Arts & Culture

Ring in the Holidays at 'Collage'

photo of combined choirs at "Collage" 2015
photo of Elvis and the Saxcats at "Collage" 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 28, 2016) It takes numbers to ring in the holiday season properly in the Bluegrass, and the 19th annual "Collage" concerts are sure to not disappoint with 500 musicians bringing the sounds of the season to the Singletary Center for the Arts stage. Featuring the critically acclaimed vocalists of the University of Kentucky Choirs and other celebrated musicians from the UK School of Music and the Lexington community, "Collage" will warm audiences' hearts this winter beginning 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Singletary Center Concert Hall.

A Central Kentucky holiday tradition, "Collage" is presented by the UK Choirs under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities, and Lori Hetzel, associate director of UK Choral Activities. The concerts showcase the department's highly praised student groups, UK Chorale, UK Choristers, UK Women's Choir and UK Men's Chorus, as well as the UK Choir's a cappella groups, the acoUstiKats, Paws and Listen, and Blue Note. The concert is fast-paced and a visually exciting program featuring the best of holiday music from around the world.

In addition to the UK Choirs, this season’s concerts will feature the SaxCats, a 10-piece ensemble made up of members of the UK saxophone studio led by Professor Miles Osland; UK Blue Steel, a steel drum band under the direction of doctoral student Francisco Perez; the UK Holiday Clarinets led by Associate Professor Scott Wright; and a crowd favorite, the GrassKats, a bluegrass band led by Johnson.

In addition to showcasing the UK Choirs and musicians at the UK School of Music, each year "Collage" 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.

“Collage” is such a spectacular production with its quality ensembles and seamless interchanges between groups the concert always seems to just fly by in no time at all, however hundreds of hands take part in making the show a success. "Collage" by the numbers looks something like this:

  • 500 musicians (over 300 singers);
  • 88 children;
  • 3,500 audience members;
  • 125 scarves;
  • 110 bow ties;
  • eight stage technicians;
  • 125 lights;
  • 5,000 organ pipes;
  • 20 different ensembles;
  • 61 handbells and 37 chimes;
  • 150 poinsettias;
  • 40 candles;
  • 30 musical selections; and
  • 12 drummers drumming, of course.

Tickets for "Collage" are $28 for adults and seniors, and $13 for students and children. Groups of 15 or more can get tickets for $23 per person. A handling fee will be added upon transaction. Tickets are available through the Singletary Center ticket office by phone at 869-257-4929, online at, or in person at the venue.

For more information on "Collage" or UK Choirs, contact William White, administrative assistant to UK Choirs, at

UK Choirs is part of the UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

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