The Grand Island City Singers, a holiday staple in the community for more than 50 years, will present its annual holiday concert Dec. 7 and 8.

“Christmas, a Gift of Live,” is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, at St. Pauls Lutheran Church, 1515 S. Harrison.

The program will include both traditional favorites and new selections.

City Singers formed in 1965 and are in their 54th year of entertaining audiences in Central Nebraska. Members come from not only Grand Island, but Hastings, St. Paul and other area communities, ranging in age from 20 through retirement.

Cheryl Lauer-Schuett is the director and Elisia Flaherty is accompanist.

Tickets are $8 for adults and youth age 12 and older and $5 for children age 5 to 11. Children 4 and younger are admitted free. Tickets are available from any City Singers member or at the door.

For more information, contact Lauer-Schuett at (308) 384-2172.

Classical guitarist to perform at G.I. Free

Praised by the London Times for his “pleasing tone” and “relaxed stage manner,” Norman Ruiz has established himself as a master teacher and a virtuoso of the classical guitar.

He will share his talents in a performance set for 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the G.I. Free Church, 2609 S. Blaine St.

Ruiz has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has performed in Carnegie Hall of England, the Gran Teatro in Cordoba, Spain, and was artist-in-residence of the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. The Rev. Donald Adams, worship pastor at G.I. Free, studied under Ruiz and invited him to perform. He will also perform at the Sunday morning service.

There is no admission charge; for more information, call (308) 382-1898

‘Nebraska Brass Christmas’ set for Dec. 1 in Minden

MINDEN — “A Nebraska Brass Christmas,” presented by the Nebraska Brass, is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, at the Minden Opera House, 322 E. Fifth St.

Founded in 1987, the Nebraska Brass is one of the Midwest’s most popular brass quintets. Audiences, young and old, enjoy the group’s serious musicianship and light-hearted humor as they present a variety of music ranging from classical to popular, Dixieland and jazz. A staple in the MOH Christmas season, join the Nebraska Brass as they perform a variety of Christmas tunes in a variety of styles.

The last couple of years, the Nebraska Brass has presented several holiday concerts in the area. This year, the Dec. 1 program in Minden is the only area concert on the schedule.

Tickets are $18.

For more information about any programs at the opera house, contact Marcy Brandt, executive director, at (308) 382-0588, or check online at www.MindenOperaHouse.com

VoiceHouse quartet to perform in Central City

CENTRAL CITY — VoiceHouse, a family quartet from Columbus, will present a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, in Central City.

The concert, presented by the Merrick Arts Council, will be in the Central City Performing Arts Center, Edwin and Bernice Lock Theater.

VoiceHouse is a unique a cappella singing ensemble made up of four music educators from the same family. Fred Ritter, father and former Columbus High vocal music instructor, is joined by three of his five children: Jacob Ritter, current vocal music instructor at Columbus High; Celeste Ditter, vocal music instructor at Columbus Middle School; and Brianna Rerucha, former K-8 vocal music instructor at Shelby-Rising City.

Each singer brings a variety of skills and experiences to the group, resulting in a wide variety of music performed at a high level of musicianship skill. This performance will feature Christmas music, as well as other genres of music.

This concert is part of the Merrick Arts Council’s season, but single tickets are always available at the door. For non-members, tickets at the door are $15 for adults and $8 for students. For more information, contact Suzanne at (308) 940-0274 or email MAC at macatthepac@gmail.com

KSO holiday concert set for Dec. 10

KEARNEY — The Kearney Area Symphony Orchestra will present its annual holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the University of Nebraska at Kearney Fine Arts Recital Hall.

Musical selections will include works by Bach, John Rutter, Leroy Anderson and Kearney’s own Ron Crocker. The orchestra will be joined by UNK choirs, String Project students and a guest conductor, Dr. John Petzet.

For more than a quarter century, music lovers from all parts of Nebraska have gathered in Kearney to join in the camaraderie of playing and listening to great symphony orchestra literature, as well as popular favorites. The Kearney Symphony Orchestra, which is made up of UNK faculty and students as well as talented instrumentalists from communities across the region, performs classical and pops concert repertoire, opera, musicals and large works with choir.

The Kearney Symphony Orchestra is under the direction of Alison Gaines, who holds a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Kansas, and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in bass performance. She has performed with orchestras across the country.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $10 for seniors age 55 and older. Youth 18 and under, UNK faculty and staff members and UNK students with ID will be admitted free. Call the UNK box office at (308) 865-8417 or boxoffice@unk.edu.

UNK plans several winter concerts

KEARNEY — The University of Nebraska Fine Arts Department will showcase its music students at several performances during December.

The schedule includes (all events in the UNK Fine Arts Recital Hall with no admission charge unless otherwise noted):

— Monday, Dec. 2: Concerts-on-the-Platte, featuring UNK faculty members Andrew White, baritone, and Nathan Buckner, piano, 7:30 p.m.

— Wednesday, Dec. 4: Guest artist recital, featuring percussionist Jon Sharp from Iowa State University, 7:30 p.m.

— Thursday, Dec. 5: UNK Wind Ensemble concert, 7:30 p.m. “Join in the Music” as this audition-only group provides “the best wind literature available at the university level.”

— Saturday, Dec. 7: Merry Tuba Christmas. Activities start at 8:30 a.m. when musicians gather for a morning of music-making low-brass style. (There is a registration fee, contact Robert Benton at (308) 865-8352 or bentonrw@unk.edu). Public concert starts at 12:30 p.m.

— Thursday, Dec. 12: UNK faculty recital, featuring James Cook, piano, 7:30 p.m.

— Friday, Dec. 13: UNK Strings Project concert, 7:30 p.m. Join in for an evening of music presented by the UNK String Project students and student-teachers. This concert celebrates the achievement of beginning string players through more advanced string players who are participating in the UNK String Project.

