A selective, curatorial view of the cultural highlights of the upcoming weekend in the greater Hudson, N.Y., region.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) — Grammy Award-winner Cécile McLorin Salvant, accompanied by pianist Sullivan Fortner, performs a mix of original compositions, timeless hits, and forgotten gems in the Fisher Center at Bard College on Sun, Dec 17, at 3pm. Salvant – the youngest person ever to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and whom the New York Times has mentioned in the same sentence as Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald — brings jazz, vaudeville, blues, and folk music into her own powerful and distinct style.
(KINGSTON, N.Y.) – Melissa Etheridge brings her band, her greatest hits, and a basket full of holiday tunes to the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) in Kingston on Sat, Dec 16, at 8pm. Etheridge’s “Merry Christmas Baby!” show includes a selection of the Academy and Grammy Award-winning folk-rock artist’s most beloved originals – songs like “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs,” “Ain’t It Heavy,” “I’m the Only One,” and “Come to My Window” — alongside holiday classics including “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “O Night Divine” and other tunes from her 2008 Christmas album, “A New Thought for Christmas.”
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Harambee Dance Company caps a free, day-long community celebration of Kwanzaa at Hudson Hall on Sat, Dec 16, beginning at 3:30pm, and Classics on Hudson hosts a community sing-along of Handel’s “Messiah” – featuring choral and instrumental talent from the Bard Conservatory – on Sun, Dec 17, at 4pm. The Umoja Community Celebration is presented in partnership with Operation Unite NY, and features arts and crafts for children, dancing, drumming, a candle-lighting ceremony, and Harambee Dance, acclaimed for their blending of the traditional and contemporary to create a new style of African dance. Gwen Gould conducts the “’Messiah’ Sing” featuring soloists from the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program and the Tecchler Quartet from the Bard Conservatory of Music.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Hedda Lettuce, the self-described “world’s first and premiere eco-friendly drag queen,” brings her annual holiday show, “Lettuce Rejoice,” featuring her patented blend of poised characters, startling satire, and original music, to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sun, Dec 17, at 7pm. Hedda will be accompanied by pianist Paul Leschen. Hedda’s holiday cabaret includes such favorites as “Here Comes Tranny Clause,” about a mean tyrant that ruins Xmas; the classic song, “Sleigh Ride,” turned into a gay man’s quest for sex on Grinder; and “Do You Hear What I Hear” rendered as “Do You Think That He’s Queer,” about a fag hag desperately seeking a sexual relationship with a gay man.
LESSONS & CAROLS in KINDERHOOK
(KINDERHOOK, N.Y.) – The eighth annual Celebration of Lessons and Carols, featuring readings, congregational singing, and choral and organ music of the Christmas season, takes place at the Kinderhook Reformed Church on Sun, Dec 17, at 4pm. The event features a chorus of 40 – including members of the Broad Street Chorale – in a program of choral offerings conducted by David Smith, including works from the 17th through the 21st centuries by Rutter, Vaughan Williams, Vittoria, Sweelinck, Smith, Shaw and others.
(POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.) – The Hudson Valley Philharmonic, under the baton of guest conductor Christine Howlett, performs Handel’s “Messiah” at the Bardavon on Sat, Dec 16, at 2pm. Guest vocalists from Cappella Festiva will join the HVP to perform George Frideric Handel’s most popular choral work, for a total of 100 instrumentalists and singers on the Bardavon stage. Soloists include mezzo-soprano Teresa Buchholz, soprano Katherine Whyte, bass-baritone Joseph Beutel, and tenor Joshua Blue.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) — Winter Songfest, a holiday-themed program featuring the Bard College Symphonic Chorus and Chamber Singers with musicians from the Conservatory Orchestra, the Orchestra Now, and the Graduate Vocal Arts Program, takes place in the Fisher Center at Bard College on Sat, Dec 16, at 8pm in the Sosnoff Theater. Conducted by James Bagwell, the concert includes early and modern carols, Berlioz’s “The Shepherd’s Farewell” from L’enfance du Christ, selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” and other traditional holiday favorites.
COMING SOON: PHIL KLINE’s ‘UNSILENT NIGHT’ MOBILE SOUND SCULPTURE RETURNS to HUDSON
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – ‘Unsilent Night,’ Phil Kline’s mobile sound-sculpture that has become a holiday cult classic, returns to the streets of Hudson on Sat, Dec 23, at 7pm. Led by Kline himself, participants will gather at Hudson’s Public Square at Warren and Seventh Street and march to Hudson’s Promenade for the parade’s culmination. This year’s parade route celebrates Hudson’s lesser traveled alleys and enclaves, winding through corridors and byways that shade the city’s historic streetscape and that will uniquely sculpt the sound of Kline’s composition. This December, Kline’s pioneering work of public sound art – performed by whoever shows up with a boombox or amplified digital music player (such as a smartphone) – takes place in more than 37 cities across the United States and Canada. Streets, parks and sidewalks will come alive with “a shimmering sound-wall of bells and chimes that is dreamlike to wander through in the December nip” (Village Voice).