Throughout the month
WMU School of Music
WMU’s School of Music will offer holiday music and more in its slate of concerts during December. Unless noted, performances will be in the university’s Dalton Center Recital Hall and are free. The performances scheduled are:
• Chris Potter, a renowned saxophonist, composer and bandleader, performing with WMU’s Advanced Jazz Ensemble, the Western Jazz Collective and The University Jazz Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Tickets are $5–$10.
• A Choral Christmas, featuring WMU’s Amphion, Anima and University Chorale, 4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at First Presbyterian Church, 321 W. South St. Tickets are $5–$15.
• Bronco Marching Band Miller Show, directed by Trey Harris, 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at Miller Auditorium. Tickets are $8–$12.
• University Concert Band, conducted by Mary Land, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Miller Auditorium.
• Birds on a Wire, WMU’s new-music ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6.
• Campus Choir, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7.
•40th Annual Brass for the Holidays concert, featuring the Western Brass Quintet, 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Miller Auditorium. Tickets are $5–$15.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wmich.edu/music/events.
Holiday Choral Performances
Throughout the month
Choirs and holidays just seem to go together, and there are several choral concerts this month that feature Christmas themes:
• The Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus teams up with the Kalamazoo Concert Band to perform Yuletide Carols at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 at Miller Auditorium. The concert is free, but a ticket is required. For tickets or more information, visit kalamazooconcertband.org.
• Holidays with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival will feature the festival’s chorus singing holiday music from around the world at 4 p.m. Dec. 4 in Kalamazoo College’s Stetson Chapel. Tickets are $5–$29, and virtual and in-person viewing of the concert will be available. For tickets or more information visit kalamazoobachfestival.org.
• The Kalamazoo Male Chorus and Kalamazoo Ringers Handbell Choir will join forces for a free concert titled 2022 Christmas in Kalamazoo at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Centerpoint Church, 2345 N. 10th St. For more information, visit kalamazooringers.org.
• The Kalamazoo Community Chorale will present a free concert titled Christmas Time is Here at 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park St. For more information, visit kalamazoocommunitychorale.com.
Isidore String Quartet
Fontana Chamber Arts
Fontana will present this young and upcoming classical quartet, which won first place in the 2022 Banff International String Quartet Competition, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center Recital Hall.
The New-York based quartet will perform works by Haydn, Beethoven and Billy Childs. Their performance is a substitution for the St. Lawrence String Quartet, which was originally scheduled for this date but whose performance was cancelled due to the death of one of its members.
Tickets are $15–$30 and can be purchased online at fontanamusic.org or by calling the Community Box Office at 250-6984. Existing tickets for the St. Lawrence String Quartet will be honored for this performance or can be exchanged by calling the Community Box Office.
KSO Holiday Pops
Dec 3 & 4
The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra brings a holly, jolly spirit to two performances this month.
The orchestra, conducted by John Devlin, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at Chenery, 714 S. Westnedge Ave. Special vocal guests will be soprano Erica Gabriel and baritone Marcus Jordan.
Tickets are $5–$67 and available online at kalamazoosymphony.com.
Connie Han Trio
Connie Han, the American jazz pianist described by Downbeat magazine as “a crazy-good player, arranger and improviser,” will bring her fiery style to Kalamazoo for a performance at 4 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Wellspring Theater.
Han will be performing with Ryan Berg on bass and Bill Wysaske on drums as part of the Gilmore’s Rising Stars Series. Han is touring to support the September release of her new album, Secrets of Inanna.
Tickets are $25 for the in-person concert and on a name-your-price basis for virtual viewing. For tickets or more information, visit thegilmore.org.
Jazz in the Crawlspace
Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, who performed in New York City for 30 years with artists such as Betty Carter, Kenny Barron, Freddy Cole, Dianne Schuur, Kurt Elling and Cyrille Aimee, will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Crawlspace Comedy Theatre, in the KNAC/First Baptist Church building, at 315 W. Michigan Ave.
Frahm, who now lives in Nashville, has played as a leader or sideman on more than 100 recordings and has appeared at jazz festivals in the United States, Europe, Israel, Canada and South America. He will be joined in his Kalamazoo performance by Carlo De Rosa on bass and Keith Hall on drums.
Tickets are $5–$12 in advance at crawlspacecomedy.com and $5–$15 the day of show at the venue.
