December is always a month of choices and juggling schedules – at least that is what always happens to me. It seems no matter how I plan ahead the month just seems to jump up and catch me by surprise.
Now I know that it will always follow November and the indulgences of Thanksgiving – but somehow I think there should be more time in between to get ready for everything that I imagine I want to do. But it always seems to work best when we take some time for ourselves and enjoy a concert, a great evening with friends and just not worry about the boxes to wrap, the cookies to bake, the decorating to do, etc. etc.
So begin the month with a day downtown Naples. – December 1 – the Naples Concert Band will be performing at 2 p.m. in Cambier Park. After the concert stroll down Fifth Avenue and enjoy a relaxing meal at one of our fantastic restaurants –hope you have planned ahead and have your tickets for the opening concert of the Classic Chamber Concerts series at 8 p.m. at the Sugden Theatre. This group is celebrating their 20th Season and will open their season with a concert featuring the Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra performing Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #1 in F Major. In addition, there will be a surprise – a special commissioned Anniversary composition to celebrate the beginning of their 20th season.
As we work our way into the month there will be many holiday concerts held in almost every church in Naples – be sure to check them out. A couple that I would recommend would be on December 14 at 4 p.m. at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church – the concert features the 80 voices of the Chancel Choir, Campanielle Ringers, Youth Orchestra and Alleluia Choir. On December 20 at 5 p.m. and December 21 at 4 p.m. the acclaimed Trinity-by-the-Cove twelvevoice choral ensemble will present a Choral Christmas.
Another opportunity for wonderful concerts during December happens in many of our area middle and high schools – they will be on the school district’s website. It is a wonderful experience to see our talented young people perform – they always add a dimension of excitement and energy that is unparalleled.
The Naples Orchestra and Chorus has announced their new conductors and is excited to begin a new era of excellence in the 2014-15 season. Their conductor and artistic director is Max Ravinovitsj and the Choral Director is Dr. Trent Brown. Their season will begin on December 13 and 14 with their holiday concerts at Lely High School. definitely worth your time to head down the East Trail and enjoy a concert and see all that is happening in Naples.
Perhaps a concert is not what you are looking for in December – then you should head to the Sugden Theatre downtown Naples – get your tickets for The Spitfire Grill – a musical. This production opened on November 12 and will continue through December 6, with evening performances at 8 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m.
Naples newest holiday tradition can be found at Gulfshore Playhouse with productions held at the Norris Center in Naples.
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol takes a magical departure from the Dickens classic – in this production Jacob Marley finds himself in Hell and there the adventure begins. You will discover a new way to look at the story that you think you know as you follow Marley through the streets of London, Christmases past, present and future.
The production will open on December 6 and continue through December 21.
If you prefer to stay at home, Classical South Florida will feature several Holiday specials at noon and 9 p.m. on December 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24 – so plan to enjoy your Holiday in December with family and friends and Classical South Florida – 88.7 FM.