NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - "Simply Sinatra Christmas" starring vocalist Steve Lippia and G.F. Handel's "Messiah" top the list of holiday events offered by the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts in the month of December.
Other events include The Original Cast's "A Nacogdoches Pioneer Christmas," a holiday-inspired percussion concert, the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts' "Hooked on Art" fund-raiser and three performances of the classic Christmas opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors."
SFA School of Theatre's Original Cast kicks off the holiday events with "A Nacogdoches Pioneer Christmas" as part of the Nine Flags Festival. The original musical revue of holiday and folk songs from the various cultures that settled East Texas will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3; 2 and 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5; in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, 329 E. Main St.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, the SFA School of Music will present "Percussion in the Pines" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, in Cole Concert Hall. During this popular annual event, the SFA Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band will perform "holiday songs with a percussive twist," said Scott Harris, SFA director of percussion studies.
Audience members are invited to contribute to the toy drive sponsored by the SFA Percussion Department and Phi Boota Roota.
The SFA combined choirs and orchestra, along with the Nacogdoches Community Chorus will present G.F. Handel's "Messiah" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, in W.M. Turner Auditorium. The always-popular event will feature student soloists and close with an audience Christmas carol sing-along.
Glass ornaments hand decorated by area artists for the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts' "Hooked on Art" scholarship fund-raiser will be on display at The Cole Art Center from Wednesday, Dec. 1, to Friday, Dec. 10. Some of the ornaments will be part of a silent auction, and others will be sold through a raffle. Winners of all of the ornaments will be announced at the event's closing reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10.
The SFA School of Music will present Gian Carlo Menotti's classic Christmas opera, "Amahl and the Night Visitors," at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, and at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. All performances are in Cole Concert Hall. The 45-minute opera, written in English, tells the touching story of a crippled boy and his mother who are visited by the Three Kings during their journey to find the Christ Child.
As part of its 2010-2011 University Series, the College of Fine Arts will present Steve Lippia and his 16-piece band performing "Simply Sinatra Christmas" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.
"This will be a great holiday concert for the entire family," exclaimed John W. Goodall, associate dean of the college. "It includes favorites such as 'I'll Be Home for Christmas,' 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,' and 'Let it Snow,' as well as Sinatra standards such as 'Come Fly with Me' and 'New York, New York,' all sung in Ol' Blue Eyes' signature style."
Tickets for any of the holiday events can be purchased online at www.finearts.sfasu.edu or by calling the Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Tickets to "A Nacogdoches Pioneer Christmas" are also available through the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau at 200 E. Main or by calling (936) 564-7351.