Cabaret tickets on sale now
Published 12:03 am Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without music, at least not in the eyes of the Natchez Festival of Music organizers.
That’s why the organization is teaming up with Christmas in Natchez to host its third annual Christmas Cabaret Dec. 5 at the Natchez Convention Center.
The event is one festival chairperson Mary Lessley said is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season in Natchez.
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“Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without all the great music, so we want to celebrate that,” Lessley said. “This has been a great thing for us to add to our events, and I think everyone is excited about such a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season.”
The first Christmas Cabaret was hosted at the Natchez City Auditorium, but Lessley said the popularity of the event the first year required organizers to consider a larger venue.
“We had to turn people away, because we just didn’t have the space for everyone, and that’s why we decided to change to the convention center,” Lessley said. “It more than doubled from the first year to the second year, and we’re hoping for a big crowd again this year.”
The Natchez Convention Center will play host to a night of music and Christmas spirit offered up with individual tickets for $35 or a table for 10 people for $300.
Those reserving a table are encouraged to participate in a Christmas-themed table-decorating contest. The winners of the contest will receive a prize package of tickets to future Festival of Music events.
The University of Southern Mississippi’s jazz ensemble will provide the backdrop for the four vocalists who will perform at the event.
Vocalists Jennifer Hart, John Christopher and Mary Ann Kyle will join Joseph Britain, pianist, arranger and soloist, for the Christmas Cabaret performance.
Hart, a Chicagoland native, returns to Natchez for her third performance in the Christmas Cabaret. She has sung lead roles in numerous musicals, including “Les Miserables,” “The Music Man,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” “Tapestry” and “Grease.”
Kyle has extensive experience teaching, coaching, and performing opera, recitals, concerts and Broadway shows. She will sing her first “Tosca” with Mississippi Opera in 2015.
Britain is a frequent performer and prolific arranger, appearing with and writing for The Mississippi, Alabama, Utah and Tampa Symphony Orchestras, as well as numerous university orchestras and bands. He has appeared in Natchez as arranger/pianist for the 2012 and 2013 Natchez Christmas Cabarets, pianist for last year’s Tango Rendezvous, soloist/arranger for last year’s Gershwin Rhapsody In Blue concert, and arranger/pianist for this year’s Night At The Oscars.
“We’ll have all the traditional and popular Christmas songs,” Lessley said. “And of course, we’ll end the event with our candlelight service that includes everyone joining in to sing ‘Silent Night’ for the finale.”
Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Kevin Kirby will be the emcee of the event.
A cash bar will be available.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased through Natchez Pilgrimage Tours by calling 1-800-647-6742 or by emailing email@example.com. Tickets will also be for sale at the door the night of the event.
Lessley said she hopes to see the event continue to be something that brings music, culture and arts to Natchez residents and visitors alike.
“Last year, at least 10 tables were out-of-town people, and we’ve already had some call and reserve tables for this year,” Lessley said. “We feel it’s so important for our community to encourage tourism through beautiful and fabulous music.”