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Celebrate the Holidays at George Mason University's Center for the Arts with: American Festival Pops Orchestra; Canadian Brass; Sons of Serendip; Vienna Boys Choir; and more

November 10, 2016
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.

(FAIRFAX)—George Mason University's Center for the Arts announced today its schedule of holiday performances from late November through December 2016 in the Concert Hall. The calendar features an array of choral, orchestral, and chamber music ensembles, which are presenting specially themed programs to commemorate the upcoming festive season. 

The celebrations begin on November 26 with the Center for Arts’ debut of Sons of Serendip. This soul-infused quartet, a finalist on America’s Got Talent, will perform beloved Christmas songs and carols accompanied by harp, cello, and piano.  On December 10, the American Festival Pops Orchestra will deck the Concert Hall with boughs of holly in their family-friendly program Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season, which will feature treasured classics such as Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” and “A Christmas Festival.”  The world-renowned virtuosic quintet Canadian Brass arrives to the Center on December 17 to ring in the season with holiday favorites and brass standards. The musical festivities continue on December 18 with an enchanting performance of sacred hymns, holiday pops music, and Christmas carols by the Vienna Boys Choir.

A full schedule of holiday performances is below. Unless otherwise noted, performances will take place in the Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall located at 4400 University Drive in Fairfax, Virginia. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Center for the Arts’ Ticket Office (open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm), by calling 888-945-2468, or through the Center for the Arts’ website at  

Holiday Events as part of Great Performances at Mason:


Sons of Serendip

Christmas: Beyond the Lights

November 26 at 8 p.m. 

Images: Sons of Serendip: Christmas: Beyond the Lights

Begin celebrating the holiday season with the inspiring sounds of this original new ensemble. Gorgeous vocals accompanied by harp, cello, and piano sing in the season as the Sons of Serendip perform their lovely interpretations of popular holiday favorites. Through serendipity, these four friends from graduate school found themselves as finalists on America's Got Talent in the 2014 competition where they wowed audiences and judges alike. They quickly earned recognition for their signature sound with unique interpretations of popular works, and their stunning vocals and brilliant instrumentation. This concert includes songs from their album Christmas: Beyond the Lights, featuring the most beloved Christmas songs and carols performed with their singular style that invokes peace and serenity. In their first performance at the Center, the Sons of Serendip are sure to be an inspirational start to your holiday season.

Pre-Performance Discussion begins 45 minutes prior to the performance.

 Tickets: $55, $47, $33

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on November 15, 2016

American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season

December 10 at 8 p.m.

Images: American Festival Pops Orchestra

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling ring-ting-tingling, too. It's time for the holidays at the Center as the American Festival Pops Orchestra comes home for Christmas with their annual decking of the Concert Hall. The orchestra's glorious music fills the air, spreading holiday cheer to audiences of all ages. Join us for this popular family tradition, complete with holiday favorites and a lively carol sing-along—always a concert highlight. Conducted by founder and Artistic Director Anthony Maiello, this pops orchestra brings together the most talented musicians from the metro area to perform the best of the season, including Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” “A Christmas Festival,” and other treasured classics. It’s our way of wishing you and yours a happy holiday.

Pre-Performance Discussion: Bryan Kidd, Arranger in Residence, AFPO

Tickets: $55, $47, $33

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on November 29, 2016

A Canadian Brass Christmas

December 17 at 8 p.m.

Images: A Canadian Brass Christmas

The world’s best-known brass ensemble returns to the Center with their lively Christmas concert to ring in the season with holiday classics and brass standards. Canadian Brass is renowned for their unique combination of virtuosic playing and heartwarming humor, and their Christmas concert is a particular favorite of audiences worldwide. Their engaging stage presence, rapport with audiences, and incongruous white running shoes have helped make this iconic quintet a household name; but it is their music—performed with utmost dedication, skill, and excellence—that rightly earns the most superlative accolades. They were the first chamber ensemble to solo on the main stage at Carnegie Hall, and today they have gained worldwide recognition through their extensive touring, regular television appearances, and a discography that includes more than 130 albums. This is a Christmas treat that you and your family will remember for years to come.

Pre-Performance Discussion: David Srebnik, Classical Music Program Director—SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Tickets: $60, $51, $36

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on December 6, 2016

Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna

December 18 at 4 p.m.

Images: Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna

Celebrate the holidays with these extraordinarily talented young Austrian choristers in concert as they perform sacred hymns, holiday pop favorites, and Christmas carols. These gifted boys are known the world over for their glorious harmonies, pristine tone, and extensive repertoire. Without question, the Vienna Boys Choir has stood the test of time, performing continually since 1498 for the Sunday Mass in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel. The choir has been associated with the world’s greatest composers from Mozart to Bruckner, and Franz Schubert was even a chorister. They have been recorded extensively, and regularly tour throughout Europe, the Americas, and beyond. "The angelic voices of this most famous vocal group are ageless" (Salt Lake Tribune). Bring the whole family for an enchanting afternoon right at the height of the Christmas season.

Pre-Performance Discussion: David Srebnik, Classical Music Program Director - SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Tickets: $55, $47, $33

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on December 6, 2016

Other Holiday Events at the Center for the Arts:

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: The Nutcracker

Christopher Zimmerman, conductor

Featuring the Fairfax Ballet; Margaret Virkus, Artistic Director

December 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Experience this timeless holiday classic with the FSO and the Fairfax Ballet—a holiday tradition your family will always cherish. Enjoy a winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, sugar plum fairies and epic battles between heroic toy soldiers and mischievous mice. It's the perfect holiday treat for the entire family!

Tickets: $65, $53, $39

Mason’s School of Music

Mason Symphony Orchestra: Holiday Concert

December 11 at 7 p.m.

Rapsodia Sinfonica, featuring Dr. Linda Apple Monson (piano)—by Joaquin Turina
The Three Cornered Hat, Suite No. 1—by Manuel de Falla, plus other Spanish-influenced and holiday pieces. A reception follows in the lobby.

Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $5 youth through grade 12

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

December 19-20 at 7 p.m.

The biggest Christmas experience of the year! The original, direct from Russia, Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker! "Knock Out!" raves the New York Times. Enchant the whole family with larger than life magical props, a 60 foot growing Christmas tree and spectacular Russian-made costumes and sets. A must-see event, witness the world's best dancers on stage in your city!

Tickets: $175, $122, $88, $68, $48, $28

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create, and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art, and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries.