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story.lead_photo.caption "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical" will be performed Tuesday at Robinson Center Performance Hall. (Celebrity Attractions)

What really makes it feel like Christmas? Memories reaching back to early childhood are easily triggered by certain smells, sights and especially sounds.

This holiday season in Central Arkansas, there are ample and varied opportunities to experience favorite, familiar tunes -- perhaps with a new twist -- surrounded by like-minded music lovers. Whether it's a childhood classic reinvented on stage, a full symphony giving old songs new life or the twinkling of bells, there's something for every taste

• Yukon Cornelius, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster and some misfit toys will help a reindeer save Christmas in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Based on the 1964 TV special, this touring musical stage production starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Robinson Center Performance Hall, Markham Street and Broadway, Little Rock. Tickets are $29-$73.

Call (501) 244-8800 or visit ticketmaster.com.

Little Rock Winds may be based in reeds and brass, but its holiday concert, "Holly and Ivy," will have some special surprises to offer. Starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Pulaski Tech's Center for Humanities and Arts Theater, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock, the yuletide celebration includes soloists, the Sylvan Hills High School Choir, dancers from Arkansas Festival Ballet and an appearance by Santa Claus. A silent auction starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5-$20.

Call (501) 666-0777 or visit lrwinds.org.

• The state's "oldest continually operating musical organization" -- Arkansas Choral Society -- has presented all or parts of Handel's Messiah annually since 1930, and this year's concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Calvary Baptist Church, 5700 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. Admission is $20, $15 for students.

Call (870)723-7838 or visit lovetosing.org.

• Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Road, Little Rock, gets festive and musical with its Winter Festival. At 4 p.m. Saturday, the park will ring -- literally -- as Praeclara Ringers and guests present an afternoon of seasonal handbell favorites. Tickets are $10, $5 for students.

Then, at 3 p.m. Sunday, the Praeclara singers, Una Voce, Concert Belles Girls Choir, the choirs from Second Presbyterian Church and St. James United Methodist church, soloists and an orchestra will come together for a performance of Handel's Messiah. A reception follows. Tickets are $20, $10 for students.

For more information, call (501) 821-7275 or visit wildwoodpark.org.

• A blend of traditional carols, classics and "surprises" fill Holiday! 2019, the annual River City Men's Chorus concert, 3 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 12 at Second Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock. Admission is free, but early arrival is encouraged.

Call (501) 377-1080 or visit rivercitymenschorus.com.

Celtic Woman — Tara McNeill (from left), Mairead Carlin, Eabha McMahon and Megan Walsh — performs Dec. 16 at the Robinson Center Performance Hall.
Celtic Woman — Tara McNeill (from left), Mairead Carlin, Eabha McMahon and Megan Walsh — performs Dec. 16 at the Robinson Center Performance Hall.

• The all-female ensemble Celtic Woman continues to be popular, and its eighth annual Symphony Tour lands at Robinson Center Performance Hall, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. Accompanied by a full orchestra, "Celtic Woman: The Best of Christmas" will feature favorite songs from the group's platinum-selling albums including A Christmas Celebration. Expect traditional songs with a special Celtic flair. Tickets are $39-$99.

Call (800) 745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.

• Now in its 40th season, the Arkansas Chamber Singers will present multiple concerts full of familiar songs such as "We Need a Little Christmas" and "Good King Wenceslas." There will be one performance at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Drive, Little Rock. The other concerts are at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 3 p.m. Dec. 14-15 at the Old State House Museum, 300 W. Markham St., Little Rock.

Tickets for the church concert in advance are $15, $10 for students and $18 and $12 at the door. Old State House performances are free.

Call (501) 377-1121 or visit ar-chambersingers.org.

Stephanie Smittle is the guest vocalist at the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's “Home for the Holidays” concert Dec. 19 at Robinson Center Performance Hall. (Arkansas Symphony Orchestra)
Stephanie Smittle is the guest vocalist at the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's “Home for the Holidays” concert Dec. 19 at Robinson Center Performance Hall. (Arkansas Symphony Orchestra)

• The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will provide the notes while Ballet Arkansas and a cast of more than 250 dancers perform The Nutcracker Spectacular, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 14-15 at Robinson Center Performance Hall. Tickets to the annual production of Tchaikovsky's classic are $18-$102.

Call (501) 244-8800 or visit ticketmaster.com.

• Every year, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra takes audiences "Home for the Holidays" with its traditional Christmas concert that blends the upbeat and cheery with the reflective and sentimental. This year's program under the baton of Israel Getzov includes "Sleigh Ride," music from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, the movie The Polar Express and classical favorites such as "O Holy Night."

This year's guest vocalist is Stephanie Smittle, who will sing along on a range of songs including "Mary Did You Know" and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."

The concert is one night only, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at Robinson Center Performance Hall, Markham Street and Broadway, Little Rock. Tickets are $16-$70, $10 for active-duty military and students.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Geoffrey Robson, will perform during screenings of the film "Home Alone" Dec. 21-22 at Robinson Center Performance Hall.(Arkansas Symphony Orchestra)
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Geoffrey Robson, will perform during screenings of the film "Home Alone" Dec. 21-22 at Robinson Center Performance Hall.(Arkansas Symphony Orchestra)

The "Holidays" concert isn't the only ASO celebration of the season. At 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 3 p.m. Dec. 22, conductor Geoffrey Robson will present Home Alone: Film with Orchestra at Robinson Center Performance Hall. The symphony will play John Williams' score as the family favorite plays on the big screen. Tickets are $10-$70 and children's admission is free with an Entergy Kids Ticket, downloadable online.

The Sunday performance is preceded by the ASO Holiday Children's Fair -- with an "instrument petting zoo," arts and crafts and a visit with Santa -- at 2 p.m.

Call (501) 666-1761 or visit arkansassymphony.org.

• And for those who will be in Northwest Arkansas:

The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and guest choirs and soloists present a mix of favorites with A Very SoNA Christmas, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Walton Arts Center, 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. Tickets are $33-$55. Then, at 2 p.m. Dec. 22, SoNA will play the score during a screening of The Snowman. Tickets are $10.

Call (479) 521-4166 or visit sonamusic.org.

Style on 12/01/2019

Print Headline: Sights and sounds

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