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BELTON — In the unrelenting commercial mish-mash that pervades the Christmas season, it’s refreshing to encounter a celebration that harkens back to the reverent, reflective origins of yuletide traditions.
Maybe it was the jazz drummer’s trap set nestled in front of the conductor’s podium, or perhaps the presence of the two most ethereal-sounding musical instruments: the celeste (literally: “heavenly,” from the French) and concert harp.
The backstage area at Salado’s Goodnight Amphitheater is sizable, but at Wednesday’s dress rehearsal of “A Christmas Carol,” it was jam-packed with cast and crew.
With cold weather finally here, it’s officially decision time for Central Texas coat shoppers. Wait much longer and you could be left with the dregs at the bottom of the barrel.
Three separate galleries in Temple’s Cultural Activities Center are bursting with art, and the responsible party, curator Marilyn Ritchie, was explaining how this embarrassment of riches came about.
An abundance of vocal harmonies is slated for Temple’s Cultural Activities Center on Saturday, as no fewer than three a cappella groups will perform a “genre-bending” concert headlined by the Central Texas branch of Sweet Adelines International, the Chisholm Trail Chorus.
With responsibility for three university bands, it’s understandable that Nils Landsberg was a little out of breath.
More than 500 spectators poured into the W.W. Walton Chapel at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor last weekend to cheer on their favorite young lady as 24 contestants vied for the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor 2014 crown.
On a weekday afternoon, Presser Hall on the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is full of music students and rings with the sounds of trombones, pianos and clarinets from the classes and practice rooms. Descending the stairs brings you to the basement where, behind two closed doors, a dozen undergraduates and three faculty members are engaged in a focused, fast-paced rehearsal.
The fabled town of Tuna, Texas, may not exist in real-life, but “on the fictional maps, it puts it just right about here in Killeen,” said Lane Richins, guest director for Vive Les Arts Theatre’s gender-bender comedy, “Greater Tuna.”
It’s not on the Rand McNally map, or shown in the updated Roads of Texas atlas. But Zabcikville does exist, at least the remnants of it.
In 1946, a young Central Texas couple, Della and Jerome Green, took a leap of faith and bought a small grocery store on the public road 10 miles east of Temple. They worked hard at their business, added a line of homemade sausage, were devout members of St. Joseph Catholic Church, and raised a family of two sons and four daughters.
Austin’s conjunto power-couple Sarah Fox and Joel Guzman will bring their Grammy-winning musical talents to Temple’s Cultural Activities Center on Saturday.
It was an auspicious year for live theater in Central Texas. In 1965, the Old Central Players faded away, to be replaced by the new Temple Civic Theatre. That same year saw the Broadway premiere of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” and on the West Coast, the birth of John Monteverde.
It’s always a good sign when professional musicians voluntarily sing the praises of the composer featured on the evening’s concert.
For the crowd of 65 students shoehorned into the gallery at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on a recent Thursday, visiting exhibitor Virgil Scott worked a bit of minor magic — creating something fresh and new from vintage hand-operated technology.
The sometimes quirky but always entertaining music of jazz composer and arranger Bill Holman will be the theme as the Temple Jazz Orchestra presents “A Tribute to Bill Holman” Saturday evening at Temple College.
Manning Chapel, a space with soaring ceilings and five-star acoustics on the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor campus in Belton, was the fitting venue for the university’s Concert Choir on Tuesday. The 34-member singing group and a 14-piece orchestra was conducted by Michelle Roueche in a performance of Magnificat in D major by J.S. Bach.
Statistically speaking, Kevin Williams and Anthony Rodriguez have beaten some tough odds. This week marks the second anniversary of the partners’ joint venture — Killeen’s Crescent Lounge.
Pre-concert backstage activity at Temple’s Cultural Activities Center Saturday night was constant and varied, as master piano builder Joel Rappaport obsessively fussed with the Steinway’s strings and hammers while the soloist for the evening, Sean Chen, searched for tissues.
In 1978, the great Texas pianist Van Cliburn traveled to Temple for a noteworthy occasion. The Cultural Activities Center, at considerable cost, purchased the sine qua non of every serious classical music venue: a 9-foot Steinway “D” grand piano, and Cliburn, always gracious to a fault, agreed to personally dedicate the instrument.
Minutes before curtain time Saturday night, trumpeter Jeff Lofton was adamant: “The reason Miles Davis is so important is because he influenced so much popular music.”
Austin-based jazz trumpeter Jeff Lofton performs at Temple’s Cultural Activities Center this Saturday as part of the center’s Jazz & Blues series. In a program billed as a 1950s Miles Davis tribute, the set list will encompass the more accessible, audience-friendly compositions and tunes associated with the jazz icon.
It’s sensuous, and it’s an art form — not dirty dancing: that’s the gospel Vicky Mitchell preaches to the public. “Belly dancing,” she says, “is also empowering — just watch.”
ROGERS — Clint Walker spoke hurriedly between bites of a soft taco. “We’ve already got more visitors than usual for this time of day,” he said, as about 150 people milled about Walker Honey Farm in Rogers on Saturday morning. It was the fourth Fall Farmers Market, an event that usually entices 900 to 1,000 to the bazaar-like open-air site.
Belton Senior Activity Center’s annual Christmas party is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at 842 S. Mitchell St., Belton.