Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

CFCArts Community Choir and Orchestra will transport us back to the 1930s and 1940s when the music of Christmas combined with the big band sound.

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  • | 12:06 p.m. December 10, 2014
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Dec. 11 and 12 – CFCArts presents ‘Home for the Holidays’

CFCArts Community Choir and Orchestra will transport us back to the 1930s and 1940s when the music of Christmas combined with the big band sound. Follow the hero and his family as he makes his way home for the holidays and experience the music with a 280-voice choir and 55-piece big band orchestra. “Home for the Holidays” will be presented on Dec. 11 and 12 at Northland Church in Longwood. Tickets are $10 at

Dec. 12 to 14 – Breakthrough Theater presents ‘The Very First Christmas’

As part of their commitment to share the love of Christmas, the Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park offers four holiday shows this season. In the coming weekend – Dec. 12 to 14 – Breakthrough will present “The Very First Christmas” with a script by Artistic Director Wade Hair. In the play, a recently widowed grandfather tells the story of the first Christmas to his grandchildren, while vocalists illustrate the story through song. Showing the love in this production, the vocalists include author and director Wade Hair and Musical Director Justin Scarlat. Call 407-920-4034.

Dec. 13 and 14 – Central Florida Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Central Florida Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” holds the title of “most entertaining Nutcracker” as featured in ABC Nightline News; named as “one of five outstanding productions in the entire nation” by CNN Headlines News; and – thanks to some on-stage fireworks, it was called “the pyrotechnic Nutcracker” by USA Today. This fusion of “The Nutcracker” with a little bit of Cirque and on-stage fireworks makes this the fun version of the holiday classic. In performance Dec. 13 and 14 at the Orange County Convention Center, call 407-849-9948 or visit

Dec. 13 and 14 – Classic Christmas with the Bach Festival Choir & Orchestra

A Classic Christmas with the Bach Festival is a true Winter Park Holiday tradition. On Dec. 13 and 14, the program will feature favorite Christmas works performed by the Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir, and Orchestra in the Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College. And this season, you can bring the Holiday spirit home with “All is Bright: A Choral Christmas,” the CD available for purchase on their website. Visit

Dec. 13 and 14 – Orlando Gay Chorus presents ‘Naughty & Nice’

Samuel Clay Price and Harold Wright, co-artistic directors of the Orlando Gay Chorus, will offer “Naughty and Nice,” the Chorus’ annual holiday concert at The Plaza Live on Dec. 13 and 14. Promising a fun twist to your holidays, the Orlando Gay Chorus is acknowledged for their musical excellence and the built-in fun of their programming. Tickets are $25 at, and patrons are invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy in support of Toys For Tots!

Dec. 14 – The Maitland Symphony Orchestra presents ‘Holiday Traditions’

Under the direction of Margaret Patten, the Maitland Symphony Orchestra will offer a free concert of holiday music on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The program will include traditional favorites including the “Little Drummer Boy,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” the ever-popular “Sleigh Ride,” and a nod to the new with a medley from “Frozen.” The public is invited to this free concert at Maitland Presbyterian Church at 341 N. Orlando Ave. in Maitland. No reservations required.

Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. – Orlando Philharmonic presents Rimma Plays ‘The Four Seasons’

Among the most beloved works in classical music, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” (1725), arranged for solo violin with strings, defined the concerto from that time forward. Conducted by music director finalist Eric Jacobsen, the program features concertmaster Rimma Bergeron-Langlois performing Vivaldi’s masterpiece, followed by the orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings.” Presented on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at The Plaza Live in Orlando, call 407-770-0071 or visit

Dec. 18 – Free Shipping Day

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday followed by Giving Tuesday. And now – let’s see if this works – there is Free Shipping Day for those of us who need the adrenaline of waiting till the last moment to do our shopping. The concept is simple. On this day, all orders are shipped free, and they are guaranteed to show up by Christmas Eve. Sounds good on paper. Check for the large list of stores that have made the pledge.

Dec. 19 to 21 – The Orlando Ballet's ‘The Nutcracker’

The Orlando Ballet Nutcracker is set apart from the others as it will be performed in our new Performing Arts Center and it is being performed to the beloved Tchaikovsky score performed live by musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic. All the beauty that brings us back year after year is here as Clara is transported on a magical journey complete with Sugar Plum Fairy and dancing flowers. If the full-length ballet is a stretch for your little ones, they can still have the Nutcracker experience – in the new Family Series one-hour version of the holiday classic. Call 407-426-1739 or visit

And looking ahead …

Dec. 26 to Jan. 4 – ‘The Book of Mormon’ rings Orlando’s bell

Having won the Best Musical Tony Award – and every other award you ever heard of – one might think this musical has brought us the rapture (if it weren’t for the blasphemy.) “The Book of Mormon” features a book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, the creators of “South Park,” and it’s worth seeing just to see Orlando sung about as a teenager’s idea of heaven. Visit or call 800-982-2787.


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