— Saturday, Dec. 14: UNK Nebraskats show choir concert, 3 p.m.

A couple of other noteworthy performances affiliated with UNK include the Barbershoppers annual benefit concert, set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, in the UNK Fine Arts Recital Hall. This concert is sponsored by the Kearney Area 1733 Barbershop Chorus and includes mostly familiar Christmas music.

Also, the Platte River Singers and the Platte River Children’s Chorale will team up for a special holiday concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 2407 W. 56th Ave., in Kearney. For more information about this performance, contact Ann Bauer at (308) 390-8431 or annlouisebauer@gmail.com

For more information about any of the UNK music events, call (308) 865-8618.

Community choir plans 18th annual Christmas cantata

WOOD RIVER — The Wood River Community Choir will present its 18th annual Christmas cantata, “The Thrill of Hope,” on Sunday, Dec. 8.

Performance time is 2 :30 p.m. at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Center.

“The Thrill of Hope,” acantata by Joseph Maartin and Heather Sorenson, is based on the Festival of Lessons and Carols going back to the 18th century but has been given a “fresh” twist to blend some of the old carols and new contemporary carols of today. The Lessons use scripture to the tell the story of redemption from the “fall” in the Garden of Eden, and the promise of a Messiah, to the fulfillment of that promise in the birth of Jesus. Each lesson is followed by a carol reflection.

The choir is made up of 33 members representing nine communities. Several solos, duets and small groups will be performing. Soloists include Nancy Mead, Scott Sahling, Haley Parlin, Cheryl Nielsen, Mary Aderholt and Alan Zwink. Performing duets will be Nick and Pat Lammers, Makenna and Madyson Miller, and Margaret McGinnis and Nathan Miller. Quartet members are Sue Jepsen, Pam Kjar, Bob Aderholt and Don McGinnis. Quintet members are Ana Rodriguez, Lisa Hermann, Carol Deardorff, Nathan Miller and Brad Jepsen.

The choir, under the direction of Vince Boudreau, is sponsored in part by the Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Council, the Wood River Foundation and the Donna Lee Moyer Performing Arts Gift. There is no admission charge, but freewill donations are always appreciated.

For more information, contact Boudreau at (308) 583-2961.

Christmas concert planned in Central City

CENTRAL CITY — The Lone Tree Singers of Central City will present a Christmas cantata, “Waiting for Christmas,” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Central City Performing Arts Center, Edwin and Bernice Lock Theater. There is no admission charge, but freewill offerings will be accepted.

This community choir has been around for almost 50 years and is led by director Richard Moore. The 35 to 40 members come from Central City, Hampton, York and Palmer. In addition to the Christmas program, the group also presents an Easter cantata on Palm Sunday every year.

CCC-Columbus plans winter concert

COLUMBUS — Central Community College-Columbus will present “Sounds of the Season” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Fine Arts Theater.

Seasonal favorites will be performed by the Central Community College Choir and the select ensemble Spectrum, under the direction of Jeffrey Kitson; and the CCC Concert Band and the small student ensemble, Hilltop Percussion, under the direction of Anthony Burnham.

Special guests will be the Lakeview Concert Band and Jazz Band under the direction of Lakeview High School music instructor Wade Howles.

There is no admission charge, but freewill donations are always welcome.

Hastings College continues new holiday event

HASTINGS — Back for its second year, Hastings College will present “A Christmas Extravaganza” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Masonic Center Auditorium in downtown Hastings.

The program will feature the Hastings College Choir, the Music Theater Ensemble, College Handbells and the Symphonic Band performing a collection of favorite sacred and secular holiday music.

There is no admission charge. For more information, call (402) 461-7448.

Golden Husk to offer contemporary Christmas cantata

ORD — The Golden Husk Community Theatre will present a contemporary Christmas cantata in two performances during the holiday season.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Golden Husk, 129 S. 16th St. in Ord.

“Join us for the Christmas cantata to celebrate the spirit of Christmas, local talent and the arts with family and friends!” says Dahn Hagge, Husk director. “This Christmas cantata shares the true meaning of the season through beautiful carols song by our local Husk Community Choir.”

Local musicians will also perform additional Christmas favorites. The show is directed by Jesse Rosberg and Karen Wieskamp.

Tickets for the cantata are $10 for adults and $5 for youths 18 and younger. A family pass for $25 is good for up to six family members. Tickets are available at the Golden Husk and the Ord Chamber of Commerce office; call (308) 728-7875 or order online at ShopOrd.com.

The event also includes a holiday open house with free coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider and holiday door prizes.

For more information, contact Hagge at (308) 730-8133.

Local dancers present holiday program

Students from the Step It Up Dance Academy will present “Holiday Delights,” their annual holiday program at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, in the Northwest High School auditorium.

Dancers range from age 2 to 18 and will perform to a variety of holiday music.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 11; children 5 and younger will be admitted free. Refreshments will be served.

Step It Up offers classes at a new location this year, 1302 W. Fourth St. Instructors Joan and Jody McKee teach ballet, jazz, clogging, arc, lyrical and hip hop. For more information, call (308) 675-1070.

Free children’s concert Dec. 7 in Albion

ALBION — The String Beans, a popular children’s group, will present a free concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Boone County Fitness Center in Albion.

The performance is sponsored by the fitness center and the Albion Area Arts Council.

The String Beans make music that makes kids move! Clever lyrics, catchy tunes and crazy antics are the hallmarks of their live show. Mixing country, rock ’n’ roll, pop, polka and even rap, the “Beans” perform original, family-friendly songs about the things kids love, and the things parents can’t stop laughing about.

For more information, contact Paul or Lori Hosford at (402) 395-6726 or arts2008@frontiernet.net.

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