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Come to the Cabaret: Festival of Music introduces new event

Lauren Wood | The Natchez Democrat — Natchez Festival of Music Guild President Rena Jean Schmieg creates a bow out of music note ribbon in her house Tuesday morning while working on decorations for the Christmas Cabaret.

Christmas tunes will be booming from the voices of three renowned vocalists and the instruments of three talented jazz musicians, and the Natchez City Auditorium will be covered from head to toe with holiday decorations Friday evening.

For the first time, Christmas in Natchez and The Natchez Festival of Music will present “A Christmas Cabaret,” and expectations are high for this inaugural event.

“I think it’s going to be a great success,” Natchez Festival of Music Guild Rena Jean Schmieg said. “It’s already a great event.”

The event is already a hot ticket in Natchez. Schmieg said all of the 10-seat tables have already been sold and only two or three spots are left for individual tables, which are $30.

Stadium seating is also available for $20 per seat, and Schmieg said she expects the auditorium, which seats approximately 800 people, to be pretty full.

“It’s going to be fun,” she said.

The entertainment for the evening will feature talent from all over the country, and Schmieg said it will be more than just Christmas carols.

“These are great performers,” she said. “This will be a fun performance. It’s not just good voices. They are wonderful entertainers.”

Paul Houghtaling, Maryann Kyle and Jennifer Hart will be Friday night’s vocalists, and Walt Grayson will serve as master of ceremonies.

Patrons that have purchased a table for the event will have the opportunity to decorate their own tables, and the top table decoration will receive a door prize.

Schmieg said the event has a little something for everybody, and formal dress is definitely not required.

“There will be some tuxes, but it’s really whatever people are happy in,” she said. “People can come in blue jeans. A cabaret is really a loose thing. It’s supposed to be fun.”

There will be a cash bar at the event and featured wines or champagnes can be pre-ordered before the event.

Schmieg said she is excited about hosting the first event, and she expects the Christmas Cabaret to become a fixture in the city’s annual Christmas celebration.

“People are already starting to buy tickets, and this is the first one,” she said. “It’s great that we are able to have a world-class event like this in a town our size.”

Tickets can be purchased at www.natchezfestivalofmusic.com/christmas-cabaret.html or an order form can be printed off the website and mailed to Natchez Festival of Music, P.O. Box 2207, Natchez, MS 39121.