Center for the Arts Presents ‘A Classical Christmas’ with Sykes, Parkening

Posted: November 17, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

A “Classical Christmas” begins when sonorous baritone Jubilant Sykes and celebrated guitarist Christopher Parkening welcome the audience and the season with a mesmerizing treatment of “O Come, O Come Emanuel.”

The concert will be presented on Friday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. at Mason’s Center for the Arts. This seasonal program features traditional Christmas carols and Advent songs, Christian hymns from many cultures and uplifting spirituals.

Highlights will include Sykes’ spine-tingling rendition of “Go, Tell It on the Mountain,” and Parkening’s solo works for Spanish guitar, including Gaspar Sanz’ “Canarios,” Stanley Meyers’s “Cavatina” and selections from Rique Pantoja, among others.

Hailed as one of the world’s preeminent interpreters of the classical guitar, Parkening is recognized as heir to the legacy of Andrés Segovia, who himself proclaimed, “Christopher Parkening is one of the most brilliant guitarists in the world.”

The Atlanta Journal proclaims Jubilant Sykes’ voice “is art at its highest expression.” His artistry and versatility have fostered many musical collaborations, including a recording with jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard. His 2001 recording, “Wait for Me,” features classic songs by 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” and Mozart’s “Requiem.” Opera performances include roles in concert versions of Bizet’s “Carmen” and Cavalli’s “Calisto.”

A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier.

Tickets are $42, $34 and $21. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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