Arts & Culture

UK Choirs, Opera Theatre Holiday Concert Traditions Continue With 2020 Twist

Watch the UK Choirs "Collage" concert above.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2020) — The Singletary Center for the Arts may be closed to the public, but its halls have been anything but empty this semester. This holiday season, the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts (CFA) will release two online vocal music concerts that celebrate the sounds of the season. While families and audiences may not be able to come together in the customary sense, these holiday traditions from UK's School of Music aim to bring the university and the Central Kentucky community together virtually from the safety of their homes. 

The UK School of Music's annual “Collage: A Holiday Spectacular” is a Lexington holiday tradition that will be modified, but not interrupted, for 2020. A virtual version of the beloved concert will be released on the College of Fine Arts Vimeo page Saturday, Dec. 12, as part of the CFA Classroom Concert Series. This year’s “Collage” will feature new and archival footage of all seven UK Choirs ensembles as well as instrumental groups from the College of Fine Arts performing holiday favorites including "Let it Snow," "Joy to the World” and the "Carol of the Bells." Click here to watch "Collage."

One of the most popular events of the year at the Singletary Center for the Arts, “Collage” typically fills the auditorium for all three performances, but due to pandemic-related health and safety concerns, this year's "Collage" performances were taped in front of an empty hall with all performers masked and socially distanced. 

The UK Opera Theatre will present its own virtual holiday concert, to be released Dec. 19, featuring performances from vocal performance students and faculty including “What Child is This?” “Joy to the World” and “White Christmas.” Like the “Collage” recording, the UK Opera Theatre performances were taped in front of an empty hall with performers masked and socially distanced. 

"It has been an outstanding feat to be able to have students rehearse and perform safely this semester," said Singletary Center Director of Operations Matthew Gibson. "I am so thankful for our ability to pivot under these challenging circumstances and provide the community with this lovely holiday concert. I think all of us in the College of Fine Arts recognize the value of allowing our students the opportunity to perform, and through their rehearsals and performances, to create the meaningful bonds forged in making music together." 

The virtual edition of UK Choirs’ “Collage” and the UK Opera Theatre holiday concert are free to view and will remain online throughout the holidays. The CFA Vimeo page is also home to a wealth of concerts recorded during the Fall 2020 semester, also free to view. 

The UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, and theory and music history. 

Photo of UK Choristers physically distanced on Singletary Center stage performing for virtual "Collage"
Photo of members of UK Opera Theatre performing six feet apart on the Singletary Center stage for the virtual performance.

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