverted, moody tone that characterizes most of his last compositions this quintet is exuberant and almost youthful in nature.

The five delighted in the unbridled optimism of the work. They underscored its sunny disposition with a vibrant and spirited account that was beautifully crafted and lyrical. It was an engaging and radiant reading that captured the effusive expressiveness of the work.

In between these two, the Jupiter played Bartók’s powerful Quartet No. 5. They gave a fabulous account, diving headlong into the score to distill the essence of the music. It was an intense and passionate perusal that captured the ferocity of the outer movements, the rhythmic vitality of the third movement scherzo and the evocative otherworldliness of the two slow movements. This was an exceptional performance of what is arguably Bartók’s best quartet.

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WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK IN MUSIC (DEC. 3-9, 2014)

(Be sure to visit our monthly concert calendar by clicking on “Events Calendar.”)

There are lots of concerts coming up in the next several days. Among the highlights are the Jupiter Quartet with guest violist James Dunham playing Mozart’s Quintet in G minor, K. 516, and Brahms’ Quintet in G major, op. 111, on Dec. 4; the Utah Symphony’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with conductor Thierry Fischer and  soprano Celena Shafer on Dec. 5-6; the annual Vivaldi by Candlelight concert featuring guest harpsichordist Mark Kroll and the Vivaldi Virtuosi conducted by Gerald Elias on Dec. 6; the Salt Lake Children’s Choir Christmas concerts on Dec. 5 and 7; and the Utah Chamber Artists’ holiday concert featuring J.A.C. Redford’s Christmas cantata Welcome All Wonders on Dec. 8.

SALT LAKE SYMPHONIC WINDS, Holiday Concert, Thomas P. Rohrer, conductor, December 3, 7:30 p.m., All Saints Episcopal Church, 1700 S. Foothill Blvd., Salt Lake City, free.

UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY, “The Forgotten Carols,” presented by Deseret Book Company, December 3, 7:30 p.m., Kent Concert Hall, Chase Fine Arts Center, $12.15-$32, 435-797-8022, www.arts.usu.edu.

UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY, “Carols at Advent,” featuring the Chamber Choir, Women’s Choir, Men’s Choir, Concert Choir and Horn Choir, Cherilyn Worthen and Reed Criddle, conductors, December 3, 7:30 p.m., Sorensen Center Ballroom, $5 general, 801-863-7529, or box office located in Noorda Theatre, or Campus Connection, www.uvu.edu/arts.

WESTMINSTER COLLEGE, Jazz Ensemble, David Holliday, music director, December 3, 7:30 p.m., Courage Theatre, Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory, Vieve Gore Concert Hall, free.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, Jazz Voices, Allen M. Matthews, director, December 3, 7:30 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, $6 general, 801-422-4322, www.byuarts.com.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, Flute Choir, December 3, 7:30 p.m., University Parkway Center (northeast corner of University Avenue and University Parkway), free.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, University Orchestra and University Strings, December 3, 7:30 p.m., de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, $3, 801-422-4322, www.byuarts.com.

UTAH VALLEY SYMPHONY, “Christmas Storytelling,” in partnership with the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, Bryce Rytting, conductor, Steffani Raff, storyteller, music by Tchaikovsky, Bizet and Mahler, December 3-4, 7:30 p.m., Covey Center for the Arts, 425 West Center Street, Provo, $15 general, $12 seniors/students, 801-852-7007, www.coveycenter.org.

CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF SALT LAKE CITY, Jupiter String Quartet with violist James Dunham, the program will feature Mozart’s String Quintet in G minor, K. 516, Bartók’s Quartet No. 5, Brahms’ String Quintet in G major, op. 111, December 4, 7:30 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall, University of Utah, $30 general, $10 students with ID, tickets available at the door, www.cmsofslc.org. There will be a pre-concert lecture presented by Dr. Susan Neimoyer, musicologist at the University of Utah, 6:45 p.m., room 270, Libby Gardner Hall, Note: The Jupiter String Quartet will be conducting a master class workshop, December 4, 12 :30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., room 270, Libby Gardner Concert Hall.

EXCELLENCE IN THE COMMUNITY CONCERT SERIES, Blue Haiku Folk Quintet, December 4, 7:30 p.m., Gallivan Center, free.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, Brass Chamber Night, December 4, 7:30 p.m., University Parkway Center (northeast corner of University Avenue and University Parkway), free.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, Jazz Lab Bands, Mike Tobian, director, December 4, 7:30 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, free.

