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Arts calendar sparkles with holiday spirit this December

Emory's Atlanta and Oxford campuses welcome the return of several seasonal traditions in December, including A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, in Glenn Memorial Auditorium. Emory Photo/Video

Emory wraps up a semester full of exceptional arts events with several special programs in December. Highlights include “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” on the Atlanta campus and “Southern Folk Advent” on the Oxford campus, two beloved annual traditions celebrating the holiday spirit.

The Emory Cinematheque Billy Wilder film series finishes with a screening of “Kiss Me, Stupid” and the Emory Dance Program partners with CORE Performance Company and The Field to present a concert of new work by Atlanta artists.

Holiday programs on the Atlanta campus 

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols returns this year with performances at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Established in 1935, Lessons and Carols is a candlelit service of choral music and scripture with readings by specials guests from the Emory community. All performances occur at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church. Tickets are $20; Emory students, faculty and staff receive a discount. 

Join Atlanta Master Chorale as they celebrate the holidays with Christmas with Atlanta Master Chorale at Emerson Concert Hall at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. The show takes place Friday, Dec. 13, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m. Tickets are $35; Emory students, faculty and staff receive a discount.

Rounding out the December music calendar is Santa’s Favorite Chamber Music at the Carlos Museum’s Ackerman Hall on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m. This free performance by the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta welcomes back Santa Claus himself to introduce and enjoy some of his favorite classical works and lead a sing-a-long. He’ll also bring some early holiday treats for good listeners. 

Holiday programs on the Oxford campus 

The Oxford Chorale concert featuring seasonal and holiday music is Thursday, Dec. 5, and Friday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. in the Oxford College Chapel. Tickets are $5 each. 

Southern Folk Advent has become an honored holiday tradition on the Oxford campus since its inaugural service in 1993. A form of Lessons and Carols, the service is based on folk hymns presented in a variety of formats. This year’s program is led by noted composer and music director Steven Darsey and includes music by bluegrass band Leah Calvert and the Dappled Grays and homily by Brooks Holifield, Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus of American Church History at Emory’s Candler School of Theology. The free program is Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. in Old Church at Oxford. 

Non-holiday arts events

Emory’s December arts events also include some non-holiday related happenings.

The Carlos Museum presents AntiquiTEA on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. in Ackerman Hall at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. In 2010, the late Thalia N. Carlos purchased a 5th-century BC red-figure column krater with an image of Orpheus among the Thracians in honor of Atlanta Symphony Director Robert Spano. Enjoy afternoon tea and scones as Ruth Allen, curator of Greek and Roman art, discusses the story of Orpheus and its ongoing resonance from Gluck’s 1752 opera Orfeo ed Euridice to the Tony award-winning smash hit “Hadestown.” This event is free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. in the Schwartz Center Emerson Concert Hall, the Emory Jazz Ensembles perform. Then, Emory’s Young Artists perform on Friday, Dec. 6, at noon in Ackerman Hall at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Some of Emory’s most outstanding undergraduate students from the Department of Music perform in this annual showcase of Emory talent. Both concerts are free. 

The final film in the Billy Wilder Cinematheque series is “Kiss Me, Stupid” (1964) on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in White Hall 208. No Wilder film has divided audiences more. A vulgar masterpiece, or a masterpiece of vulgarity, “Kiss Me, Stupid” is either one (or a dozen) sex jokes over the line, or a deeply-felt meditation on fame, sex, marriage and love. Maybe it's both. Dean Martin (more or less as himself) finds himself in nowheresville at the home of Orville (Ray Walston) and Zelda (Felicia Farr). The sex-and-alcohol crazed crooner thinks he's seducing Zelda, who has been replaced by the local prostitute played by Kim Novak (doing a comic turn on Marilyn Monroe and on herself in “Vertigo”). Nothing goes as planned, which is exactly what the troubled couple needed. The screening is free and open to the public. 

The Goldwasser Series in Religion and the Arts kicks off with Zong!: The (k)Notted Web of Silence, an evening with poet NourbeSe Philip. On Friday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m., Philip reads from her acclaimed poetry collection “Zong!,” a memorialization of the more than 130 African captives thrown overboard from the ship Zong in 1781 as a callous, cost-saving measure. At the very center of Philip’s work is an exploration of the role of the arts in historical and spiritual recuperation. Philip will be introduced by Michelle Wright, Longstreet Professor of English. The event is free and open to the public.

Emory Dance partners with CORE Performance Company and The Field in New York to share new work created by Atlanta artists in the bi-annual Fieldwork Showcase on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 5 p.m. in the Schwartz Center Dance Studio. The 10-week workshop leading up to the showcase provides feedback, support, structure and community for artists in any medium. Tickets are $7 per person.

Dance Oxford will perform on Monday, Dec. 9, with most work in the program being choreographed by students. The 8 p.m. performance is free and will be in Williams Hall on the Oxford campus.

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