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LDS Events Calendar: December 2014

December LDS Calendar of Events

First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional, December 7, 6 pm

Bring the spirit of Christ into your Christmas season by hearing inspired words from our beloved prophets.  The Christmas Devotional will feature the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square.  Speakers will be chosen from among the leaders of the Church.

Temple Square Events

‘Savior of the World’ November 21-January 3

The musical production Savior of the World, based on scriptural accounts of the birth and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, will play in the Conference Center Theater from November 21, 2014, through Saturday, January 3, 2015, with shows every Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day), and additional matinee performances on Saturdays at 2 pm.  Evening performance tickets are $8. Matinee performance tickets are $5.

Luz de las naciones: Latino Christmas Concert December 5-6

 “Come to my home for Christmas” is the theme of this year’s Latino Christmas concert, which will be presented in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square at 8 pm on Friday, December 5, and at 2 pm and 8 pm on Saturday, December 6. We invite you to join us as we celebrate a variety of Latin American Christmas traditions through music and dance. There will be a 350-voice adult choir and a 50-voice children’s choir, along with soloists and musicians playing traditional instruments. There will also be a variety of dances performed with colorful costumes and the traditional “Las Posadas.” Tickets are currently available.

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, December 11-14

Back by popular demand, Broadway star Santino Fontana will join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for their annual Christmas concerts. Taking the stage with Santino, and in a first for the Choir, the beloved Sesame Street Muppets will join in bringing the holiday spirit to audiences young and old.  The performance will be held at the Conference Center with shows at 8 pm December 11-13 and a 9:30 am show Saturday morning.

‘Christmas Season Art Showcase,’ December 3-6

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building will host the Inspirational Art Association’s fifth annual “Christmas Season Art Showcase” December 3rd through 6th.  This year’s event will feature the region’s most recognized artists for their inspirational art.  The selected artists will display their work, meet and greet visitors, and provide pieces available to purchase. Featured artists include Liz Lemon Swindle, Ortho Fairbanks, Del Parsons, Linda Curley Christensen, Sandra B. Rast, Annie Henrie, and many more.  The showcase will be open from 4 pm to 9 pm on Wednesday, December 3, and 9 am to 9 pm December 4-6.

Deseret Book Store Artists Meet n' Greet

Come meet inspiring LDS artists at our Deseret Book Store Lunch and Learns, every Friday at lunchtime located at the City Creek store!

Friday 5  Robert Boyd:  For 10 years Robert Boyd has been creating images of temples around the world in a unique fine-art style. A professional photographer for nearly 20 years, Robert traveled the world photographing for clients, when one day his mother-in-law expressed her longing for a beautiful picture of the temple.  Boyd began using his talents to photograph the temple in his artistic style that helped him see new, beautiful scenes every time he went to photograph. Robert hopes to share his feelings of the beauty of the temple as he strives to illuminate his photographs with peace, light, and balance. He lives in Utah with his wife, Eleah and their five children.

Friday 12 Sandra Freckelton Gagon: Gagon was born in 1955, in Salt Lake City, Utah. A preeminent realist painter, Sandy carries on the traditions and canons of classical art ideology practiced from the Renaissance down through 19th century. Her paintings and drawings demonstrate her virtuosity, a manifestation of unparalleled technical excellence, which result in great works of lasting beauty. Sandy’s unsurpassed knowledge of anatomy, color theory and design facilitate her portrayal of the human condition – in all its complexities – with breathtaking elegance. Adept at all genres, her still life paintings excel at depicting her deep love of objects and how they are affected by light and shadow; they are metaphoric landscapes of symmetry and solemnity. Sandy’s husband is writer, Dave Gagon. They have three children.

Saturday 13 Ben Hammond & Greg Olsen:

Ben Hammond 11:30-1:30--Born in 1977, Hammond was raised in the rural town of Pingree, Idaho, where his love for art was nurtured from the time he was a small boy. He studied art at Ricks College graduating with a degree in Illustration. While at college, he found himself dedicating more and more of his time to sculpting. He also gained a great appreciation for traditional art and decided to devote his time to sculpting the human figure. His passion for the beauty of the human figure is exemplified in his art. Ben’s sculptures have been included in many juried shows throughout the country, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards.  Ben is also a talented portrait artist and since 2007 has completed portrait busts for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ben is an elected member of the National Sculpture Society.

