EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 20, 2013

HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS

By Kelly Burch
kburch@eagletribune.com

---- — North Andover student plays lead in ‘The Nutcracker’ by NEDE

Jesse Chisholm of North Andover will perform the lead role of Clara in the upcoming New England Dance Ensemble professional production of “The Nutcracker”, showing Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Windham High School Theater.

The North Andover High School student is no stranger to the stage, but her upcoming appearance as Clara in the New England Dance Ensemble presentation of “The Nutcracker” casts her squarely in the spotlight. Chisholm, 13, has been training in ballet for years.

“I am so honored to have been cast as Clara,” she said. “The role is a dream come true.”

This is the first year that Chisholm will perform in NEDE’s annual professional production of “The Nutcracker.” She will be onstage for much of the production, in a role that requires rigorous training, solo and partner dancing, and advanced technical and acting skills.

Chilsholm will be working with more than 100 other cast members, including dancers traveling from New York’s American Ballet Theaterand Broadway professionals. She said she relishes the challenge and growth opportunity despite the long hours of rehearsals. In the lead-up to the show, Chisholm will be dancing seven days a week, including classes at Just Dance Complex in North Andover, where she is on the competitive dance team.

The New England Dance Ensemble’s “The Nutcracker” is at the Windham High School Theater, Windham, N.H., on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20-$35 and can be purchased at www.nede.org.

Holiday concert features Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at Phillips Academy

The Phillips Academy Music Department will sponsor its 26th annual holiday concert featuring excerpts from Handel’s oratorio, “Messiah,” on Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. This concert is given in support of Neighbors in Need, a food pantry in the Merrimack Valley, and will also support the Merrimack Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The program, under the direction of Christopher Walter, will feature the Phillips Academy Community Chorus and the Academy Chamber Players made up of students, faculty and staff of the academy, along with musicians from the Merrimack Valley, Boston and North Shore areas. This year special guests as soloists are Barbara Kilduff-O’Farrell, soprano, Thea Lobo, mezzo-soprano, Eric Christopher Perry, tenor and Donald Wilkinson, baritone.

General admission is $5. Senior citizens and students may be admitted with a donation of nonperishable or canned food. The concert will be held in Cochran Chapel on the school campus, 180 Main St., Andover. Cochran Chapel is handicapped accessible. Any inquiries regarding this performance may be made to the Phillips Academy Music Department by calling 978-749-4260 or e-mailing the department at music@andover.edu.

Methuen Ballet Ensemble celebrates with ‘The Nutcracker’

There’s no need to travel to Boston to see a top-notch ballet production this Christmas. The Methuen Ballet Ensemble is bringing the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” to The Firehouse for Performing Arts in Newburyport for the fifth year in a row. Show dates and times are November 30th at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and December 1st at 3:00 p.m. A gala reception which will be held in the main lobby of The Firehouse at 6:00 p.m. on November 30th prior to the 7:00 show.

Methuen Ballet Ensemble, an established ballet company under the artistic direction of Vanessa Voter Shaheen, has staged “The Nutcracker” for over twenty-five years. Dancers hail from Methuen, Lawrence, Haverhill and North Andover as well as Salem, Pelham, Plaistow, Windham and Manchester, NH.

To share in the magic of Methuen Ballet Ensemble’s “The Nutcracker,” visit www.firehouse.org or call The Firehouse Center for the Arts’ box office at 978-462-7336. Tickets to matinee performances are $22; tickets for the evening performance are $24. All seating is reserved.

To be listed ... Holiday Highlights will run throughout the coming month in advance of holiday-related performances. If your organization would like to be featured, please contact Assistant Editor Kelly Burch at kburch@eagletribune.com or by phone at 978-946-2256.