‘Nutcracker,’ ‘TubaChristmas’ add seasonal touches to Myrtle Beach-area holiday offerings

December 5, 2012 

  • If you go HORRY AND GEORGETOWN COUNTIES ‘Nights of a Thousand Candles’ When | 3-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and Dec. 14-15 and 20-22 Where | Brookgreen Gardens, on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, across from Huntington Beach State Park How much | $16 ages 13 and older ($11 for members) and $7 ages 4-12. Regular gardens hours | On days outside the festival: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., with admission that lasts seven days: $14 ages 13-64, $12 ages 65 and older, and $7 ages 4-12. Also | Two holiday exhibits, through Jan. 2 and free with admission: “Signs of the Season in Flora and Fauna” and “Signs of the Season in Art and History,” free with gardens admission Information | 235-6000, 800-849-1931 or www.brookgreen.org North Myrtle Beach events What, when and where | Christmas Tree Lighting, 6 p.m. Friday at McLean Park, 93 Oak Drive Christmas Parade, 5:30 p.m. Saturday on Main Street. Information | Tree lighting at 280-5570 or parks.nmb.us/pages.aspx?id=12, and parade, from chamber: 281-2662 or www.nmbevents.com ‘All Things Christmas’ Who | Socastee High School Show Choirs When | 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday Where | Socastee High School, on S.C. 707, just east of S.C. 544 and two miles west of U.S. 17 Bypass How much | $5 Also | A cookie and cider reception afterward, with a traditional holiday song sing-along. Information | 293-9041, or email fbeaudry@horrycountyschools.net ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet By | Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre of Murrells Inlet When | 7 p.m. Friday, and 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Where | Beach Church, 557 George Bishop Parkway, between U.S. 501 and U.S. 17 Bypass, just west of Myrtle Beach How much | Advance $15 adults and $10 for children/seniors; at the door, $20 and $15, respectively Information | 651-2006 or www.coastalyouthballettheatre.org ‘A Jazzy Christmas Concert’ By | The Stardusters Big Band, with Terri Landstrom, vocalist When | 7:30 p.m. Friday Where | North Myrtle Beach’s J. Bryan Floyd Community Center, 1030 Possum Trot Road How much | Free Information | 910-575-4620 ‘Holiday Memories’ Who | Atlantic Stage When | Through Dec. 23: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays Where | 79th Avenue Theatre, at Coastal Carolina University’s Myrtle Beach Education Center, at U.S. 17 Bypass How much | $27.50 general admission, $22.50 seniors (ages 55 and older)/educators/military, and $17.50 students. Information | 877-287-8587 or www.atlanticstage.com Theatre of the Republic programs Where | Main Street Theatre, 337 Main. St., Conway. What, when and how much | “Holiday on Main Street: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and Dec. 13-15 and 20-22; and 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and Dec. 15-16 and 22. $18. Classic “Movies on Main Street,” all 7 p.m. and $3 each: “A Christmas Story” (1983) Monday, “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) Dec. 17 and “White Christmas” (1954) Dec. 19. Information | 488-0821 or www.theatreoftherepublic.com Christmas parades Where and when | Saturday: Conway Chamber of Commerce, 10 a.m. in downtown Conway. 248-2273 or conwayscchamber.com/2012parade Town of Surfside Beach, 2 p.m. on Ocean Boulevard. 650-9548 or www.surfsidebeach.org ‘Holiday Celebration’ When | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday Where | The Hammock Shops, on U.S. 17 in Pawleys Island Includes | Santa and Mrs. Claus visiting 1-3 p.m. and available for photos, with pets welcome Michael Del Gardo strolling the grounds and playing the accordion Information | 237-8448 or www.thehammockshops.com Santa Claus diving with Ripley’s Mermaids When | Noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays Part of | Annual ‘‘Festival of Trees,” through Dec. 31, celebrating every U.S. state and territory with its own tree of decorations Where | Ripley’s Aquarium, at Broadway at the Beach, off 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, open 9 a.m. daily How much | Free with admission: $21.99 ages 12 and older, $10.99 ages 6-11, $3.99 ages 3-5, free ages 2 and younger Also | Mermaid shows, without Santa, noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Sundays Information | 916-0888, 800-734-8888 or www.ripleysaquarium.com ‘Holidays on the Boardwalk’ By | Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Oceanfront Merchants Association When and where | Saturdays through Dec. 29 on Myrtle Beach Boardwalk Scheduled events include | This Saturday: “Santa’s Adventures” noon-5 p.m.