Greg Olsen 2:00-4:00--Greg was born in Idaho Falls and grew up in the nearby farming community of Iona. He is the oldest of five children. Very supportive parents always encouraged him and provided opportunities for him to pursue his passion of art. Greg's mother said, "Greg began showing an interest in art when he was in about the 4th or 5th grade.  He asked for a John Nagey art set for Christmas, which came with detailed instructions about values, shading, perspective, etc. . . . When Greg entered Bonneville High School he was fortunate to have an extremely good art teacher, who perhaps, contributed more to Greg's art education and desire to make it his life's work than any other person.” Greg studied art and met his wife, Sydnie Cazier, at Utah State University. They have six children and are enjoying their new role as grandparents. Greg likes being close to his family. He paints in his studio, 37 steps from the back door of their home.

Monday 15 Annie Henrie: Henrie graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the Illustration program at Brigham Young University and has shown her work in galleries since the age of 16. Annie grew up in Bountiful, Utah, and is the daughter of Cary and Sauni Henrie. Annie remembers her first art lessons in church when her father would keep her busy by drawing little pictures for her to copy. Her parents have been a huge source of support and encouragement through her progression in art, and to this day are her favorite critics. Annie gained much of her inspiration from studies abroad in England, Italy, and traveling throughout Europe. Her religious art stems from the early Renaissance art she saw in Italy combined with her experiences serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in southern England. “ I love being an artist- it is forever challenging, rewarding, frustrating, and so much fun.” 

Tuesday 16 Linda Curley Christemsen: Born in Idaho, reared in Salt Lake City, Christemsen started painting when her family was young.  She has received substantial attention in recent years being privileged to paint for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at their Conference Center, Visitor’s Center, and temples throughout the world. Linda, a very prolific artist herself, has found a new love in mentoring other artists. Recognitions include the National Gertrude Folgeson Art Award, signature status in Oil Painters of America, and she was named one of Utah’s top 100 Artists. Linda believes familiar scenes and people around us are waiting for the right moment and right light to illuminate their beauty, thus giving a rare glimpse of their soul.  Prickly Rock Studio is near Linda’s home where she and her husband Greg, reside with their family in Wallsburg, Utah.

Wednesday 17 Sandra Rast: Her love of art and the passion for painting and drawing have been a great influence in her personality and life.  The love of family, the love of being other, and the appreciation of beauty and the creations of the earth are all embedded in emotions of the subject matter she chooses to paint.  Always excelling in her education in art through grade school on, it was an easy decision for Rast to major in fine art at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. While helping Rast support her family, art classes and painting groups also help feed the hunger and thirst for creating art.  In each painting there is a deep feeling of intimacy that she portrays through color and composition. 

Thursday 18 Liz Lemon Swindle: Liz Lemon Swindle began her painting career in first grade. Her first exhibitions were encouraged by her father and displayed on the refrigerator. In the early 1980s she tutored under renowned wildlife artist, Nancy Glazier. In 1992, Liz began painting a subject matter she had long desired to approach: her faith. Her paintings are now held in corporate and private collections around the world and have been published in countless magazines and books. Liz and her husband Jon have five children and 13 grandchildren.

Friday 19 Scott Sumner: Born in Denver, Scott has lived in Utah for the majority of his life. Scott and his wife have six children and currently reside in Weber County, Utah. Scott has a background in art and illustration.  He has been a professional photographer for the past 10 years with clients all over the United States.  He has received several awards for his work depicting the Savior from the Intermountain Professional Photographers Association of Utah (IPPA). He is a founding board member of the Inspirational Art Association. 

Saturday 20 J.Kirk Richards: Richards is a favorite among admirers of contemporary spiritual artwork. His love of the textural, the poetic, and the mysterious has translated into a unique take on traditional Judeo-Christian themes. Richards attributes much of his love for the arts to an early emphasis on musical training in his parents’ home. Turning then from music to visual arts, Richards studied with painters Clayton Williams, Bruce Hixson Smith, Patrick Devonas, and many other notable artists. Two years in Rome influenced Richards’ palette, which often consists of subdued browns and rusts. Kirk is best known for his contributions to the BYU Museum of Art exhibit Beholding Salvation: The Life of Christ in Word and Image; for his contributions to Helen Whitney's PBS Frontline Documentary entitled The Mormons: An American Experience; for the cover image of Jeffrey R. Holland’s book, Broken Things to Mend; and for his imagery on the cover of BYU Studies Magazine and in the Ensign, Liahona and Upper Room publications.  Kirk and his wife, Amy Tolk Richards, have four creative children. They split their time between their home in Woodland Hills and their country studio in the small town of Redmond, Utah.

Washington DC Visitors’ Center Events

All guests are welcome to attend the 37th Annual Festival of Lights Performances.  Tickets are required for concerts. They are free of charge, and will be distributed 90 minutes before each performance.

Bells of Mount Vernon, December 4, 7 & 8 pm

What better way to begin our Christmas celebrations than with the joyful sounds of a bell choir. This marks the sixth year this vibrant three octave handbell choir has presented a delightful program of beautiful Christmas music at the Festival of Lights. 

