Arts & Culture

Ring in the Holidays With UK Fine Arts

Watch above a performance of "Last Month of the Year" by Blind Boys of Alabama.

Watch above a performance of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" from "Celebration of Song."

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2019)  The talented students, faculty and staff at University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts hope to bring good tidings to you and your kin this holiday season with the best in visual arts and beloved music Dec. 6-17.

Deck Your Halls With Art From Open Studio

Holiday celebrations will begin with Open StudioUK School of Art and Visual Studies will open its doors to the public for this beloved visual arts event at the university's Art and Visual Studies Building. This one-of-a-kind holiday festivity for art lovers showcases the talent of the university's students and celebrated art faculty.

As part of this evening, visitors will get a rare opportunity to visit the studios of graduate and select undergraduate students with the young artists present to talk about ongoing projects. A variety of artwork will also be on display throughout the facility, including metalwork, fiber, paintings, photographs, drawings, ceramics, plaster casts, printmaking and woodwork. In addition, the event features a popular annual ceramics sale where visitors can purchase special gifts for family and friends.

Open Studio includes the Carey Ellis Juried Student Show featuring the best UK art students' work over the last year.

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

UK Choirs ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ at 'Collage'

More than 500 of UK School of Music and Central Kentucky’s most talented musicians will come together in celebration at the 22nd annual “Collage” concerts at the Singletary Center for the Arts. The sounds of UK Choirs will stir the soul beginning 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Singletary Center Concert Hall. 

A local holiday tradition, “Collage” is presented by 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 conducted by Elizabeth Wilson; UK Women's Choir; and UK Men's Chorus, as well as the UK Choirs' 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. 

Along with UK Choirs, the concerts will feature performances by Associate Professor Dieter Hennings on guitar; the UK Trombone Quartet led by Associate Professor Bradley Kerns; UK Tuba Quintet directed by Assistant Professor Matthew Hightower; SaxCats led by part-time Professor Lisa Osland;UK Blue Steel, a steel drum band led by Professor James Campbell; UK Holiday Clarinets led by Associate Professor Scott Wright; and the GrassKats.

Each year "Collage" also features the rich talents of the Lexington arts community. UK will welcome back to the stage Lexington Singers Children's Choir. The show will also include appearances by Lexington Catholic High School Chamber Choir, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School Chamber Choir and Lexington Christian Academy Advanced Women’s Choir.

Tickets for "Collage" are $30 for general admission and $15 for students and children plus processing fees. Tickets are available through the Singletary Center ticket office by phone at 869-257-4929, online at, or in person at the venue. 

Blind Boys of Alabama ‘Talking Christmas’ at Singletary

The Singletary Center for the Arts will present the Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show as part of the 2019-20 Singletary Signature Series during its 40th anniversary year. The concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the Singletary Center Concert Hall.

The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy Awards, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 70 years.

The Blind Boys are known for crossing multiple musical boundaries with their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by songwriters such as Eric Clapton, Prince and Tom Waits. They have performed on recordings with many artists, including Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Susan Tedeschi, Ben Harper, Patty Griffin and Taj Mahal. The Blind Boys of Alabama have appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Grammy Awards,” “60 Minutes” and “The Colbert Report.”

The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show tickets are $46-36 for the general audience based on seating location and $20 for UK students, faculty and staff plus processing fees. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 859-257-4929 or in person at the Singletary Center ticket office.

‘Here We Come A-Caroling’ at UK Opera, Alltech’s 'Celebration of Song'

Lend your voice to UK Opera Theatre and your Bluegrass neighbors as they get in the spirit of the season at the annual old-fashioned holiday sing-along "Celebration of Song" concerts Dec. 15, 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. 15, at The Square, located at the corner of Broadway and West Main Street in downtown Lexington.

Jazz Up Your Holidays

Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors (BAJA) will present the 16th annual Jazzy Holiday Concert. The concert, featuring Central Kentucky’s best jazz musicians, including many UK Jazz Studies alumni, students and faculty, will warm up the season with the sounds of holiday jazz beginning 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Jazzy Holiday Concert tickets are $12 for general admission and $5 for children and students including processing fees. Free tickets for UK students with a valid student ID can be picked up at Singletary Center ticket office before the day of the concert.

To purchase tickets to Jazzy Holiday Concert, contact the Singletary Center box office by phone at 859-257-4929, online at, or at the venue.

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 comprises the School of Music, the School of Art and Visual Studies, the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Department of Arts Administration, the Singletary Center for the Arts and the UK Art Museum.

photo of full stage performance with 2 soloist, UK Choirs and Lexington Singers Children's Choir at "Collage"
photo of lady looking at ceramic vase at ceramics sale at Open Studio 2017
photo of visitors at Carey Ellis Juried Show at Open Studio
photo of Angelique Clay singing solo in front of Lexington Singers Chidren's Choir a Collage
photo of Blind Boys of Alabama in silver suits
photo of UK opera singers at Celebration of Song at The Square

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.