Hark! The Herald Angels Ring
The Kalamazoo Ringers handbell choir will present a concert of Christmas music from 4–5:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Grace Harbor Church, 811 Gorham Lane.
The performance by the 15-member group, one of the oldest continuously operating community handbell choirs in the U.S., is free. They will be collecting donations of winter hats, gloves, scarves and mittens for those in need before the concert, from 1–3 p.m., and at the concert. For more information, visit kalamazooringers.org.
Meet Me in St. Louis
The Civic Theatre
The Civic kicks off the holiday season with the nostalgic, feel-good family musical Meet Me in St. Louis.
The show follows a year in the life of the Smith family, through romance, opportunity and heartbreaks, as they anticipate the upcoming 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The show is directed by Civic Artistic Director Tony Humrichouser and includes musical numbers such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song” and “Whenever I’m with You.”
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Tickets are $17–$30 and available online at kazoocivic.com or by calling 343–1313.
Next Stop, Broadway
You might catch a rising star at this annual cabaret featuring Western Michigan University Department of Theater seniors and special guest Faith Prince.
Prince, at left, an award-winning stage and television actress, recently starred on Broadway in Disaster! The Musical and as the scheming Miss Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie. She has a recurring role as Lorraine Dunphy on the ABC series Modern Family and also has appeared in recurring roles on Melissa & Joey, Drop Dead Diva and Spin City.
The shows start at 7:30 p.m. in the Williams Theatre at WMU. Tickets are $6–$24 and available by calling 387-6222 or online at wmich.edu/theatre.
Offering favorite carols and holiday songs, the Barn Theatre’s Christmas Cabaret promises to make audiences feel merry and bright.
The show will be staged in the Barn’s Rehearsal Shed and feature family-friendly holiday fare as well as complimentary dessert, coffee and hot chocolate. The bar will be open for purchase of cocktails and other beverages.
The Barn is located at 13351 W. M-96 in Augusta. Show times are 7 p.m. Dec. 9–11, 16–18 and 19–22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10–11 and 17–18. Tickets are $37 and available by calling 731–4121 or going online to barntheatreschool.org.
The Nutcracker Kalamazoo!
Dec. 3 & 4
Comstock Community Auditorium
Guest dancers will join the youth company of Ballet Kalamazoo to present two performances of the holiday classic The Nutcracker.
Among the guest artists are Matthew Rusk of the St. Louis (Missouri) Ballet as The Nutcracker Prince and Joseph Van Harn of Festival Ballet Providence (Rhode Island) as The Cavalier.
Show times are 6 p.m. Dec. 3 and 1 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets are $10–$20 and available online at balletkalamazoo.com.
The gifted members of the Young Dancers Initiative will present their annual contemporary and modern dance concert from 6–8 p.m. Dec. 4.
The performance will include dancers from the YDI’s Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor companies, Jodie Randolph Dance, Western Michigan University’s Western Dance Project, and the Youth Performing Ensemble of the Wellspring Dance Academy.
The Young Dancers Initiative provides professional training, performance opportunities, mentorships and educational workshops for middle- and high-school-age dancers. Founded in Ann Arbor in 2013 by Jodie Randolph, YDI expanded to a second location, in Kalamazoo, in 2020.
The Wellspring Theater is located in the Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at youngdancersinitiative.org.
There will be ample opportunities to embrace this month’s Art Hop theme, Give the Gift of Art, if you come to the Hop, running from 5–8 p.m.
This free event organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo features a variety of artists’ works as well as live music and the chance to visit downtown businesses.
The Arts Council has an app that provides a guide and map of Art Hop sites, information about participating artists, and walking directions. For more information or to access the app, visit kalamazooarts.org.
Lee Ann Frame: The Art of Relationship
Dec. 2–Jan. 20
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
Works by Michigan printmaker Lee Ann Frame will be featured at the KBAC Gallery.
Frame creates her nature-inspired works using hand-pulled multi-print media techniques, etching, and woodblock printing.
The exhibition’s opening reception is set for 5–8 p.m. Dec. 2. For more information, visit kalbookarts.org.
Unmasking Masculinity for the 21st Century
Through Dec. 29
Unveiling American Genius
Through Dec. 31
Captive Beauties: Depictions of Women in Late Imperial China
Through Jan. 15
What Is Going on in This Picture?
Through April 1