Weekly Arts Round Up, December 24, 2020


The year is wrapping up with gifts of virtual music and dance performances. Outdoors, you can head north to view lights in Anne Arundel County or head west to count birds in Loudoun County. The headings below are linked to details. Merry Christmas!

Anne Arundel SPCA: Holiday Light Display

Lights on the Bay, the holiday light display of the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, runs through Jan. 2 in Sandy Point State Park, 1100 E. College Parkway in Annapolis, Maryland. The installation is open daily from 5 to 10 p.m. Admission is $20 per car (additional $5 for 3D glasses).

Olney Theatre Center: Online Revue

Olney Theatre Center has launched the Olney Home Hour, a monthly online review. The first episode, “Seasons of Joy,” features guest host William Michals, Jessica Lauren Ball, Jay Frisby, Eleasha Gamble, Bobby Smith and the children of “Matilda.” All are invited to gather ’round the digital hearth for a festive evening of songs and smiles.

Washington National Opera: Music Video

In the first installment in Washington National Opera’s online series “Come, Hope” — the title of an aria in Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” an opera that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit — mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny perform in front of several D.C. monuments, memorials and landmarks. The 27-minute video, “Monuments of Hope,” may be viewed at any time at no charge.

Wolf Trap: Streamed Concert

Through Dec. 25, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is streaming Darlene Love’s “Love for the Holidays” on demand. Singer of 1960s hits including the Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” which she performed annually on “Late Night with David Letterman,” Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bette Midler in 2011. Tickets are $35.

Strathmore: Streamed Concert

Strathmore will stream a virtual “Salute to Vienna,” filmed in Europe, on Dec. 27. As in past years, viewers can celebrate the New Year with the “Blue Danube Waltz” and excerpts from beloved operettas performed by a full orchestra. Tickets, providing access to the Dec. 27 premiere and on-demand access from Dec. 28 to Jan. 3, are $20 to $60.

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy: Bird Count

The Central Loudoun Christmas Bird Count, organized by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy in Virginia, will take place on Dec. 28. Part of the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count, begun in 1899 to better understand bird populations and dynamics, the Loudoun count covers 177 square miles of countryside. Those interested in participating — for a couple of hours or the entire day — can contact Joe Coleman at 540-554-2542 or jcoleman@loudounwildlife.org or Bryan Henson at bhenson@loudounwildlife.org.

Blues Alley: Streamed Performance

As part of its Monday Night Jazz Series @ NPC, Blues Alley will stream a performance by singer Shacara Rogers with pianist Chris Grasso on Dec. 28 at 8 p.m. A vocalist, songwriter and vocal coach from Philadelphia, Rogers earned bachelor and master of music degrees from Howard University, where she was a lead soloist in Afro Blue. In 2018, she released her debut album, “16 Moments.” Grasso, a D.C.-based pianist for jazz vocalists, has a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan, where he won the concerto competition, and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Tickets are $15.

U.S. Botanic Garden: Online Performance

On Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m., the U.S. Botanic Garden will present a free online performance by Veronneau, an acoustic, multilingual jazz group fronted by French Canadian vocalist Lynn Veronneau and her English husband, guitarist Ken Avis.

Dance Place: Online Performance

Dance Place will present “In Spirit of Kwanzaa,” a free online performance by Coyaba Dance Theater West African Dance Company, on Dec. 29 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This high-energy virtual presentation is based on the 7 Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa, celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1: Umoja, Kuchjichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani.

German Embassy: Online Concert

The German Embassy has partnered with Washington Performing Arts to present a free holiday concert, “Light, Hope & Joy,” on demand through Dec. 31 on the embassy’s Facebook page. The performers include Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the String Queens, a D.C.-based trio of violin, viola and cello. Also, in honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the U.S. Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note and members of Germany’s Die Big Band der Bundeswehr perform the “Ode to Joy” from the Ninth Symphony with a 2020 twist.

National Gallery of Art: At-Home Activity

The National Gallery of Art is offering a free online Art Tales Activity focusing on African American color-field painter Alma Thomas (1891-1978): “Create a Color Square!” Thomas explored color as an artist and art teacher in Washington, D.C., public schools for over 35 years. A video shows participants how to make small blocks of color that together build a larger work of art. Materials needed: paint sticks or other coloring materials (such as colored pencils, crayons or markers) and heavyweight paper or scrap paper cut into 3-by-3-inch squares.

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