Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Music, Concerts, Performances, and Movies!



Well Ashland, I hope you are well-rested from your Thanksgiving celebrations, because Christmas is alarmingly close.  Pull down those decorations and get those ovens warmed up!  It’s always at this time of year when I ask myself, “Why didn’t you start buying Christmas gifts in July?”

We enjoyed a wonderful Holiday concert and tree lighting recently at the Hanover Tavern, courtesy of the Patrick Henry High School’s Madrigal Choir.  With their new director this year, Carol Ann Dickerson, these talented kids are giving some outstanding performances.  You can catch them next week at the PH Christmas Concert at the school, Tuesday (12/10) and Wednesday (12/11) at 7:00 pm.  Tickets are $5 and are available from any performing arts teacher at PH or at the door.

The Hanover Concert Band will present two concerts of Christmas music in December to close out their 24th year as "Music Ambassadors for Hanover County". This Saturday, December 7th, at noon, they will perform at the Virginia Center Commons food court. In addition to the program of Christmas favorites old and new, they will present a special musical tribute to the men and women who were at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on that "Day of Infamy" in 1941. If you can, please bring a donation of non perishable food for the Central Virginia Food Bank.

Then on Tuesday, December 17th, you can catch the band at 7:00 PM at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. This will be a Boston Pops style concert of Christmas Music with table seating available, and beverage and food treats to enjoy throughout the show. Again, donations of non perishable food for the Central Virginia Food Bank will be collected.

Stay tuned for lots of great musical events from the Concert Band as they will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2014! There are plans to feature local musicians in the concerts and present special commissioned concert music written by VCU Jazz Studies head, Antonio Garcia. 

This weekend at the Ashland Firehouse Theater, Louise Keeton and the Whistlestop Theater will be performing “The Gift of the Magi” Friday and Saturday, December 6th & 7th.  Tickets are $5 each and you can reserve your seats at whistlestoptheatre@gmail.com (please provide your name, and indicate the day, time, and number of tickets requested). This is a show for the whole family! Visit their website: www.whistlestoptheatre.com to learn about this troupe’s exciting opportunity in NYC!

Next weekend, the films will return with “Elf” on Saturday, December 14th.  The show starts at 7:00 PM, and I believe that tickets are $2 each, but this is a fundraiser for the Patrick Henry Model UN, so please come support this great group of kids. The Firehouse Theater is located at 201 S. Duncan Street next to the Rescue Squad in Ashland and across from Town Hall and the Farmer's Market. 
I have the perfect gift for everyone:  an Ashland gift certificate!  Visit Town Hall to purchase a town gift certificate which can be used at thirty-eight different businesses!  You could use it for books, pecans, a rake for all those leaves, honey, or some old fashioned candy.


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!



I am putting this column to bed early this week as we all scatter to the corners of the map for Thanksgiving.  I hope that there are lots of big dinners planned in town.  It funny, but I honestly don’t like leaving Ashland for any holiday.  It always seems like we should be here, maybe because holidays are more fun in our sweet town, don’t you think?  Whether it’s Easter, the 4th, Thanksgiving or Christmas, I think we always have the perfect setting for celebrations. 

Resist the urge to get up early on the 29th and save your shopping for Small Business Saturday in the Center of the Universe!  If you sit down with your gift list, I know that you could find everything you need right here. 

Speaking of which, Ashcake Gardens will celebrate Small Business Saturday with lots of sales and specials.  Visit their website for special offers and coupons.  I have heard that their selection of Christmas trees is superb this year; www.ashwoodgardens.com

If you don’t know what to buy, visit Town Hall to purchase a town gift certificate which can be used at thirty-eight different businesses!  You could use it for jewelry, chicken feed, a hair-cut, furniture, or dinner out.  It may be the perfect gift for everyone. 

There are two opportunities to see theater productions in town this holiday season.  As always, Randolph-Macon will be showing Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol” at the Blackwell Theater December 6th through the 8th.  There’s more information on the RMC website: www. rmc.edu/academics/drama. 

Also, our own Louise Keeton and the Whistlestop Theater will be performing “The Gift of the Magi” at the Firehouse Theater December 6th and 7th.  Tickets are $5 each and you can reserve your seats today at whistlestoptheatre@gmail.com(please provide your name, and indicate the day, time, and number of tickets requested!).








Do you have student in grades 4th through 8th who loves the stage? Sabrina Lacoss, a senior at Patrick Henry High School, is producing a Reader’s Theatre production of “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare for her Girl Scouts Gold Award project, and she is looking for cast members. Rehearsals will start December 3 for two weeks, and the performance is December 19 at 7:00pm at the Center. Interested parents should call the Hanover Arts and Activities Center at 798-2722.
Do you know what I am thankful for?  A newspaper column, an editor who lets me occasionally write about ridiculous things, and, of course, readers who think it worth their while.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.  Happy Thanksgiving!