Written by News Bulletin News Sources   
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:00

jazzband COLOR

 

Holiday favorites with a Big Band twist and classic Big Band selections are in store at the 17-piece Jazz Consortium Big Band's free outdoor concert from 3:30-4:30 p.m. this Saturday at downtown Elgin's Civic Center Plaza, 150 Dexter Ct., Elgin.  For more information visit www.jcbigband.com or call (847) 531-7056.  Band photo.

 

Your guide to Christmas and holiday season events throughout the region

 

ONGOING

 

Children who want to give their holiday wish list to Santa Claus in person can visit jolly St. Nick in December at the David and Karen Stover Visitors Center at Aurora’s Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive. Santa will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 7 to 8, 14 to 15 and 21 to 22.  Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras. The free event is sponsored by the Friends of Phillips Park, a non-profit group that has been working behind the scenes to help preserve, restore and promote park amenities and programs since 1985. For more information on the Friends of Phillips Park, call the Visitors Center at (630) 256-3750.

 

The Polar Express train is welcoming all aboard during the first three weekends in December at Blackberry Farm for its annual Yuletide celebration amid thousands of glittering lights and festive activities. The holiday spirit comes to life from 2 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22 when the decorated train will run continuously around sparkling Lake Gregory. Classic holiday music favorites play in the background throughout the event. The famous book ‘The Polar Express’ will be read by storytellers at the historic one-room school house, and Santa Claus will delight young visitors at the Early Streets Museum. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, call (630) 892-1550.

 

A Nutcracker with a different sort of holiday cheer will soon set up shop in downtown Aurora as the The Second City's Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue - a live comedy revue that aims The Second City's usual brand of brash and irreverent humor for its annual run at the 216-seat Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., through Dec. 22. Tickets are $35. For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com, call the Paramount Theatre box office, (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount box office (located directly across the street from the Copley, at 23 E. Galena Blvd.)  

 

Waubonsee Community College will offer an abundance of live concerts in December – and no tickets will be required. From Dec. 6-Dec. 15, Waubonsee will host its annual series of five live winter musical performances in an assortment of musical genres. All shows will be free and open to the public, and will be performed in the Waubonsee Auditorium, on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive, unless otherwise noted. On Friday, Dec. 6, the Waubonsee Steel Band will begin the series, with a performance at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m., the Waubonsee Chorale and Woodwind Ensemble will take the stage. The Waubonsee Jazz Ensemble will perform on Friday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m., and the Waubonsee Rock Band will follow with a show on Saturday, Dec. 14, also at 7:30 p.m. A General Student Recital will cap off the month of free music on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. in Von Ohlen Hall, Room 114. For more information, contact Music Professor Gib Monokoski at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2500.      

 

DEC. 6

 

Celebrate the beauty of the season with Geneva’s annual Christmas Walk and House Tour. Many shops and restaurants are offering specials and events throughout the weekend. The traditional Christmas Walk begins on Friday at 6 p.m. when Santa Lucia, the Swedish symbol of the season, and her attendants arrive by horse-drawn carriage to offer Swedish cookies to visitors. Santa makes his appearance to light the Great Tree on the Courthouse lawn (on South Third St. between James & Campbell) and officially opens his Gingerbread House (corner of James & South Third) at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening of holiday shopping and dining in historic Geneva and delight in chestnuts roasting, strolling carolers, freshly-made candy canes and hot cider. Your family has the opportunity to be the first to greet Santa this Geneva holiday season. The House Tour takes place on Friday from 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Five distinctive homes decorated for the holidays will open their doors to visitors for self-guided tours. A traditional tea at the Congregational Church in Geneva, and a keepsake decorating and entertaining ideas booklet are also included in the tour.  House tour tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased by calling the Chamber. For more information on the Christmas Walk and House Tour or for information about becoming an event sponsor, contact the Chamber Office at (630) 232-6060. 

 

DEC. 7

 

The city of Elgin hosts its annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony and other events between noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. Santa Claus will officially turn on the tree at 5 p.m. Other day-long activities include the 15th Annual Downtown Elgin Window Wonderland. The theme “Holiday Traditions Around the World – Celebrating the Sights, Sounds, and Scents of the Season” This year’s activities include decorated store front windows, roasting of chestnuts, decorating cookies, holiday music by Dave Newton Music.  Plus, there's also a chance to visit with Santa’s real live reindeer, drop by the Elgin Police Department Open House, do a figure-8 at City Skate, enjoy the sounds of Jazz Consortium Big Band, write Holiday Letters to Soldiers,  relax on a carriage ride   and much, much more.  For more information call the DNA at (847) 488-1456.

 

More than 50 artisans displaying handcrafted jewelry, pottery, wood art, knits and more will be on hand for Gingerbread Junction from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. The craft fair will be held at Naperville’s Hill Middle School, 1826 Brookdale Road. For more information, call (630) 428-6200 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

The Naperville Chorus will present the Christmas Concert “Great Britten Great Britain” on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. For more information, call (630) 420-2336 or visit www.NapervilleChorus.org.