‘Before Tonight’ A Musical Nativity, December 5, 7 & 8 pm

Before Tonight: A Musical Nativity is an oratorio written by Rob Moffat and Diego Hellewell that retells the story of Christ's birth from the perspective of its central characters. Weaving all-original music, ranging in style from pop/gospel to musical theater, the concert reminds us of the true and joyous meaning of Christmas. 

‘Glorious Season’ Washington D.C. Temple Orchestra, December 6, 7 & 8 pm

The Washington D.C. Temple Orchestra presents its 6th annual Christmas concert at the Visitors’ Center continuing the tradition of remembering the birth of the Savior and enjoying the holiday spirit. Music is a universal gift that can allow us all to reflect on what is important.

The Young Columbians Glee Club, December 7, 6 & 7 pm

A group of 45 singers from Maryland, who range in age from 7 to 20, were created in 1975 for America’s bi-centennial. The Young Columbians have performed their Spirit of America, Broadway and Christmas shows in such prestigious venues as the White House, Wolf Trap, Disney World, The Kennedy Center and Merriweather Post Pavilion. Aiming to entertain, teach and inspire, each Young Columbian performance has a polished innocence and freshness rarely seen in our youth today. 

‘O Come Let Us Adore Him,’ December 8, 7 & 8 pm

This will be an uplifting and inspirational evening of Christmas music, including “O Holy Night,” and “O Hear the Angel Voices” sung by two beautiful soprano voices, Kate Thurgood and Janell Maeger. 

‘Joy, Joy’ A Classical Christmas, December 9, 7 & 8 pm

Come enjoy the innovation and inspiration of this mother/daughter piano/violin duo, Melinda Baird and Shaundra Culatta, as they interpret classical music of composers from throughout the ages and celebrate Christ’s birth - “For Christ is Born.”  

‘Christmas in Japanese Style,’ December 10, 7 & 8 pm

Japanese performers Eriko Tokura Murray, from “7 Sopranos,” and Seiko Shimada, from “The Cherry Blossom Festival,” will perform songs of Christmas in Japanese style. The program will include the nice surprise of a piano duet of gifted child prodigies. This concert will bring joy and smiles into this Christmas season from far away Japan.  

Lords and Ladies of McDonough Choir, December 11, 7 & 8 pm  

This prize winning McDonough Chamber Choir has performed in a number of venues including the Kennedy Center. Enjoy these talented vocalists as they perform in the madrigal style.  

Singing Sensations Youth Choir, December 12, 7 & 8 pm 

The award-winning Singing Sensations Youth Choir, under the direction of Dr. Holly Hood-Mincey, is composed of some 50 students from Baltimore- area public schools. The members range in age from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. For nine years, this highly sought after group has provided refreshing, energizing and heartwarming performances all over the East Cost, in Canada and Trinidad. Many of these choir members struggle daily with difficult life-situations but the manage to rise above 

Mormon Choir of Washington D.C. , December 13, 6 & 7 pm

A festival of lights tradition and now in its 35th year, the Mormon Choir of Washington D.C. has performed to capacity crowds throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. It will present a program of songs of faith befitting the Christmas season.

Jenny Oaks Baker and Friends, December 14, 6, 7, 8, & 9 pm 

Grammy nominated, Billboard No. 1 violinist Jenny Oaks Baker will present “Carols of Christmas Past,” featuring Cantori Womens’ Chorus and an orchestra conducted by maestro J. Ernest Green; also featuring special guest: “The Baker Kids.”

Bright Star,’ December 15, 6, 7, & 8 pm

Returning to Festival of Lights, baritone Gene Summers, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Takemoto and pianist Annalee Whitehead will present a delightful evening of Christmas music. Having performed together for twenty years, the trio will share classical, pop and Jazz vocal duets, including fun audience participation.

Aquia Christmas Festival, December 16, 6, 7, & 8 pm

This program will feature a wide variety of Christmas music performed by professional musicians from the D.C. area. A brass quartet (all members of military bands), a choir, soprano Jill Pierce, and violinist Karen Johnson, former concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony, who is featured on Deseret Book’s “Walk Beside Me” album.

Harbor City Music Chorus, December 17, 6, 7, & 8 pm

This is an award-winning women’s chorus comprised of 65 members from Anne Arundel and surrounding Maryland counties. Members of the chorus range in age from the mid-twenties to the mid-eighties. The chorus is known for its creative performances and unique song arrangements.

Ukrainian Saint Nicholas Day, December 18, 6, 7, & 8 pm

Ukrainian Saint Nicholas Day proudly represents their Ukrainian Christmas spirit, traditions, heritage and history going back thousands of years. One legend the thirty member choir and performers will present in the show is that Saint Nicholas, with the love of God, gave Ukraine the gift of “Love to Our Homeland.” Along with traditional Ukrainian carols, special handcrafted costumes and decorations have been created for this premiere performance.

