Arts & Culture

Happy Holidays With UK Fine Arts

Highlights from the 2015 production of UK Choir's "Collage."

Hear Interim Dean of UK College of Fine Arts David Sogin and Associate Professor of New Media Doreen Maloney talk about upcoming December events at the college on the Nov. 28 edition of "UK At the Half" with Carl Nathe.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 29, 2016) From university artists' personal studios and the Singletary Center for the Arts stages to venues downtown, the talented students and faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts are ringing in the holiday season with everything from classic annual offerings to a new pop-up jazz concert at a popular local coffee spot. With Open Studio, "Collage," "Celebration of Song" and two jazz events, as well as the touring production of Moscow Ballet's "The Great Russian Nutcracker" at Singletary, there is something sure to tug at the heartstrings of viewers of all ages Dec. 2-19.


Deck Your Halls With Art from Open Studio

Kicking off the holidays at UK will be Open Studio. UK School of Art and Visual Studies will throw open its doors to the public for this beloved visual arts event at the university's new Art and Visual Studies Building. Open Studio gives the public a chance to see the working facility, as well as view and even purchase artwork by students and acclaimed UK faculty.

As part of this UK holiday event, the studios of graduate and select undergraduate students will be open with the young artists present to talk about their ongoing projects. A variety of artwork will be on display including metalwork, fiber, paintings, photographs, drawings, ceramics, plaster casts, printmaking and woodwork. Much of this work can be purchased in time for that special someone this gift-giving season.

Open Studio also includes the Carey Ellis Juried Student Show, featuring the best of UK students' work over the last year. To round out the festivities there will be arts and crafts for children, live music, and food and drinks.

Check out Open Studio from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at the Art and Visual Studies Building located at 236 Bolivar St. This event is free and open to the public, but a $5 donation is suggested.


Have a Holly, Jolly 'Collage'

Featuring the critically acclaimed vocalists of the UK Choirs and other celebrated musicians from UK School of Music and the Lexington community, "Collage" will warm audiences' hearts this winter for the 19th year Dec. 3-4, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

A local tradition, the "Collage" concerts feature some of the most cherished holiday carols from around the world. Under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities, and Lori Hetzel, associate director of UK Choral Activities, "Collage" showcases the university's UK ChoraleUK ChoristersUK Women's Choir and UK Men's Chorus, as well as the UK Choir's a cappella groups, acoUstiKatsPaws and Listen and Blue Note

In addition to the choral talents filling the stage, "Collage" also features some of the school's most celebrated musicians and vocal soloists, including the SaxCats, led by Professor Miles Osland; UK Blue Steel, under the direction of doctoral student Francisco Perez; the UK Holiday Clarinets led by Associate Professor Scott Wright; and a crowd favorite, the GrassKats, led by Johnson.

When the show is not spotlighting UK students and faculty, "Collage" also features the rich talents of the Lexington arts community. This year’s concert is no exception as it will include performances by the Lexington Singers; the Lexington Singers Children's Choir, conducted by Hetzel and alumnus Daniel Wesley; the handbell ensemble Alluring, led by Patty Saunders; and the Lexington Catholic High School Chamber Choir, directed by alumni Katie Owen and Rob Vanover.

The curtain rises on "Collage" 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Singletary Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $28 for general admission, $13 for children and UK students with a valid student ID, and $23 each for groups of more than 15. Tickets can be purchased at the Singletary Center ticket office by calling 859-257-4929, visiting, or in person. A processing fee will be added upon completion of transaction.


A Cup of Joe and a Jazzy Ho, Ho, Ho

The esteemed jazz faculty of UK School of Music hope to get your day started right this holiday season with a performance Dec. 10, at A Cup of Common Wealth. The public is encouraged to stop by for some coffee and live performances of carols to get in the holiday mood, all while helping a great cause.

The free pop-up concert, featuring UK Jazz Studies faculty Raleigh Dailey and Bradley Kerns, will run from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at A Cup of Common Wealth, located in downtown Lexington at 105 Eastern Ave. Ten percent of sales that morning will benefit UK Friends of Music, which contributes to the UK School of Music’s scholarships as well as provides funds to its students and faculty for travel for performances, research and conferences.


Oh What Fun to Sing Along at 'Celebration of Song'

Join UK Opera Theatre and the Central Kentucky community as it gets in the spirit of the season at the old-fashioned holiday sing-along concerts, "Celebration of Song," Dec. 11, at The Square. The concerts are free and open to the public. 

