Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


November 24, 2008
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.





Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008 at 8 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 24, 2008After their 2006 performance at the Center, The Washington Post described Jubilant Sykes as “an electric young baritone,” and praised Christopher Parkening for his “virtuosity and versatility.” On Saturday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m., these two brilliant performers return to the stage at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, presenting a brilliant interpretation of holiday classics that will warm the heart. The South Bend Tribune praised the program, saying “the music brought light to the stage, ushering in a glorious evening of sacred songs and hymns.” A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

Titled "A Classical Christmas," the program includes "Away in a Manger"; "Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming"; "What Child is This?"; as well as stirring spirituals including "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." The Houston Chronicle extolled the pairing of Parkening and Sykes, calling it  “a breath of new life into traditional holiday music.”

Hailed as one of the world’s preeminent interpreters of the classical guitar, Christopher Parkening is recognized as heir to the legacy of the great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia, who himself proclaimed, “Christopher Parkening is one of the most brilliant guitarists in the world.” His combination of virtuosity, eloquence and ability to capture sound has mesmerized audiences worldwide. “The kind of impeccable musicianship that only greatly talented people achieve at any age … could well become one of this generation’s concert heroes.” The New York Times said of Parkening.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution proclaimed that Jubilant Sykes “isn’t merely an outstanding singer, his voice is art at its highest expression.” Further, his artistry and versatility have fostered numerous musical collaborations with artists as diverse as Reneé Fleming, Julie Andrews, Brian Wilson, Josh Groban and Carlos Santana. Sykes also has released two recordings for Sony BMG Masterworks. The first release, “Jubilant,” brought the singer together with jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard. His crossover recording, “Wait for Me,” features classic songs by a number of popular composer/entertainers, including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson. Sykes is equally at home in the classical canon: his repertoire includes everything from Copland’s "Old American Songs" to Mendelssohn’s "Elijah," Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Brahms’ "A German Requiem," to Mozart’s "Requiem." Opera performances include roles in concert versions of Bizet’s "Carmen" and Cavalli’s "Calisto."


The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.

Tickets for CHRISTOPHER PARKENING AND JUBILANT SYKES are $44, $36, $22. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.