Capitol Carillion Bell Choir, December 19, 6, 7, & 8 pm

This advanced English hand bell ensemble will educate, enlighten, and entertain you through the art of ringing with musical excellence. The choir performs on 82 English hand bells and 82 choir chimes.

McLean Stake Bell Choir, December 20, 6, 7, & 8

Established three decades ago, this bell choir provides a full variety of instruments, techniques, and repertoire. Under the direction of Gary Fuller it offers captivating soloists and the spoken word.

“A ‘Mary’ Christmas,” by Broadway Star Sandra Turley, December 21, 6, 7, & 8 pm 

Sandra Turley performed the role of Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway in New York City. She is currently a recording artist with Deseret Book. Her albums include "Sandra Turley: On Broadway" (2012) and "Inside My Soul" (2014). She is a popular speaker and singer for Deseret Book's Time Out for Women and Girls events across the country. Sandra and her husband live in the DC area where they are raising 4 incredible (and busy!) children.

‘A Christmas Tradition,’ December 22, 6, 7, & 8 pm 

Two of the most gifted musicians to perform at the Visitors’ Center, Todd Thatcher, vocalist, and Tony Favero, pianist, return to the Festival of Lights by popular demand. Their wonderful interpretation of Christmas standards has become a tradition to which people from throughout this area look forward with much anticipation. 

“We ‘Four’ Kings,” December 23, 6, 7, & 8 pm  

The Free State Saxophone Quartet presents a variety of light-hearted, fun and serious Christmas music. These talented musicians, Ashley Taube, Joseph Briscuso, Brett Taylor, and Phil Barnes perform on the full family of saxophones, soprano, also, tenor and baritone. Come and enjoy this delightful mix of pop, jazz and classical favorites.

‘The Night of the Nativity,’ A Chinese Christmas Eve, December 24, 7 & 8 pm

Chinese music lovers from chorus societies all over Maryland and Virginia, both Christian and non-Christian, have come together to praise Christ’s birth by singing sacred songs on Christmas Eve. Their enthusiasm is inspired by a love of the Lord and a desire to share the joy of this season.

‘He is Born,’ December 25, 7 & 8 pm

The young sister missionaries bring a special spirit to this sacred day. Their love of the Savior Christ Child will shine through in music and spoken words. There is no better way to celebrate this time of year. All who attend will have a memory to last the entire year.

‘Feliz Navidad,’ December 26, 6, 7, & 8 pm

“Combo Latino of Maryland” presents a program comprised of Latin American Christmas and New Year favorites performed in Spanish. It is an energetic, happy program of song with a variety of instruments and performers of all ages.

‘Christmas Joy,’ December 27, 6, 7, & 8 pm

The Pacheco Family, from Northern Virginia, is arguably one of the country’s most talented musical families. Their beautiful singing voices, and their ability to artfully play musical instruments puts them in high demand for performances throughout the year.  Come listen to  Nathan, Rebecca, and Elizabeth Pacheco perform.

‘A Big Band Christmas,’ December 28, 6, 7, & 8 pm

Back to the Visitors’ Center for a fourth Festival of Lights performance, the award-winning Olney Big Band has performed at such prestigious venues as the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Blues Alley, Music Center at Strathmore and the BlackRock Center for the Arts. The band’s Festival performance will consist of traditional Christmas music played with swing, jazz and dance beats. 

Lyons Sisters, Violinists Extraordinaire, December 29, 6, 7, & 8 pm

Jessica Lyons (age 19) and Katelyn Lyons (age 17) are talented young violinists who have performed in some of the world’s finest concert halls. Both are in college studying violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. They return to the Festival of Lights to entertain you with an evening of beautiful Christmas music your whole family will enjoy.

Trifecta, A Holiday Jazz Trio, December 30, 6, 7, & 8 pm

This trio of musicians from the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and the US Air Force Band play saxophone, bass and piano. This will be the fifth year that they have performed at the Festival of Lights, and they have become huge audience favorites.

Gina Ling Chinese Dance Chamber, December 31, 7 & 8 pm

These vibrant young Chinese dancers are very popular and in great demand. They have appeared at many community events, receiving accolades for the artistic ability and highly skilled performances.

‘Magnify His Name,’ January 1, 7 & 8 pm

Bernadette and Winston Charles are award winning classically trained vocalists. Winston is a bass baritone and Bernadette is a lyrical soprano. They have performed in various venues around the DC Metropolitan area, as well as in New York, London and their native Trinidad and Tobago. 

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