 

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Mayslake Peabody Estate at 1717 W. 31st Street in Oak Brook invites concert-goers to join Acappellago for a holiday performance on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Acappellago, an a cappella chamber choir based in the western suburbs, takes its listeners on a musical escape through the combination of many voices together in harmony. This season’s annual Christmas performance, “Star in the East,” will feature works in the Eastern Orthodox tradition by John Tavener and Arvo Park along with spiritual and secular holiday music from Germany, Great Britain and the United States. Tickets are $17 per person with a reduced price of $15 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit acappellago.org or call 708-484-3797, ext. 2. For more information on this and other programs at Mayslake Peabody Estate, call 630-206-9566.

 

DEC. 8

 

The holiday spirit comes to life in December at the Prisco Community Center with family-friendly performances to be staged the first two weekends. The second annual “Prisco Holiday Spectacular” will be performed Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. The following weekend, Steppin’ Out Dance Studio will perform “The Nutcracker” at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15. Tickets are available online at www.seatyourself.biz/foxvalleyparkdistrict. For more information, call the Prisco Center at 630-859-8606.

 

The granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp, whose story inspired "The Sound of Music," Elisabeth von Trapp performs with the sensational Carolian Brass in a Wentz Concert Hall show at 3 p.m. The North Central College performance features not only classic carols, but also music ranging from Bach and Handel to jazz and Broadway. The highlight of the evening is a set of complete renditions of songs from the beloved "The Sound of Music," wherein the guitar solo "Edelweiss" flows into an extraordinary rendition of "Stille Nacht." With a voice that critics have called "hauntingly clear" (New York Times), von Trapp, along with the Carolian Brass, "... will send a thrill of pleasure through your nervous system" (Boston Globe). Tickets are $30 and $35.

 

The Kendall County Historical Society’s  Lyon Farm hosts its annual Christmas at the Farm on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission $3 all ages. Activities include crafts for children, a train display, visits with Santa Claus, storytelling, roasted chestnuts and much more. The farm features several buildings of historical interest that have been moved to the farm, and are displayed on turn of the century Dunbar Lane including the Burlington & Quincy Railroad Depot from Plano, the old Yorkville City Hall, and many more interesting buildings and artifacts. The farm is located at 7935 State Route 71 between Oswego and Yorkville. Call (630) 554-3064 for more information.

 

Montgomery’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. in front of the Village Hall at 200 N. River St.  This is a free event for the entire community and is hosted jointly by the Village of Montgomery and the Greater Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce (GMACC). The event will kick off as students from local grade schools decorate the Village Christmas tree with handmade ornaments, followed by the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in fire trucks with sirens blaring. After the lighting of the Christmas tree, children can pose for photos with Santa inside the Village Hall. The Village Hall will once again host a Festival of Trees that will turn all three levels into a winter wonderland. Area businesses are participating by decorating Christmas trees for everyone to enjoy. Visitors of all ages are invited to vote for their favorite tree. 

 

A concert featuring organ selections by Artist-in-Residence Dr. David Schrader and performances by the AU Flute Choir, the Men's Quartet and faculty soloist Dr. Joshua Baum will be held at 3 and 7:30 p.m. at Crimi Auditorium, 1347 Prairie St. on the Aurora University campus. The audience will be invited to sing Christmas carols with the choirs. Call (630) 844-4924 for more information or visit This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Santa will be arriving in Hampshire on Dec. 8  at Hampshire Middle school from 1-4 p.m.  (including Lunch with Santa from Noon to 1 p.m.). The event will include free photos with Santa, a craft show, live entertainment, kids games and crafts, and the nativity petting zoo. Call (847) 683-1122. for more information.

 

Aurora’s Our Savior Lutheran Church hosts its “Do-It-Yourself” Messiah on Sunday, Dec. 8  at 3 p.m. There will be performances by the Youth Strings and the Academy Orchestra at 1 p.m. will also perform at 1 p.m. while  the Fox Valley Philharmonic plays along the Handel’s masterpiece at 3 p.m. The church is located at 420 W. Downer Place. More information is available at (630) 476-9072.

 

The Historic Kendall County Courthouse hosts a holiday event at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 featuring a professional storyteller, craft making, portraits along with performances from the Fox River Academy of Music and Art and by students at the Yorkville Performing Arts Center. The courthouse is located at 110 W. Madison in Yorkville. Call (630) 553-4025 for more information

 

DEC. 12

 

The Elgin Community College Jazz Ensembles, under the direction of Mark Bettcher, will perform selections from the Duke Ellington Library and a wide variety of jazz styles from swing to Latin and contemporary. The ensembles are extremely excited to feature the uniquely brilliant Grammy Award-winner harmonica artist Howard Levy as the guest artist for this performance. The ECC Jazz Ensemble will perform one of Levy’s original compositions featuring his virtuoso artistry on both Harmonica and piano. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults, $9 for students and seniors.