– with him riding Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, near Plyler Park at Mr. Joe White Avenue Socastee High School’s Socastee Singers – noon on Ninth Avenue North stage “A Blue Christmas with Elvis,” a tribute by David Chaney of Myrtle Beach, 6-8 p.m. (and Dec. 15 and 22), on Ninth Avenue North stage Photo time with Santa, at Wild West Photos and Old Time, 6-8 p.m. (and Dec. 15 and 22) How much | Free admission Information | 704-604-7868 or www.boardwalkchristmas.com ‘Winter Blues Festival’ When | noon-5 p.m. Saturday Where | La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, just west of North Myrtle Beach Middle School How much | $8 ages 18-79, otherwise free; also, bring two canned/dry food items for relay to area food banks for $3 discount. Includes | Entertainment noon-4 p.m. by The LP & Stagger Lee Band Information | 399-9463 or www.labelleamie.com ‘Menorah lighting’ By | Temple Shalom of Conway, for start of Hanukkah When | 6 p.m. Saturday Where | Myrtle Beach’s Valor Memorial Garden, at The Market Common Information | 234-0494 Christmas social ballroom dance By | Grand Strand USA Dance, Chapter 6024 With music by | Steve & Alyce When | 7-10 p.m. Saturday Where | Myrtle Beach Base Recreation Center, 800 Gabreski Lane, near The Market Common How much | $7 members, otherwise $10 Also | Men asked to wear jacket and tie, and women evening attire; bring dish to share; beverages supplied; singles welcome. Information | 808-3397 or www.usadancegrandstrand.org ‘A Holly Day Tea & Symphony’ By | Long Bay Symphony Guild, with music by a Long Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra ensemble When | 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday Where | Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club, on U.S. 17 in Pawleys Island How much | $35 Information | 448-8379 or www.longbaysymphony.com Ninth annual ‘Christmas Towne,’ and tree lighting By | Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Benefiting | U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots – bring an unwrapped toy When | 2-6:30 p.m. Sunday, with Myrtle Beach Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. in plaza out front Where | Myrtle Beach Convention Center, at Oak Street and 21st Avenue North How much | Free Includes | Many child-friendly games and activities, Thomas the Train amusement park , and free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus Information | 626-7444 or www.grandstrandevents.com ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet By | Academy of Dance and Fine Arts and its Ballet South company, based at 628 Sea Mountain Highway, North Myrtle Beach When | 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday Where | North Myrtle Beach High School, 3750 Sea Mountain Road, off S.C. 9, between S.C. 31 and S.C. 90, north of North Myrtle Beach’s Cherry Grove section How much | $12 Information | 663-5678 or email adfadance@gmail.com ‘TubaChristmas’ When | 5 p.m. Sunday Where | Myrtle Beach mall, on U.S. 17 at S.C. 22, near Briarcliffe Acres How much | Free to watch Musicians also invited to play | Registration 1:30 p.m. Sundayat Myrtle Beach High School, on Grissom Parkway, between 29th and 38th avenues North, for rehearsal there at 2 p.m.; $5 fee, with music provided. Information | Daniel Johnson at 910-962-7559, www.tubachristmas.com, or email johnsond@uncw.edu Joe Castillo, sand artist What | Telling the Christmas story When | 6 p.m. Sunday Where | Christ United Methodist Church, 901 Fantasy Way, close to U.S. 501 and George Bishop Parkway, just west of Myrtle Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway, and across from Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament How much | Free with ticket, reserved by phone or online; any remaining tickets available at the door at 5:50 p.m. Sunday Information | 497-0580 or www.groundzeromb.com Annual ecumenical ‘Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ By | Waccamaw Neck Ministerial Association When | 7 p.m. Sunday Where | Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, 113 Baskervill Drive, Litchfield Beach, west of U.S. 17, about a half-mile north of Martin Luther King Road How much | Free, but donations welcome Information | 386-6523, 237-3459, 237-5648 or www.hcfm.us Winter Christmas/Hanukkah social By | Grand Strand Opera Workshop When | 3 p.m. Monday (usually 6 p.m on second Mondays monthly) Where | Brightwater, off International Drive and S.C. 31, west of Myrtle Beach How much | Free for this event, otherwise annual dues $25 individual, or $35 for family/couple Includes | DVD showing of “The Opera Gala,” with holiday social and buffet, Information | 385-3963 or gsow.net, and Brightwater at 903-8300 Christmas concert By | Pawleys Island Community Band When | 7 p.m. Monday Where | Pawleys Island Community Church, 10304 Ocean Highway How much | Free Information | 274-5991, 449-2114 or www.pawleysislandconcertband.org. Cinemark special events Where | Cinemark at Coastal Grand mal, on Seaboard Street in Myrtle Beach What and when | “The 12 Gifts of Christmas” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, for $15 adults, $14 seniors, $13 children Classic Christmas movies, each at 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays: “Home Alone” (1990) Dec. 12, and “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946) Dec. 19, each at regular