What puts people in a holiday mood? Drummers drumming? Pipers piping? Singers singing? There’s all that and more at the UGA Performing Arts Center’s Holiday Music Festival, which runs Dec. 2-21. Eight concerts range from local choirs to UGA student ensembles to the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis—all in the festively decorated Hodgson Concert Hall.
The festival begins with an Athens tradition, Holiday Concerts presented by the Hugh Hodgson School of Music (Dec. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m.). A broad range of UGA ensembles, including choruses, the University Symphony Orchestra and British Brass Band, will perform familiar carols and music from around the world.
The Athens Choral Society presents “A Baroque Christmas” (Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m.), a free program featuring Vivaldi’s Gloria and J.S. Bach’s “For us a child is born” cantata. It is the ensemble’s first performance since the 2019 holiday season.
“Big Band Holidays” (Dec. 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m.) is a program featuring the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, led by trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis. Featuring soulful versions of the season’s greatest classics, “Big Band Holidays” is an evening starring 15 of jazz music’s leading artists.
Young voices will take the stage, as well. The Georgia Children’s Chorus (Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.) includes 50 singers aged 7 to 18 from 13 counties in the Athens area. Their holiday concert is titled Make the Season Bright.
The Performing Arts Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary this season. UK vocal sextet The King’s Singers appeared in the first season and have returned multiple times, allowing Athens audiences to enjoy their a cappella singing. Their performance Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. features old favorites and new surprises.
Following an acclaimed sold-out performance by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder in Hodgson Concert Hall two years ago, the legendary musician and his band return to UGA Presents on Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. with a special program of holiday hits, bluegrass style. “Bluegrass & Christmas” should charm even the Grinchiest and Scroogiest among the crowd.
To learn more about UGA Performing Arts Center events, visit pac.uga.edu.
For a complete list of UGA Presents performances, visit https://pac.uga.edu/organizer/uga-presents.
Three ways to order
- Purchase tickets online at pac.uga.edu.
- Call the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 706-542-4400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center box office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (five-minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)
For information about the Performing Arts Center’s COVID-19 protocols, visit pac.uga.edu/safety-first. Flexible ticketing will be in place for all performances occurring through December 2021. Patrons may exchange tickets for another performance (including those in spring 2022) or receive a full refund until noon on the day of the performance, if occurring on a weekday, or by Friday at 5 p.m. if occurring on a weekend.