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Festival of Holiday Music: Dong Zhi

Dong Zhi (literally translated: the arrival of winter) is a Chinese celebration of winter solstice on the longest night of the year. Chinese families get together to visit and celebrate the past good year. According to discover hongkong.com, the Dong Zhi celebration can be traced to the Chinese belief in yin and yang (a concept about balance and harmony), and also to farmers’ year-end harvest celebrations.

This weekend, celebrate Dong Zhi with the Chinese Community Center as a part of the Schenectady Museum’s Festival of Holiday Music series. The festival will feature music, dance and slides of the Chinese holiday celebration.

You can experience Festival of Holiday Music: Dong Zhi at the Schenectady Museum (Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady) on Saturday (Dec. 17) from 12:30 to 3 PM. The event is free with museum admission. For more information, call the museum at 382-7890.

Judy Collins

With a voice that has been described as “liquid silver,” Judy Collins will return to Capital Region for a holiday show tonight (Thursday). Grammy award- winning Collins has held a place in American music tradition since the ’60s, beginning as a classically trained pianist and moving on to play guitar-driven folk songs in coffeehouses, and eventually, everywhere. Entwined in her music has always been a commitment to causes such as UNICEF, nonviolence, women’s issues and civil rights. Tonight’s show will include special guests the Capital District Youth Chorale, and will feature Christmas tunes such as “Joy to the World,” as well as her own adaptation of “The Night Before Christmas.”

Judy Collins will perform at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (2nd and State streets, Troy), tonight (Thursday, Dec. 15) at 8 PM. Tickets are $32-$35. For tickets and more information, call 273-0038.

 

 

Vienna Boys Choir

How many institutions do you know that have been in more-or-less continuous operation since 1498? OK, the Vatican. Fine, smartypants, but we meant something less global and all-encompassing. Give up? Well, the Vienna Boys Choir has provided the music for Sunday Mass at the Imperial Chapel in Vienna since 1498. (That’s Vienna, Austria, currently, but the city’s national affiliation has varied over the years.) Not bad, huh?

The choir is world renowned for its beautiful sound, built on a tradition of excellent musicianship (and the youthfulness of its prepubescent membership). Their repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary music, but, as their press info helpfully points out, “the core of the touring music is motets and lieder as well as the choir’s own arrangements of Strauss waltzes and polkas.” And since this is the holiday season, it’s a safe bet that some traditional holiday choral music will be featured, too.

And, we can’t end this without making reference to the picture of the choir—cool hats, huh?

The Vienna Boys Choir will perform Wednesday (Dec. 21) at 8 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (2nd and State streets, Troy). Tickets are $33-$20. For more information, call 273-0038.


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