Culture FIX: Dec. 6-12

Local football fans who would give an arm or a leg for even one more Bengals win got just that on Monday Night Football – via Jake Browning’s arm and Evan McPherson’s leg. It’s enough to make you sing “Hallelujah” – which, by the way, you can at “Messiah” sing-along concerts coming up (see below). In fact, there’s plenty of singing ahead in the coming week, with holiday vocal (and some instrumental) performances galore. Let’s take a look.

Wednesday, Dec. 6

Longworth-Anderson Series, Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Creole Christmas | 8 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: These world-famous ambassadors for traditional New Orleans jazz, based in the city’s iconic Preservation Hall, are always a delight to hear, and a concert of holiday music filtered in the band’s inimitable style should be a treat. A 6:30 p.m. pre-concert reception will include live music from The Hot Magnolias, light bites from Ollie’s Trolley and N.Y.P.D. Pizza, and craft beer tastings from HighGrain Brewing Co.

Theresa Hackett, “Blow Out,” 2020

Gallery at the Summit Hotel, “Circles, Squiggles, and Lines” | Opening and holiday reception 5-8 p.m. Summit Hotel, 5345 Medpace Way, Madisonville. 513-527-9900. DETAILS: This group exhibition features works by Susan Byrnes, Crystal Gregory, Theresa Hackett and Mark Harris, all based on a theme of celebrating the spirit of the holiday season with motifs that “evoke the bows, ribbons, string, and paper disguising some desirable holiday gift.” Exhibit runs through May 18.

No Promises

No Promises Vocal Band, “Christmas with No Promises” | 7:30 p.m. Blessed Sacrament Church, 2409 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell. 859-331-4302. DETAILS: Cincinnati male a cappella group No Promises has turned its Christmas program into a popular tradition. The group infuses its exuberant vocal arrangements with a range of styles. This year’s holiday special is scheduled for several venues, mixing in free performances (with freewill offerings) in area churches with ticketed concerts in arts venues, starting with a 60-monute, “family-length” program at Blessed Sacrament. Other venues: The Carnegie in Covington, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 (ticketed; online or 859-957-1940); St. Columban Parish in Loveland, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 (freewill offering; no reservations required); Community of the Good Shepherd in Montgomery, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 (freewill offering; no reservations required); and Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre in Price Hill, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 (ticketed; online or 513-241-6550).

Thursday, Dec. 7

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” | 7:30 p.m. Cncinnati Shakespeare Company, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-2273. DETAILS: This ever-popular if irreverent take on “beloved holiday classics” is back at CincyShakes for another romp through the hallowed halls of tradition. If you’re not familiar with the plot, it’s simple: A small group of actors, tired of doing yet another production Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” decide to do a mash-up of every Christmas cliché they can think of. Hilarious – or, as a critic from the Orlando Weekly put it, “Yes, Virginia, you can have your fruitcake and eat it, too.” Through Dec. 30.

Friday, Dec. 8

Cincinnati Pops, “Holiday Pops” | 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Possibly the biggest, splashiest holiday tradition in Cincinnati, the Pops’ annual holiday concert has just about everything you need to get into the Christmas spirit – conductor John Morris Russell romping through Pops-turbocharged holiday classics with vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Rafael Moras, May Festival Youth Chorus, SCPA Chorale, Sycamore High School Chorus and Winton Woods High School Varsity Ensemble, Q-Kidz Dance Team, Studio for Dance, Cincinnati Collaborative Ringing Project and a partridge in a pear tree. Limited seats remain for most performances.

Friends of Music Hall, “Happy Holidays with the Mighty Wurlitzer” | 7 p.m. Music Hall Ballroom, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-621-2787. DETAILS: Sure hope there’s good soundproofing between the Music Hall Ballroom and the main Springer Auditorium, where the Pops will be playing (see above). Then again, the Wurlitzer can hold its own, decibel-wise. Another Cincinnati tradition, this concert features holiday music with theater organist Jelani Eddington, the Cincinnati BoyChoir and Revolution Dance Theatre.

Visionaries + Voices, “Holly Dazed” | 6-8 p.m., Northside Studio, 3841 Spring Grove Ave., Northside. 513-861-4333. DETAILS: V+V’s annual holiday party and art market offers artwork and handmade gifts you can purchase for Christmas giving – or for yourself. Visionaries + Voices is a nonprofit that creates opportunities for area visual artists with disabilities. Event is free, and refreshments are provided.

Saturday, Dec. 9

Cincinnati Camerata, “Carols and Barrels” | 3 p.m. Urban Artifact’s St. Patrick’s Church, 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside. 513-941-5088. DETAILS: This well-respected chamber choir of volunteer singers, celebrating its 30th season, presents Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols” along with choral music by living women composers. Free; suggested donation $15. Also 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at St. Catharine of Siena Church, 2848 Fischer Place, Westwood.

Mount Adams Civic Association, Reindog Parade | 2 p.m. 946 Pavilion St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Mount Adams. DETAILS: Nothing says Christmas like dressing your pet up in a funny costume (preferably with antlers) and parading it in public. No, seriously, this has been a charming local tradition for more than 20 years, and it’s a for a good cause, too, benefiting the League for Animal Welfare. Register your dog between 12:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. (no fee to register), and celebrity judges will choose best-costume winners in several categories.

