Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

Join the CFCArts Community Choir and Orchestra as they embark on a musical journey into the magic, joy and fantasy of Christmas.

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  • | 6:03 a.m. December 10, 2015
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Now to Dec. 13 – ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ – the musical

He’s a mean one (and as cuddly as a cactus). Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale comes to life on stage featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas.” But the Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for as he decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, a cheerful bunch who ‘teach’ the Grinch a thing or two about holiday spirit. At the Dr. Phillips Center, call 844-513-2014 or visit

Dec. 10 and 11 – CFCArts presents Christmas in Toyland

Join the CFCArts Community Choir and Orchestra as they embark on a musical journey into the magic, joy and fantasy of Christmas. Enter the world of Toyland, where Christmas comes to life through the music and songs from your favorite Christmas movies and stories. Christmas in Toyland will be presented at Northland Church at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 11. Tickets are $10 advance or $15 at the door. Call 407-949-7170 or visit

Dec. 11 to 22 – Dickens by Candlelight

Dickens by Candlelight is a unique holiday tradition in Central Florida as this three-person play presents an ‘up-close’ portrayal of “A Christmas Carol.” Actors John DiDonna, Morgan Russell, and Monica Tamborello portray all of the roles, transforming themselves from character to character as Dickens’ famous holiday story envelops the audience. Guests are seated at tables witnessing visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future while enjoying homemade cookies and a pot of hot tea, ‘involving’ the audience in a most welcoming and timeless way. Call 407-222-7669 or visit

Dec. 12 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Winter Tour

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will present two performances at 3 and 8 p.m. of its 2015 Winter Tour at the Amway Center in Orlando. Based on TSO’s multi-platinum DVD and long-time PBS fundraiser, The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, the story tells of a young runaway who breaks into an abandoned theater seeking shelter and the ghostly visions she experiences. ‘Ghosts’ features TSO crowd-pleasers including “O’ Come All Ye Faithful,” “Good King Joy,” “Christmas Canon,” “Music Box Blues,” and “This Christmas Day.” Visit for details

Dec. 12 – Free mommy-and-me class making mini masterpieces

Meagan and Jose Henao invite you to the Henao Contemporary Center for an artist-led, kid-powered, mommy-and-me experience. Have fun and meet new people while using stencils to create wonderful artworks. No experience is required, and all materials will be provided. Just show up at 9:30 a.m. and get messy. This event is limited to 10 mommy-and-me groups (more than one child is welcome), and reservations are a must. Please call 407-272-0317 or email [email protected]

Dec. 12 – Free fourth annual Holiday Amaryllis Festival

The special folks who are renovating the home (and legacy) of Florida’s historic gardener-extraordinaire Henry Nehrling will celebrate on Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Palm Cottage Gardens, the Nehrling Estate, at 2267 Hemple Ave. in Gotha. Their annual event features rare amaryllis bulbs for sale as well as blooming amaryllis for the holidays. Santa and Mrs. Claus promise to be there along with live music, vendors, food, and eco-activities for children. Call 407-445-9977 or visit

Dec. 12 and 13 – Lakeridge Winery’s annual Wine & Chocolate Festival

Just what our waistlines need between Thanksgiving and Christmas – is the Lakeridge Winery’s annual pairing of Wine & Chocolate. Fortunately, along with the tastings, local artists will display their work while Old Skool and The Nightly Blues Band will be on-hand on Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Baby Blues and the No Attitude Band and Bobby Blackmon and the B3 Blues Band will perform on Dec. 13. Wine, beer and food will be available for purchase along with complimentary winery tours and tastings. A $2 donation to benefit The Leesburg Regional Medical Center is requested of each car. Visit

Dec. 12 and 13 – ‘The Nutcracker’ by the Central Florida Ballet

Central Florida Ballet’s “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 – makes this the fun version of the holiday classic. Yours truly will be there in a “walk-on” role for all three performances at the Orange County Convention Center. Call 800-345-9845 or visit

Dec. 12 and 13 – Silver Bells: Orlando Gay Chorus 25th anniversary Concert

“Silver Bells,” featuring holiday music from the past 25 years, will be performed by the Orlando Gay Chorus on Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec 13 at 4:30 p.m. at The Plaza Live at 325 N. Bumby Ave. in Orlando. Highlighting variety, offerings will include holiday standards, pop favorites, and OGC’s own arrangement of “Little Drummer Boy.” Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign. Call 407-841-7464 or visit

Dec. 13 – Maitland Symphony Orchestra’s free holiday concert

We are invited to join the Maitland Symphony Orchestra for a joyful celebration of the holidays as they present “Come Fly With Me,” a concert of new compositions and familiar Christmas melodies. Special features include the premiere of “Scherzo on a Bell Carol” by Aric Vyhmeister; “Holiday Gigue” by orchestra violinist Eric Hoover; and MC Jeff Shadley, vocalist and trumpeter, will add sparkle to this evening. The free concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. at the Maitland Presbyterian Church at 341 N. Orlando Ave. in Maitland.

Dec. 17 to 20 – ‘The Nutcracker’ by the Orlando Ballet and Orlando Philharmonic

The Orlando Ballet's performance of “The Nutcracker” at the Dr. Phillips Center brings Christmas to life in this enchanting holiday favorite accompanied by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. When Clara receives a toy nutcracker from her godfather on Christmas Eve, she is transported on a magical dream-like journey complete with the Mouse King and a gallant Cavalier. Call 407-426-1739 or visit

Dec. 19 – An Irish Christmas with Keith & Kristyn Getty

Join Ireland's own Keith and Kristyn Getty for their annual tour, Joy - An Irish Christmas, a lively celebration of the birth of Christ. As seen on public television, the Gettys are joined by instrumentalists fusing Celtic, bluegrass, Americana, and classical music, as well as cultural dance and the choral sounds of the holiday. This show is at the Bob Carr Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 19. Call 844-513-2014 or visit

Dec. 19 – Merry Tuba Christmas in Winter Park’s Central Park

Conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher William J. Bell, (who was born on Christmas Day 1902), the first Tuba Christmas was arranged by American composer Alec Wilder (who died on Christmas Eve 1980). From traditional Christmas music, Wilder composed solo and ensemble compositions for tuba and euphonium, many of which will be performed at 1 p.m. on Dec. 19 in a free performance at the Winter Park band-shell in Central Park. Gail Robertson will conduct. Call 407-970-2211 or visit

Dec 20 – String quartet Well-Strung at the Abbey

Receiving rave reviews from the House of Blues in New Orleans to the Leicester Theatre in London, the string quartet Well-Strung will present their brand new holiday show at the Abbey in Orlando on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. The evening will include traditional melodies such as “Silent Night” to ‘newly-observed’ versions of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” An elf has informed me there will be opportunities for audience participation with Edmund Bagnell (first violin), Christopher Marchant (second violin), Daniel Shevlin (cello) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola) in this unique and engaging experience. Call 407-704-6103 or visit

Dec 20 – Bok Tower Carillon & Choral Concert

The extraordinary experience of the Carillon at Bok Tower Gardens is even more wonderful on Dec. 20 when you may enjoy an hour-long carillon concert with a live choir under the stars. Before or after the concert, visit Pinewood Estate for a special nighttime tour complete with hot chocolate and cookies, or enjoy a light dinner at the Blue Palmetto Café before the concert for an additional fee. Tickets are available at the entrance gate on day of event. Tickets for the concert only are $5 per person. Tickets for the concert and home tour $13 per person. Call 863-676-1408 or visit


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