As the holiday season speeds up, don’t forget to take time to enjoy the magical sounds of the season. Here’s what’s happening this first weekend of December for musical holiday events and concerts:
Animaterra Women’s Chorus will hold a concert, “The Company We Keep,” Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 69 Washington St., Keene. Seasonal selections of the concert include two Sephardic Hanukkah songs by Flory Jagoda, Christmas songs from Quebec and England and a musical setting of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
A special feature of the program is the premiere performance of “If You Let Your Light Shine Through,” by local songwriter Janet Thomas Boccalini, arranged by Becky Graber, Animaterra’s artistic director. The concert also includes a song from Macedonia and one with a chorus in the Lakota language, as well as works by contemporary songwriters and performers, such as Holly Near, Alison Burns and Ma Muse.
Every season, the members of Animaterra select a local nonprofit to receive a portion of the concert proceeds. This fall, the members have chosen True Hope Therapeutic Horsemanship, whose mission is to help children and adults with behavioral, emotional, social, physical or social challenges find the therapeutic benefits provided by having horsemanship lessons.
Suggested donation is $10 for adults, $15 for generous or $8 for seniors or students. Guests are asked to bring a canned food item to be distributed to local food banks. More information can be found online at animaterrasings.org.
Electric Earth Concerts will host its annual gala fundraising afternoon, celebrating the end of its seventh season and looking ahead to season eight, Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. at Reynolds Hall in Peterborough. Emely Phelps, pianist, will play an hour-long recital with a special appearance by mezzo-soprano Jazimina MacNeil. Holiday snacks and the yearly Prosecco toast will follow.
The program includes Schubert's Drei Klavierstüke, D. 948, Scriabin's Op. 11 Preludes (excerpts), Songs by Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter. Admission is a $75 per person donation (fully deductible) and tickets can be purchased online at electricearthconcerts.org or at the door. For more information, email email@example.com or call 499-6216.
The Ewing Award-winning Chamber Singers of Keene will hold their concert, “Welcome the Mystery! Mystical Music of the Season from the Renaissance to Today,” Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of St. James Episcopal Church, 44 West St., Keene.
The Chamber Singers of Keene are excited to present their first concert under the direction of Patty Meyer, an experienced choral director and pianist who resides in Brattleboro. This concert’s program celebrates the mystery of the season with works from the Renaissance to the present day featuring composers such as Josquin Dez Prez, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Francis Poulenc and contemporary artists Abbie Betinis and Moses Hogan. The singers will be accompanied by pianist Cheryl Sharrock.
Tickets are $12 in advance (available from CSK members and at the Keene Toadstool Bookshop) and $15 at the door. Free with student ID. For more information, visit chambersingerskeene.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fred Marple, unofficial spokesman for the town of Frost Heaves, presents a one-man show of humor, music and assorted holiday nonsense from the most under-appreciated town in New Hampshire, including specials at the market, news from the dump and much more, Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Dublin Community Center, 1123 main St., Dublin.
Yankee humorist Fred Marple has appeared on TV, the radio, at town halls, church basements and the homes of most of his friends, usually right around dinner time. Also known as author and songwriter Ken Sheldon, his humor columns have appeared in Yankee Magazine, New Hampshire Magazine and many others.
Stone Church Arts presents Rhythm Future Quartet Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at The Chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church St., Bellows Falls. The acoustic jazz ensemble, Rhythm Future Quartet has a straightforward agenda: to keep the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in today’s musical universe.
The virtuosic foursome, named for a Django Reinhardt tune, offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by the classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary. Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. With Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of a vital musical genre.
Tickets in advance are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors and $35 for premium, reserved seats. At the door, prices increase by $5 to $25 general admission, $20 for seniors and $45 premium reserved. Information and advance tickets are available in person at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls and Misty Valley Books in Chester, by phone at 802-460-0110 and online at stonechurcharts.org.
The Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs will present their annual winter concerts on Saturday, Dec. 1 in Keene at St. James Episcopal Church and Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church. Both concerts begin at 3 p.m. and seating is general admission. Almost 100 singers from all five choirs will participate, including students from Keene and Peterborough.
The concert will be directed by GMYC Artistic Director Esther Rhoades and is entitled, “Movies. Musical. Opera,” featuring music from a variety of popular performances.
Pianists Ilana Cady and Dr. Christopher Evatt will provide accompaniment. Guest musicians include Theresa Ford on hammer dulcimer and Michael Day on percussion.
Tickets are $10 for adults, or $5 for ages 12 and under and can be purchased at the door or online at grandmonadnockyouthchoirs.org.
The Mavericks “Hey! Merry Christmas!” tour will hit The Colonial Theatre stage in Keene Saturday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. The genre-defying Mavericks are putting their own twist on the holidays and in support of their upcoming album, “Hey! Merry Christmas!,” The Mavericks are bringing holiday cheer to theaters across the country.
The category-defying approach has been a unique hallmark of The Mavericks’ sound since the band’s top-20 hits on the country charts. Please be advised this show has a “dance alert.” Audience members will be standing, participating and dancing. If you don’t want to stand, it is advised by the venue to purchase tickets from Row 7 back.
Tickets are $49 to $75 for this show. To purchase tickets, visit thecolonial.org.
Main Streets Arts in Saxtons River, Vt., ushers in the holiday season with a benefit concert by Cameo Baroque Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. With a theme of Wintertide, the four-piece group will offer music by English, Italian and German composers such as William Boyce, Antonio Caldara, Georg Philipp Telemann, George Frideric Handel and Tomaso Albinoni.
Members of the quartet performing on period instruments are Beth Hilgartner, recorder and voice; Leslie Stroud, traverso (Baroque flute); Ernie Drown, harpsichord; and Laurie Rabut, viola da gamba. Cameo Baroque is known for performances of interesting transcriptions by Hilgartner of works originally written for voices of other instrumentation.
Following the concert, there will be a reception with the musicians. Refreshments, non-alcoholic beverages and a BYO table with ice for adult beverages will be provided. Tickets for the concert are $20 and may be purchased online at mainstreetarts.org or by calling 802-869-2960.
And last, but certainly not least: Don’t miss TubaChristmas Sunday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Mabel Brown Room in the Young Student Center at Keene State College. TubaChristmas concerts and events are presented in cities worldwide. They celebrate those who play, teach, and compose music for instruments in the tuba family.
Participants of any age or experience need an instrument (euphonium, baritone, sousaphone or tuba) and a water valve cloth. Players are encouraged to register in advance ($10 participant fee) at keenestate.wufoo.com/forms/q19njq0k0o6vw2g/ or register upon arrival at 11 a.m.
Rehearsal starts at 11:30 a.m. There will be opportunities for cash purchases of music and TubaChristmas merchandise at the event. Parking can be found in the Madison Parking Lot off of Winchester Street or the Elliot Lot off Wyman Way.
There will be a free performance, open to the public, at 1 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room of the Young Student Center at Keene State College.