AMERICAN FESTIVAL CHORUS AND ORCHESTRA, “Christmas from the Ellen Eccles Theatre,” Craig Jessop, music director and conductor, with special guests Kurt Bestor and Nathan Pacheco, December 5-6, 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee also on December 6, Ellen Eccles Theatre, 43 S. Main, Logan, $12-$20 general, youth 8 years and older are admitted, no babes in arms, www.americanfestivalchorus.org.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY, Jazz Ensemble, December 5, 7:30 p.m., Allred Theatre, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, $6-$7, 800-978-8457, www.weberstatetickets.com.

OQUIRRH MOUNTAIN SYMPHONY, “Holiday Pops Concert,” featuring special guest Peter Breinholt, Kayson Brown and Shaun Davis, guest conductors, in partnership with Midvale Arts Council, Cottonwood Heights Arts Council, Cottonwood Heights Orchestra, Oquirrh Mountain Symphony, December 5, 7:30 p.m., Midvale Middle School, 7852 S. Pioneer Street, Midvale, December 6, 7:30 p.m., Butler Middle School, 7530 S. 2700 East, Cottonwood Heights, $8 general (5 years and older), at the door with cash, check or credit card, or www.omsymphony.org, or www.showtix4u.com.

UTAH SYMPHONY, Masterworks Series, “Beethoven’s Ninth,” Thierry Fischer, conductor, Celena Shafer, soprano, Cynthia Hanna, mezzo-soprano, Chad Shelton, tenor, Michael Dean, bass-baritone, and Utah Symphony Chorus, December 5-6, 8 p.m., Abravanel Hall, $23-$69 (tickets are $5 more on the day of the performance), see website or contact box office for information regarding student tickets, 801-355-2787, 888-451-2787, www.arttix.org, for further ticket information please call 801-533-6683, www.utahsymphony.org.

WESTMINSTER COLLEGE, Chamber Singers Holiday Concert, the concert will feature choral classics and holiday favorites, December 5-6, 7:30 p.m., Vieve Gore Concert Hall, Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory, $10 general, $5 non-Westminster students, Westminster staff, faculty and students get one free ticket, www.westminstercollege.edu/culturalevents.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, Celebration of Christmas, BYU Philharmonic, Kory Katseanes, conductor, BYU Combined Choirs, December 5-6, 7:30 p.m., also a 3 p.m. matinee on December 6, de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, $16 general, ($5 off with BYU or student ID, $1 off seniors and BYU alumni), 801-422-4322, www.byuarts.com.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, “Christmas Around the World: Timeless Stories,” Jeanette Geslison, artistic director, featuring BYU’s Living Legend, this holiday tradition showcases the rich ethnic diversity of the world through music and dance, December 5-6, 7:30 p.m., also a 2 p.m. matinee on December 6, Marriott Center, $10-$20 general, 801-422-4322, www.byuarts.com.

SALT LAKE CHILDREN’S CHOIR, Annual Christmas Concert, Ralph B. Woodward, music director, the performance will include music from around the world, and conclude with audience and choir joining for several carol favorites, December 5 and 7, 8 p.m., Cathedral of the Madeleine, free, no children under 6 years will be admitted, www.childrensing.com.

SALT LAKE SYMPHONY, “Christmas Eve Magic,” Robert Baldwin, music director and conductor, University of Utah Ballet Department, music includes Hely-Hutchinson’s A Carol Symphony, and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker (Act I), December 6, 7:30 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall, University of Utah, $10 general, $5 students and seniors, 801-531-7501 or at the door with cash, check or credit card, www.saltlakesymphony.org.

AMERICAN WEST SYMPHONY AND CHORUS, “Christmas Concert,” Joel Rosenberg music director, Tyler Kofoed, chorus master, music by Saint-Saëns, Brahms, Handel and a Christmas carol medley, December 6, 8p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 8575 S. 700 East, Sandy, $10 general, $8 students, $5 youth (7-15 years), December 16, 7:30 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall in David Gardner Hall, University of Utah, $10 general, $8 students, U. students free with ID, at the door, www.americanwestsymphony.org.