prices: matinees $6 adults,$5.75 senior/child, and evenings $8 adult, $7 local/student/military, and $5.75 senior/child. Information | 839-3225 Holiday Concert By | North Myrtle Beach Middle School Bands When | 6 p.m. Wednesday Where | North Myrtle Beach Middle School gymnasium, 11240 S.C. 90, Little River\ Includes | Sixth-graders’ “St. Nick Salsa” medley; seventh-graders’ “Carol Medley” and “Hooked on Holidays”; eighth-graders’ “The Chipmunk Song,” “Frosty's Caribbean Holiday” and “Ukrainian Bell Carol”; and jazz band’s “Frosty The Snowman” and “Jingle Bell Rock” How much | Free Information | 399-6136 or email dvigo@horrycountyschools.net ‘Hike Hobcaw’ What | “A Plantation Christmas,” 2.5-mile woods hike with guides Trista Hindman and Lee Brockington When | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. next Thursday How much | $25; bring a lunch; cookies and drinks provided Where | Hobcaw Barony, on U.S. 17, just north of Georgetown Reservations necessary | 546-4623 More information | www.hobcawbarony.org Annual ‘Rivertown Christmas Celebration When | 6-8 p.m. Thursdays through Dec. 20 Where | Downtown Conway How much | Free admission Includes| Dec. 6 and 13 -- Carriage rides from corner of Fourth Avenue and Laurel Street, visits with Santa at Black Water Market, and entertainment on Third Avenue Dec. 13 -- “Living window” displays Dec. 20 -- Conway Canine Christmas Costume Contest, 7-8 p.m. on Third Avenue stage (register for $10 at http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e6lntqce6e9456c8&llr=cgi6bzdab) Information | 248-6260 or conwayalive.com Annual Holiday Memorial Service By | Mercy Care hospice agency When | 7 p.m. next Thursday Where | Beach Church, 557 George Bishop Parkway, between U.S. 501 and U.S. 17 Bypass, just west of Myrtle Beach Information | Loran Bulla, chaplain, at 848-6480, or www.mercyhospice.org BRUNSWICK COUNTY 36th annual Holiday Concert Who | Sea Notes Choral Society When | 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday Where | Hatch Auditorium N.C. Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell 100 Caswell Beach Road, Caswell Beach How much | Free Information | 910-253-1643 ‘Movies on the Coast’ (‘Arthur’s Christmas’) and children’s tree lighting When | 5-9 p.m. Friday Where | Fort Johnston Southport Museum and Visitor’s Center Garrison Lawn, in Southport How much | Free Information | 910-457-7945 or 910-279-3331 Christmas parades Where and when | Saturday: N.C. Carolina Christmas Parade and Festival, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in downtown Leland, behind the BB&T bank parking lot, beginning with parade. 910-616-2671 or 910-371-9921. Southport Christmas Flotilla, 7-9 p.m. on Cape Fear River, from Southport Marina/Old Yacht Basin to Kingsley Street. 910-454-4327. ‘An 18th Century Christmas’ tours When | Hourly 1-6 p.m. Saturday Where | Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site 8884 St. Philips Road, Winnabow, including St. Philips Anglican Church and historic Brunswick Information | 910-371-6613 Second annual ‘Christmas at the Old Bridge’ By | Old Bridge Preservation Society When | 5-7 p.m. Monday Where | Old (swing) Bridge, 109 Shoreline Drive W., Sunset Beach, N.C. Entertainment includes singers | Linda Ladrick from Brunswick Little Theatre and the Brunswick Big Band, and Mandee Williams, featured soloist of the Seaside United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir and Praise Team, who also will lead a sing-along. Information | www.oldbridgepreservationsociety.org or reach Carolyn Hirst-Loucks at 315-253-8107 or email hirstloucks@gmail.com
  • More information This marks the seventh year the Coastal dance troupe will mount the Tchaikovsky ballet, said Sandra Rogers, an assistant to Liza Mata, artistic director. Besides the slew of dance students in the 50-member cast, parents and volunteers join them for the party scene, Rogers said. She also counted another 20-25 who help offstage or behind the curtain for the production. Rogers said this show continues to “grow just a little bit every year,” all thanks to teamwork and long-range planning, “We begin rehearsals in September,” she said, “just as the school year begins, when we do auditions, and we have rehearsals every Saturday. Our senior students are here anywhere from 26 to 30 hours a week.” Rogers spoke about the production”s appeal for all ages, and how children grow in and through the parts. “The characters change,” she said. “The lady playing the Sugar Plum Fairy began as a mouse, one of the smallest roles, where children are age 4-7 in that. Now a graduating senior, she has played every role, including the Sugar Plum Fairy, one of the most coveted roles.” Rogers, who has been involved with every one of the dance center’s “Nutcracker” production, said she started as a “parent volunteer.” The dance staff marvels seeing the youngsters have that “growth experience, and it’s an honor for them to show everybody,” she said. That all helps this show stay “brand new every year,” she said. “It’s just magical once you see it.”

