Black Friday antidotes

Harold DuckettOur Town Arts

Need post-Thanksgiving binge recovery and Black Friday antidote?

The best place to start would be the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Classics “Classical Christmas” concert 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, at the Bijou Theatre.

The popular concert has sold out for the past two years, so spending some of that Black Friday money on advance tickets would be a good move.

Conducted by KSO resident conductor James Fellenbaum, the concert will feature favorite holiday music. The Webb School of Knoxville Madrigal Singers will join the KSO Chamber Orchestra.

The program will include Leroy Anderson’s arrangement of the carol Away in a Manger and Vaughan Williams’ Greensleeves, which became the tune for the Christmas carol What Child is This.

There will be music by Tchaikovsky, Philip Gordan and John Rutter. The Webb Madrigal Singers also will present an a capella version of 12 Days of Christmas.

It’s also going to be one of those rare concerts that you can sing along without getting evil glares or shushed by your neighbors when the orchestra and Madrigal Singers launch into the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

If you haven’t been to a performance of Messiah before, there’s a long tradition of standing when the music begins. The tradition goes back to a royal performance attended by King George II. The chorus occurs at the end of Part Two of the oratorio.

Of course, whenever the king or queen stands, so must everyone else, and remain standing until the monarch sits back down. The rumor has always been that the king had eaten too much and standing relieved what might politely be called “intestinal distress.”

If you are afraid of Christmas music overload, there’s other music in the offing over the next few days, as well.

At the University of Tennessee Natalie Haslam Music Center, two concerts are on tap for Tuesday, Nov. 28. Both are free.

At 6 p.m., UT faculty violist Hillary Herndon and a group of her friends will preview their upcoming performance at the National Concert Hall of Taiwan, with music by Brahms, Kodaly, Britten and Variego. At 8 p.m., UT music school’s in-house gamelan ensemble will present a program of gamelan music.

The gamelan is a kind of Indonesian orchestra made up of instruments that are banged on, along with flutes and sometimes other wind instruments. To unfamiliar ears, gamelan music can sound a bit chaotic. But it’s also a magical sound like nothing else in the world.

If you just want to laugh for a bit before every family’s grumpy relative shows up to dampen holiday moods, the nutty group, Reduced Shakespeare Company will present The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at the Clayton Center for the Arts, on the campus of Maryville College.

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