 

DEC. 13

 

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. It is sure to be a magical afternoon with entertainment provided by the Fox Valley Concert Band jazz group, Zazz. Enjoy a delicious family style dinner of salad, rigatoni pasta, roasted chicken breast and roasted potatoes. Coffee, tea and soda will be served as well as cream puffs filled with vanilla gelato & topped with chocolate sauce for dessert. Cash bar will be available and a raffle drawing will feature a variety of spectacular prizes. This year’s event will be held at Francesca’s by the River, 200 South 2nd Street, on Friday, Dec.13 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fee is $29 for St. Charles Park District Adult Activity Center members and $43.50 for nonmembers. For more information, call Meghan at 630-513-4324.

 

North Central College’s Theater at Meiley-Swallow — the former Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church — hosts “Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" from Dec. 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. The  funny and moving work brings the ghost of Jacob Marley out of the shadows and into the spotlight and tells his version of the Dickens classic. Written by award-winning playwright, actor and director Tom Mula, this fanciful tour of Marley's afterlife and his assignment to redeem Scrooge and himself is a delightful holiday show. Chicago's famed Organic Theater Company takes you on this unusual voyage through a familiar tale. This performance may not be suitable for young audiences. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for seniors.

 

Escape the cold weather for a cozy afternoon of decorating cookies and watching “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” There will be popcorn, snacks and slushies to snack on while decorating. The event will take place on Friday, Dec. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Naperville’s 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive.  For more information, visit www.naperville-lib.org.

 

Members of the internationally acclaimed North Central College Jazz faculty will perform holiday classics at a special concert Dec. 13. The performance begins at 8 p.m.  in the College’s Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $25/adults and $20/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix. The concert will feature vocalist Janice Borla, trumpeter Art Davis, vibraphonist Brad Stirtz, pianist Chris White, bassist Jim Cox, drummer Jack Mouse and other members of the North Central College jazz faculty.

 

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County invites holiday shoppers to find unique handmade gifts for their family and friends at Mayslake Peabody Estate at 1717 W. 31st Street in Oak Brook at the annual “Holiday Art and Craft Market” on Friday, Dec. 13 from 11  to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dozens of vendors, including several participants new to this annual event, will offer an assortment of jewelry, tableware, artisan foods, decorative home goods, original artwork and more. A few of the many handcrafted items that shoppers will discover are fused glass bowls from PM Glass, mosaics from Incite Gallery and sweets from Rebecca’s Handmade Toffee. See a full list of vendors at dupageforest.org/market. Shoppers are also invited to purchase tickets for a raffle for a collection of wine. Tickets are $5 each or $20 for five tickets, and proceeds support First Folio Theatre, Mayslake’s resident performance troupe, and the Mayslake Hall Restoration Society.

 

Santa Claus is coming to St. Charles’ Hickory Knolls Discover Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, on Saturday Dec.  13 with his team of sled dogs. Watch Santa arrive pulled by his dashing huskies at 8:45 a.m. then spend some time helping him get ready for his big day. Write a letter to Santa, make an ornament and have your picture taken with the Big Guy, himself! Festivities take place from 8:30 to 10am. Fee is $10 for residents and $15 for nonresidents per child with adult. Ages 1 and under are free. Breakfast snacks included. Advance registration is required at stcnature.org.

 

DEC. 14

 

Aurora’s Paramount Theater will present shows by Mannheim Steamroller  on Saturday, Dec. 14. at 4 and 8 p.m. In 1984 Mannheim Steamroller released Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, an album that revolutionized the holiday music industry. Already a multi-platinum recording artist through its Fresh Aire series, founder Chip Davis decided to record an album of Christmas music combining the group's signature mix of renaissance instruments with rock 'n' roll beats. The resulting album was a runaway hit and propelled Mannheim Steamroller to become the #1 Christmas music artist in history. Tickets are $59 and $69.

 

“The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t” will provides a special behind-the-scenes peek at the hustle, bustle, and near disasters of the Christmas season in a Dec. 14 performance at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall. Adapted entirely from stories written by children, audiences will see "Dinky, The Dancing Reindeer," a story about a reindeer who can't decide if she wants to be a dancer or a member of the sleigh team, almost stopping Santa from getting off the ground. In "How Santa Got Well," an illness keeps Santa at home on Christmas Eve until a cure appears from the most unlikely of places. And, in "Santa and the Witch," Santa falls under a sleeping spell by a witch whose heart has turned to ice. It will take a special toy made by the elves to make her change her mind about Christmas before it's too late. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children under age 12.

 

DEC. 15

 

Marianne Murphy Orland, Beckie Menzie and Laura Freeman will perform “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” at Madden Theatre, 171 E. Chicago Ave. in Naperville on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit http://tickets.noctrl.edu.

 

The Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles celebrates the holiday season Sunday, Dec 15 at 3:00 p.m., with an intimate recital of Christmas carols performed by the harp and clarinet duo of Katherine Cockle and Lacy Schroeder-Garbar. "Carols for Harp and Clarinet" is the first of a planned series of concerts presented in The Norris' art gallery, with seating limited to 150 attendees and no seat further than 35 feet from the stage. The program will include many popular holiday favorites, including Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, Silver Bells, Let It Snow, Coventry Carol, Deck the Halls and O Holy Night. Admission to the concert is free of charge, but The Norris will accept patrons' contributions to the production of future "Music in the Gallery" concerts, recitals, lectures and other events.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 10:08
 
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