Two annual yuletide staples on the Grand Strand will flash their steps and resonance this weekend, amid a loaded schedule of special events.

Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre of Murrells Inlet will dance “The Nutcracker” for daily shows Friday-Sunday at Beach Church, just west of Myrtle Beach, and the Academy of Dance and Fine Arts will give its inaugural “Nutcracker” run twice on Sunday at North Myrtle Beach High School.

“TubaChristmas” will boom through the corridors Sunday afternoon at Myrtle Beach mall, near Briarcliffe Acres.

Taking up tubas

Traveling down a few octaves from The Nutcracker’s range, the fifth annual Myrtle Beach-area “TubaChristmas” will move to the complex first known as Briarcliffe, then Colonial and now Myrtle Beach mall. Conductor Daniel Johnson said he has seen these shows sound off every year at Independence Mall in Wilmington, N.C., where he lives.

“We make it light enough so it’s not a sit-down-and-be-serious events,” he said. “People might be eating ice cream or shopping. They’re sort of drawn by the sound.”

At the mall in Wilmington, “they arrive early, and they get a seat,” Johnson said.

“The mall probably has four or five benches” in that section, he said. “Those seats go quickly.”

Playing in a mall offers “a more resonant environment, with a lot of reflective surfaces,” said Johnson, who is also the principal tuba player for the Long Bay Symphony in Myrtle Beach and a member of its brass quintet.

“It’s a warm sound,” he said. “We like to take advantage of the acoustics. It’s a very mellow sound, not brassy or harsh.”

He said TubaChristmas coordinators work from a book of about 30 Christmas numbers arranged for tuba. For Sunday’s show, the ensemble will play about 16 tunes.

They will include a feature piece, “Sleigh Ride,” on which a tuba instructor from Coastal Carolina University, Myrtle Beach High School’s band director, and a Long Bay colleague will join Johnson to make a quartet with a “very different arrangement,” he said.

Inviting the audience for sing-alongs remains one of Johnson’s favorite parts of every “TubaChristmas” gathering, after leading with a verse for each song.

Keeping the formula each year remains key for continuity with crowds and for the camaraderie among the musicians, who welcome other horn players to take part in a rehearsal at 2 p.m. Sunday at Myrtle Beach High School and then join them at the performance.

Each concert also pays tribute to the founders of the nonprofit, worldwide “TubaChristmas,” begun in 1975, and shares insight into the deepest voice among the horns.

“We promote and show off the instrument,” Johnson said. “We don’t just play ‘oom-pah, oom-pah,’ which we do very well, but we want to demonstrate ... the potential and beautiful sound of the tuba.”

Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.

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