Conducted by Director of UK Opera Theatre Everett McCorvey and presented in partnership with Alltech, "Celebration of Song" features performances of favorite carols by award-winning vocalists from UK Opera Theatre and special guest artists.

Due to popular demand there will be two performances of "Celebration of Song" again this year at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at The Square, located at the corner of West Main Street in downtown Lexington.


'Nutcracker' and More to Celebrate Holidays at Singletary

Join in a holiday tradition celebrated by people around the world as the Moscow Ballet returns to the Bluegrass with their production of "The Great Russian Nutcracker" Dec. 19, at Singletary Center for the Arts. Or if you are looking to enjoy the season by taking in more local talent, Singletary Center will be home to several holiday offerings from the Lexington Singers, Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors, Bluegrass Youth Ballet, Wilmore Christian Ballet and University Christian Fellowship.

Direct from Russia, Moscow Ballet’s "Great Russian Nutcracker" has been hailed as a “knock out” by The New York Times. Audiences are sure to be enchanted by this production for the whole family with larger than life magical props, a 60-foot growing Christmas tree and Russian-made costumes and sets. "The Great Russian Nutcracker" will grace the Singletary Center stage 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19.

Tickets for "The Great Russian Nutcracker" range from $68 to $28 based on seating location. For an extra-special experience, individuals may purchase platinum and gold circle tickets for $175 and $102 respectively. Platinum ticket buyers will receive a premium Nutcracker doll and a Moscow Ballet book with each ticket purchased. In addition, platinum ticket buyers will have a meet-and-greet opportunity before the performance which will bring purchasers back stage on a guided tour. Gold circle ticket buyers will receive a Nutcracker doll and the official Moscow Ballet book with each ticket purchased.

Leading up to the Moscow Ballet program, Singletary Center will host the Lexington Singers annual performance of George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. The concert will feature a talented guest soloists, including UK alumnus and Metropolitan Opera tenor Gregory Turay, a baroque orchestra and, of course, the Lexington Singers. Tickets for "Messiah" are $30 for premium seating; $25 for general admission; $23 for seniors; $10 for students; and $20 a ticket for groups of 10 or more.

Later that weekend, Wilmore Christian School of Ballet will present "The Advent" at the Singletary Center Recital Hall. This ballet will be presented twice with performances at 3 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Tickets for "The Advent" are $10 for general admission and $8 for children.

The Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors (BAJA) will warm up the holiday season with the sounds of jazz beginning 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13. The annual "A Jazzy Holiday Concert" features Central Kentucky’s best jazz musicians, including many UK alumni, students and faculty. Tickets for "A Jazzy Holiday Concert" are $9 for general admission, $4 for children and students, and free for UK students with valid ID if purchased at Singletary Center ticket office before the day of the concert.

For those interested in a shorter version of the "Nutcracker," the Bluegrass Youth Ballet will present "The Nutcracker in One Act" 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Based on a novel by 19th-century romantic fabulist E.T.A. Hoffman, Bluegrass Youth Ballet's production is a kid-friendly take on the magical tale of holiday adventure. Tickets for "The Nutcracker in One Act" are $18 for general admission, $15 for seniors and students, and free for children 2 years old and younger. Discounted tickets are available for UK faculty and staff, and groups of 10 or more can get tickets for $14 directly from the Singletary Center ticket office.

One final ballet will round out the holiday festivities at Singletary Center as "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" takes the stage 5 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22. This production is being presented by the University Christian Fellowship and is free and open to the public.

To purchase tickets to these events at Singletary Center, contact the Singletary Center box office by phone at 859-257-4929, online at, or in person. Fees will be applied upon completion of transaction.

The UK College of Fine Arts is the vibrant arts hub of UK. It's an incubator for creativity and discovery, offering quality educational opportunities for students and engaging arts experiences for the community. The college is comprised of the School of Music, the School of Art and Visual Studies, the Department of Theatre, the Arts Administration Program, the Singletary Center for the Arts and the UK Art Museum.

photo of student working in printmaking studio - Open Studio 2015
photo of ceramics sale - Open Studio 2015
photo of Carey Ellis Show - Open Studio 2015
photo of family getting holiday photos - Open Studio 2015
photo of combined choirs at "Collage" 2015
photo of GrassKats perfoming at "Collage" 2015
photo of "Celebration of Song" concert
photo of artwork for Moscow Ballet's "The Great Russian Nutcracker"

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue