Arts Previews

  • Three UMass Amherst choirs will join forces in a special concert, “Holiday Card to Amherst,” at the Fine Arts Center on Saturday, Dec. 7. Sumbitted image

  • Swiss saxophonist Christoph Irniger brings his quintet, Pilgrim, to Springfield  on Saturday, Dec. 7 for a Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares show. submitted image

Thursday, December 05, 2019
UMass Amherst choirs to perform

It’s called a “Holiday Card to Amherst”: a combined concert, produced by the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, by the school’s Chamber Choir, Chorale, and Lab Choir to celebrate the holiday season.

The concert, on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the university’s Fine Arts Concert Hall, will be led by choral conductors Tony Thorton and Stephen A. Paparo and will feature works from the classical repertoire along with popular and traditional holiday carols, including an audience sing-along.

Now in its third year, the program will include “O Tannenbaum,” “See Amid the Winter’s Snow,” “Brightest and Best” and traditional carols. Concertgoers are also encouraged to wear their most outlandish winter gear so as to take part in the “Tackiest Holiday Sweater” contest, with the winner to be crowned by the audience.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Ticket are $10 for the general public, $5 for students, seniors and UMass employees, and free for UMass students. To purchase, call the Fine Arts Center Box Office at (413) 545-2511 or visit fineartscenter.com/musicanddance.

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares in Springfield

Saxophonist Christoph Irniger brings his quintet, Pilgrim, to the Community Music School of Springfield on Saturday, Dec. 7 as part of the eighth season of Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares, in which music lovers invest in a program that features a variety of jazz performers.

The Swiss-born Irniger is also a composer and bandleader who one critic, according to publicity notes, calls “undoubtedly one of the greatest talents of his generation.” In recent years, Irniger has made a name for himself in Europe and New York City in a range of lineups, playing jazz, rock and related musical styles.

At Saturday’s show, which begins at 7:30 p.m., Irniger will be joined by Stefan Aeby on piano, Dave Gisler on guitar, Raffaele Bossard on bass and Michi Stulz on drums.

Tickets are $15 and available at jazzshares.org.

Get ready to step on stage

Happier Valley Comedy in Hadley is known for its improv skits. But on Saturday, Dec. 7, the comedy center will really put that theme to work, as the actors/comedians will attempt to stage an entire musical from ground zero.

In “The Understudies,” the premise is that it’s opening night of a new Broadway show. But there’s a catch: As production notes put it, “The entire cast is unavailable. This is the moment we’ve been training for. Be part of the fun as the determined Understudies create an entire musical from scratch, with a little help from the audience.”

The perfomers for the show are Scott Braidman, Kelsey Flynn, Maile Shoul, and special guest Misch Whitaker, with musical accompaniment by Jeff Kimball.

The show begins at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. At Happier Valley Comedy, 1 Mill Valley Road in Hadley. Tickets are $13 online or at the door. Visit happiervalley.com to order or for more information, including how to obtain standby tickets.