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    Rockport Music rings in the season

    An exhibit of collagraph prints by Kathleen Buchanan opens in Newburyport this week.
    An exhibit of collagraph prints by Kathleen Buchanan opens in Newburyport this week.

    HOLIDAY MEDLEY: Rockport Music  this month presents a range of holiday performances, including jazz, handbells, Celtic music, and a community sing, at the intimate Shalin Liu Performance Center

    An unusual musical interpretation of “A Christmas Carol” is presented by the Firebird Ensemble 7 p.m. Wednesday. The piece, by composer Jon Deak, brings Dickens’s characters to life in a suspenseful journey from past to future. It features baritone Aaron Engebreth.  

    The concert by the new-music ensemble also includes “Eeyore’s Birthday,” also by Deak, for viola, bass, and piano; and “A Not-so-Traditional Christmas Medley” by Cameron Wilson  for string quartet. The concert is open to the public and free. 


    The Cyrus Chestnut Trio performs jazz and holiday favorites 5 p.m. next Sunday.

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    Pianist Cyrus Chestnut, a graduate of Berklee School of Music, is known for blending such styles as gospel and blues, as well as Jelly Roll Morton’s ragtime and early jazz. Tickets are $18-$32. 

    The New England Ringers perform classical and holiday songs 5 p.m. Dec. 16. The 15-member energetic ensemble plays advanced handbell works with a blend of musical moods and styles from classical to familiar to original compositions, all with a touch of humor. Tickets are $15-$28. 

    A Christmas Celtic Sojourn returns to Rockport Music to perform at 4:30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 17. Brian O’Donovan’s  holiday show features singers, musicians, and dancers steeped in Celtic tradition and traditional Irish cheer. Tickets are $39-$58. 

    Rockport Music’s annual holiday community sing at 7 p.m. Dec. 22 features the Rockport High School Madrigal Singers led by Patti Pike  and host Bill Hausman. The concert follows the Rockport Christmas Pageant held earlier in the day.


    The sing is open to the public and free.

    Rockport Music is a nonprofit arts organization that each year presents approximately 120 public concerts and events, in addition to 80 outreach and education events for students and adults.

    Call 978-546-7391 or visit 

    FINDING CHRISTMAS: Salem Theatre Company  presents the holiday comedy “Reckless” by Craig Lucas  through Dec. 22. 

    The play begins with children all snug in their beds on a snowy Christmas Eve. Then suddenly, Rachel, a housewife and heroine of the story, is forced out into the snow,where she embarks on a 10-year journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas.


    The production is directed by John Fogle, artistic director of the Salem Theatre Company.

    The cast includes Nancy Gahagan  of Lexington as Rachel, as well as Cyndi GellerAndy Lisle,  Mitch KyleMeredith McAlister  and Allen Vietzke,  of Salem; Giovanni Alibiso  of Peabody; J. Garner Redmond  of Boston; and Julie Cleveland  of Gloucester.

    Production staff includes Ariane Grossi  and Linda Ross  of Salem; and Jean Fogle,  John Fogle, and Gregory Mancusi-Ungaro, of Marblehead.

    Lucas earned a degree in theater and creative writing at Boston University and has had a 35-year career as a playwright and stage and film director.

    Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays at 90 Lafayette St., Salem.

    Tickets are $25; $20 for senior citizens; $10 for students. Call 978-790-8546 or visit 

    IN LOCAL GALLERIES: “Stone, Sea, Sky,” an exhibit of collagraph prints by Maine artist Kathleen Buchanan, is at the Firehouse Center for the Arts  in Newburyport Wednesday through Jan. 2. A reception with the artist is 4-6 p.m. Saturday. A collagraph print is created by building up layers of low-relief patterns by combining flat materials, such as paper, into a collage on a plate that is later inked. Educated at Tufts University and the University of Alaska, Buchanan worked as a biologist prior to becoming a full-time printmaker in 1999. . . . Paintings by Connie Castucci’s  art students at the Jack Satter House in Revere are on display at the Gallery at Grosvenor Park  in Salem through Jan. 3. The house is a facility for people age 62 and older sponsored by Hebrew SeniorLife  in Boston. The artists include Jennie Cox, Sheila Golden, Etta Kelly, Dolores Logiudice, Connie Madigan, Jonah Miller, Arlene Rosen, Asher Zamansky, Barbara Assa, Lina Brogna, Lillian Anderson, and Lea Ciaramella. 

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