November and December are bridge months, transporting us, theoretically, from the final fall of russet leaves to the first sparkling snowflakes of winter’s tide.
A whole lot of green among the gold still clings to trees and shrubs, and Old Man Winter seems to be struggling to make it into the Piedmont this year.
Despite, or maybe because of, the weird weather, the show must go on, and so it will throughout Winston-Salem and environs from Chaplin and Sousa to Christmas in the City.
Chaplin, meet Sousa
Nov. 8: The Piedmont Wind Symphony will accompany two Charlie Chaplin films, “The Immigrant” and “The Adventurer,” and perform marches by John Philip Sousa at 7:30 p.m. at Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road, Winston-Salem. The comic genius and the March King were contemporaries, and Chaplin even conducted Sousa’s band in 1916 for a charity fundraiser. Tickets are $18-$28 at www.uncsa.edu or 336-721-1945.
New tricks for old instrument
Nov. 14: Mahan Esfahani has made it his life’s mission to reintroduce the harpsichord as a mainstream concert instrument. His creative programming and new-work commissions have drawn the attention throughout Europe, Asia and North America. He was the first and only harpsichordist to be a BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010) and a nominee for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year (2014, 2015, and 2017). Esfahani’s concert at Wake Forest University at 7:30 p.m. will feature a mix of early works for the harpsichord, paired with contemporary pieces for the instrument. Peter Kairoff, a WFU professor, will give a pre-concert talk at 6:40. All in Bendle Recital Hall. Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors, $10 for students, $5 for children, free with WFU ID.
It’s the music, Ma’am
Nov. 16: Two-time Grammy Award-winner Kathy Mattea, recently featured in the Ken Burns PBS documentary “Country Music,” will perform at the Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem, at 7:30 p.m. Her appearance is part of this season’s American Music Series, featuring a diverse array of female artists and ensembles, presented by “UNCSA Presents.” Tickets for “An Evening with Kathy Mattea” are at the Stevens Center box office, 336-721-1945, or www.uncsa.edu/performances.
Crafty grande dame
Nov. 23-24: Piedmont Craftsmen’s 56th Fair will be at the Benton Convention Center, 301 W. Fifth St., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 23 and noon-5 p.m. Nov. 24. Mastery meets mirth at the “Grande Dame of Craft Fairs.” You can engage with nearly 100 of the country’s finest craft artists, who are creating one-of-a-kind works that are wearable, usable, livable and beautiful. Watch artists demonstrate a wide range of techniques, and enjoy live music curated by The Ramkat. Tickets are $8, $7 for students and seniors, $12 for a weekend pass, free for children under 12 at 336-725-1516, www.piedmontcraftsmen.org/programs/crafts-fair/
Let’s get together
Nov. 30-Dec. 1: The Winston-Salem Symphony will kick off the season with “A Carolina Christmas: The Gathering” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 and 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road, Winston-Salem. The festive celebration will blend Appalachian harmonies with the sounds of the season. Tim Redmond, the symphony’s new music director, will conduct the Winston Salem Symphony Chorus, performing bluegrass, folk and roots music with Laurelyn Dossett (Polecat Creek), Joe Newberry (“Prairie Home Companion”), Mike Compton (“O Brother, Where Art Thou”) and April Verch (April Verch Band). Expect a visit from Santa Claus, and a holiday sing-along. Tickets start at $24, $12 for children 12 and under at 336-464-0145 or wssymphony.org.
Hit the deck
Dec. 6-22: Deck the Halls is Sawtooth School for Visual Art’s original art and craft shopping event and signature fundraiser, featuring a variety of work from about 100 local and regional artists — including Sawtooth faculty and students. Deck the Halls runs for more than two weeks, but the opening-night Preview Party is a blast with live music, drinks and light appetizers. It’s 6-9 p.m. Dec. 6. Tickets are at $25 on Eventbrite, $30 at the door. Daily admission is free 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Dec. 9-13 and 16-20; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7, 14 and 21; noon-4 p.m. Dec. 8, 15 and 22 at 251 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem. For information, visit www.sawtooth.org or call 336-723-7395.
Old Salem “Carol”
Dec. 6-22: The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem will present an original production, “An Old Salem Christmas Carol,” by Stephen P. Scott, from the novel by Charles Dickens, at Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, 750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem. Set in the towns of Winston and Salem in 1887, unscrupulous lender Ebenezer Scrooge is foreclosing on mortgages — even on Christmas Eve. In the heart of Old Salem, three spirits will try to teach him the true meaning of Christmas. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sunday. Tickets are $25, $23 for students and seniors, at 336-725-4001 and www.LTofWS.org.
Dec. 8: Winston-Salem State University’s Department of Music will present the annual holiday concert featuring the Singing Rams at 4 p.m., in the K.R. Williams Auditorium on the university’s campus. The Singing Rams — the Grammy-nominated WSSU Choir, the Burke Singers and the Singing Madonnas — will perform holiday favorites as they tell the story of the season. The concert is annually one of WSSU’s biggest events. These ensembles have performed nationally and internationally and recorded 12 CDs. Maestra D’Walla Simmons-Burke is director; Myron Brown, accompanist. Guest artist is soprano Candace Potts of Baltimore. Admission is free, and donations will be accepted.
In a nutshell
Dec. 13-22: UNC School of the Arts’ annual production of “The Nutcracker” is a must-see. From the sets and costumes to the dancers and orchestra musicians, “The Nutcracker” should be on your holiday fun list. Guest artists Sara Mearns and Peter Walker, with the New York City Ballet, will star for two performances on Dec. 18 and 19. Presented by the UNCSA schools of Dance, Design and Production, and Music with support from Wells Fargo, Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet opens at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. This year’s calendar includes new options with family friendly times at noon and 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 14. Additional performances are at 2 p.m. Dec. 15, 21 and 22; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18-21. UNCSA’s “The Nutcracker” will be at the Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem. Tickets are at $29, $24 for children 13 and under, at www.uncsa.edu/nutcracker, 336-721-1945 or the Stevens Center box office.
Dec. 19: Love Out Loud, local churches, businesses, non-profits and artists will present Winston-Salem’s largest free Christmas party, “Christmas for the City,” 4-9 p.m. at the Benton Convention Center, 301 W. Fifth St. Volunteers from hundreds of churches, nonprofits and businesses will shower people with free Christmas activities and treats. Attendance is expected to exceed 10,000 people. “Christmas for the City” will feature music, food, visual art, dramatic art, The North Pole Village, The Burn 24-7 for prayer and music, Santa Claus. Of course. Admission is free. For information, visit www.christmasforthecity.com, www.loveoutloudws.com.