Cincinnati Men’s Chorus

Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, “Silver and Gold” | 2 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-542-2626. Also 2 p.m. Dec. 10.
Southern Gateway Chorus, “A Cincinnati Christmas” | 7 p.m., Landmark Church, 1600 Glendale Milford Road, Evendale. DETAILS: Two well-regarded Cincinnati male choruses, two opportunities to see each present a program filled with holiday spirit. Enough said. Also 2 p.m. Dec. 10.

Sunday, Dec. 10

Knox Music Series, Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” | 2 p.m. (Parts I-III) and 4:30 p.m. (Parts IV-VI), Knox Church, 3400 Michigan Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208. 513-321-2573. DETAILS: Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Weihnachts Oratorium” is right up there with George Frederick Handel’s “Messiah” as a masterpiece of musical expression on the birth of Christ, full of drama and beauty. Earl Rivers conducts the Knox Choir, soloists and chamber orchestra, with guest artist Daniel Weeks, tenor, as the Evangelist. Rivers and his Knox musicians are well-versed in this music, having performed it complete on at least five occasions since 1985, along with excerpts frequently through the years. It is an impressive achievement, and this is a compelling event for music lovers. You can attend either or both concerts, and light refreshments will be served between them. The work will be sung in German, with English translation projected on screens throughout the church sanctuary.

Bassist Aaron Jacobs, pianist Phil DeGreg and drummer John Taylor

Jazz@First, “Charlie Brown Christmas” | 2 p.m. First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Avondale. 513-227-1039. DETAILS: The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra’s Jazz@First Series presents the Phil DeGreg Trio, plus tenor saxophonist Dan Drees, in a family-friendly program dedicated to Vince Guaraldi’s now-classic jazz tracks to the 1965 “A Charlie Brown Christmas” TV special – you know, the tunes you can’t get out of your head all month long. The event includes complimentary wine and cheese during intermission.

Art on Vine, Holiday Gift Sale | Noon-6 p.m., Rhinegeist Brewery, 1910 Elm St, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Art on Vine, which holds forth in Washington Park, Fountain Square and Court Street Plaza during warmer months, wisely heads indoors in the spacious Rhinegeist beer hall during winter. This is a great opportunity to support area artists and pick up some unique holiday gifts. Also Dec. 17 and (a New Year’s edition) Jan. 14.

Monday, Dec. 11

Pamela Mallory

Jazz at the Memo, “Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas” | 7 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-977-8838. Jazz at the Memo continues its series of concerts recreating classic holiday jazz albums (following “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Nov. 27 and “Rosemary Clooney’s White Christmas” Dec. 4) with the Pamela Mallory Quartet channeling the great Ella Fitzgerald’s 1960 Christmas album, which featured 12 songs with arrangements by actor-composer Frank DeVol (who studied at Miami University in Oxford, by the way).

Sycamore Community Singers, Holiday Concert | 7:30 p.m. Sycamore Presbyterian Church, 11800 Mason Road, Symmes Twp.. DETAILS: This versatile community volunteer choir is well-traveled, having performed in Germany, Austria, Ireland and Scotland in recent years, not to mention New York’s Carnegie Hall. Its repertoire ranges from pop to Broadway to sacred music. Veteran choral director Beth Hofferberger, who recently became the group’s music director, leads this program of holiday favorites. Also Dec. 12.

Tuesday, Dec. 12

Michelle Cann

Chamber Music Cincinnati, pianist Michelle Cann | 7:30 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-342-6870. DETAILS: Pianist Michelle Cann, chair of piano studies at Curtis Institute of Music and a now-familiar figure on Cincinnati stages, delighted Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music lovers last December with her performance of George Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody. She is a dynamic performing with wide-ranging stylistic chops, as this impressive program for Chamber Music Cincinnati demonstrates: Frederic Chopin’s Ballade No. 3; Alberto Ginastera’s Sonata No. 1; Franz Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1; William Grant Still’s suite “A Deserted Plantation,” based on poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar; “My Dungeon Shook” by Joel Thompson, based on the writing of James Baldwin; and the Midwest premiere of the Ballad for Piano by Philadelphia-area composer Nathan Gulla. She performs the same program at 4 p.m. Dec. 10 in Word of Deliverance Ministries, 693 Fresno Road.

Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas, “Messiah Sing-Along” | 7 p.m., St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Terrace Park. 513-831-2052. DETAILS: Seriously, haven’t we all secretly wanted to be in the chorus singing those great numbers in Handel’s “Messiah”? Well, here’s your chance. St. Thomas’ traditional sing-along returns, with music director Carlton Monroe leading Bach Ensemble singers and instrumentalists in the entire Christmas portion of the great oratorio, plus, of course, the “Hallelujah” Chorus. Tickets are “name your own price,” with $20 suggested, and they’re going fast. Another “Messiah” sing-along opportunity is the Lakeside Music Concert Series’ Come and Sing: “Messiah” at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 in Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 2690 Dixie Highway, Lakeside Park, KY 41017.

Heri et Hodie principals Jackie Stevens, Krista Cornish Scott and Lauren McAllister

Music Live@Lunch, Heri et Hodie | 12:10 p.m., Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. 4th St., downtown. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: Heri et Hodie means “Yesterday and Today,” and indeed this fine trio of women vocalists specializes in very ancient and very modern music. Check out this recent performance of music by Hildegard von Bingen at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral. The free lunchtime program at Christ Church features ancient music for the Christmas season.

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