KUTV HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT, featuring the Choral Arts Society of Utah, Sterling S. Poulson, music director, Salt Lake Children’s Choir, Ralph Woodward, music director, and West Valley Symphony, Donny Gilbert conductor, the concert proceeds provide gifts of the season to less fortunate children and senior citizens along the Wasatch Front through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, December 6, 7:30 p.m., Cottonwood High School Auditorium, 5715 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City, $12 in advance, $15 at the door, www.smithstix.com.

VIVALDI BY CANDLELIGHT, Gerald Elias, music director, music by Vivaldi, Geminiani/Avison, Carlos de Seixas, and Bach, December 6, 8 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 12 C Street, the concert is a benefit for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, $45 reserved, tickets at http://vivaldi.brownpapertickets.com/.

MURRAY SYMPHONY, Handel’s “Messiah” Sing Along, Julie Christofferson, music director, the program will feature guest soloists and the audience will be invited to sing the choir parts, December 6, 7:30 p.m., Murray High School Auditorium, 5440 S. State Street, free, donations of winter clothing items would be appreciated to benefit The Road Home.

INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S CHOIR, Holiday Concert, December 6, 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (young children are allowed at the matinee performance only, children 8 years and older are welcome for either performance), Joseph Smith Memorial Chapel, free.

UTOPIA EARLY MUSIC, “A Celtic Christmas,” Emily Nelson, soprano, Gretchen Windt, mezzo-soprano, Christopher LeCluyse, tenor, Michael Chipman, baritone, Bronwen Beecher, fiddle, Therese Honey, Celtic harp, Eleanor Christman Cox, baroque cello, celebrate the holidays with the beauty of music from the lands of the Celts, December 6, 8 p.m., December 7, 5 p.m., Cathedral Church of St. Mark, 231 E. 100 South, pay as able (suggested donation of $15 general, $12 seniors and $10 students), www.utopiaearlymusic.org.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, TubaChristmas, December 6, 12 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, free.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, Harp Solo and Ensemble,   December 6, 7 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, free.

WASATCH COMMUNITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Holiday Concert, Larry Spell, music director and conductor,   December 7, 7 p.m., All Saints Episcopal Church, 1700 S. Foothill Blvd., Salt Lake City, free.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY, Choir and Symphony Holiday Concert, December 7, 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., St. Joseph Catholic Church, 24th and Adams, $7-$8, $30 for family up to 6, 800-978-8457, www.weberstatetickets.com.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Group Organ Recital, organists taught by University students and faculty perform organ classics, December 7, 3 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall, David Gardner Hall, free.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Sundays@7, guest artist Vadim Serebryany, piano, program will feature music by Bartók, Brahms, Handel and Schumann, December 7, 7 p.m., Dumke Recital Hall in David Gardner Hall, free.

UTAH CHAMBER ARTISTS, “Welcome All Wonders,” by J.A.C. Redford, Barlow Bradford, music director and conductor, December 8, 7:30 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall, University of Utah, $15 general, $10 students (in advance), $17 general, $12 students (day of), 801-572-2010 or visit www.utahchamberartists.org.

UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY, “Toot Suites,” Wind Symphony, David Fullmer, conductor, December 8, 12:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. performances, Sorensen Center Ballroom, $2 general, 801-863-7529, or box office located in Noorda Theatre, or Campus Connection, www.uvu.edu/arts.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Crimson Harps, Cathryn Clayton, director, the program will feature holiday and classical pieces, December 8, 7:30 p.m., Thompson Chamber Music Hall, David Gardner Hall, free.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY, Alumni Singers Concert,  December 8, 7:30 p.m., Weber High School Auditorium, 430 W. Weber High Drive, Pleasant View, free, however donations appreciated.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY, String Project Concert, December 8, 6:30 p.m., Austad Auditorium, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, free.

TIMPANOGOS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, “Christmas: Celebrating the Season,” with special guest Nathan Osmond, John Pew, music director and conductor, December 8, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Thanksgiving Point Show Barn, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, $12 in advance, $14 day of, 801-210-2466, www.thetso.org, or at the door.

WESTMINSTER COLLEGE, Westminster Chorale, December 9, 7:30 p.m., Vieve Gore Concert Hall, Emma Eccles Conservatory, free.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Composers Forum, the program features new works composed and performed by students, December 9, 7:30 p.m., Dumke Recital Hall in David Gardner Hall, free.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, December 9, 7:30 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, free.

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, University Chorale, December 9, 7:30 p.m., de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, $3, 801-422-4322, www.byuarts.com.

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