Weekender: Concerts, Free and Low-Priced, Highlight the Schedule

Catch Exhibitions at Museums, Plan Your Art Gift Giving

Choir on stage, dressed in black
The UC Davis Concert Choir in rehearsal. (Austin Wang/UC Davis)

This week, you will see concerts offered, both holiday and not, by everything from student choruses to Lincoln Center ... all available at UC Davis. We also highlight our arts gifts.

Karen Nikos-Rose, Arts Blog Editor

Student Chamber Ensembles Thursday at Pitzer

Thursday, Dec. 7, 12:05–2 p.m., at the Ann E. Pitzer Center, UC Davis, free

Pete Nowlen, director and UC Davis lecturer in music

Works for Harp Ensemble, Double Bass Ensemble, Flute Ensemble and others, by Astor Piazzolla, Dimitri Shostakovich, Antonio Vivaldi, Franz Schubert, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, and Bohuslav Martinu.

Students playing instruments on stage

Also this week

Square dancing on campus

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2 - 4 p.m. , Della Davidson Dance Studio

Della Davidson Dance Studio presents square dancing, with special guest caller Evie Ladin. The UC Davis Bluegrass and Old Time String Band will provide an authentic opportunity for square dancing on campus.

Come one, come all — no experience is necessary. More information available.

Gifts for Art Lovers at UC Davis and Region

The Gorman Museum of Native American Art offers shoppers cards, art, books and even home accessories all made or sourced from Native American purveyors. Read about more art-related gifts in this resource in the Arts Blog.

Elana K. Arnold and Mischa Kucyzynski read at Poetry Night

UC Davis alums

Thursday, Dec. 7, Natsoulas Gallery, 521 1st Street, Davis

Elana K. Arnold is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books.

She teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets. She is an alumna of the graduate creative writing program at UC Davis. Her newest book, The Blood Years, is based on the true experiences of her grandmother's childhood in Holocaust-era Romania.

Mischa Kuczynski holds an MA in Creative Writing from UC Davis and a BFA in Photography from the University of Utah. A finalist for the 2009 Ruth Lily Poetry Fellowship, Kuczynski has published work in the American Poetry Review, Gigantic, Fence, Sinister Wisdom, and elsewhere. According to Dr. Andy Jones, “Mischa Kuczynski writes poignant, important, and unforgettable poems that stir the heart.” She lives in Davis.

This event will take place on the first floor of the John Natsoulas Gallery.

Find out more about ongoing UC Davis Museum exhibitions in this story.

At the Mondavi

UC Davis choral concert features holiday music from the Americas Friday

Friday, Dec. 8, Mondavi Center

The choral ensembles of UC Davis — which include the Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers — celebrate the rich musical heritage of the Americas in a concert Dec. 8 at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. It’s also the debut of its new choral director, Nicolás Dosman, who joined the faculty earlier this year and feels honored to work with the student singers.

“The choirs will perform a wide range of music ranging from Andean-influenced music to Baroque music from Mexico, as well as composers from the United States of America,” said Dosman. In addition to the Concert Choir, a large mixed ensemble, and the Chamber Singers, a more select ensemble, Dosman invited the award-winning ensemble Alturas Duo — guitarist Scott Hill and charango-violist Carlos Boltes, along with Andean flute and wind instrument specialist Gonzalo Cortés — to join the choirs. Alturas Duo is a leading proponent of South and Central American music.

The program includes “Navidad Nuestra” by Ariel Ramírez, which is an Andean-influenced folk telling of the nativity story. Other works include “Al Shlosha D’varim,” a traditional Hebrew text set by leading cantorial soloist and Arizona Musicfest director Allan Naplan, and “Abreme la Puerta,” a traditional holiday song from Puerto Rico. The concert will begin by honoring the late UC Davis music professor emeritus and choral director Albert McNeil by performing his arrangement of the spiritual “Hold Out Your Light.”

Dosman, a Panamanian American choral conductor, has been leading choruses and teaching music in a number of roles for nearly two decades. He recently conducted the Maine premiere of Dr. Rollo Dilworth’s “Weather,” which the UC Davis choral ensembles and the UC Davis Concert Band will perform later this season. Prior to his appointment at UC Davis, Dosman taught choral conducting and the choruses as an associate professor of music at the University of Southern Maine.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $24 for adults and $12 for students and youth. Tickets are available at the Mondavi Center Ticket Office in person or by calling 530-754-2787 between noon and 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Tickets are also available online at tickets.mondaviarts.org.For more information about music department concerts in the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis, visit music.ucdavis.edu. More information.

See and listen to their video

Concert Choir UC Davis on stage
The Concert Choir, led by Nicolás Dosman, UC Davis. (Austin Wang/UC Davis)

Matthew Whitaker Quartet plays Saturday at Mondavi

Saturday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center


dark-complected man in red sweater with head on chin
Matthew Whitaker (Courtesy photo)

Matthew Whitaker’s love for music began at the age of three, after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard. At nine years old, Matthew began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its 80+ year history. From performing at Stevie Wonder’s induction to the Apollo Theatre’s Hall of Fame ceremony to his stunning debut at the Mondavi Center in 2022, Whitaker has achieved so much, so quickly. But it’s his rich talent and effusive spirit, not his youth, that keep audiences coming back to experience Whitaker and his talented bandmates. His most recent album, Connections, documents a further leap of this already prodigious talent.More information and tickets. More information.

  • Matthew Whitaker, piano and organ
  • Liany Mateo, bass
  • Ivan Llanes Montejo, percussion
  • Marcos Robinson, guitar
  • Johnny Steele, drums

There will be a post show Q&A with Matthew Whitaker immediately following this event.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performs Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 10, 2 p.m., Mondavi Center, UC Davis

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center returns to the Mondavi Center to perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, works that unfailingly provide spiritual fulfillment for music lovers of all faiths and beliefs, inspiring strength at year’s end and a vision of the brightest future. The artistic core of CMS is a multigenerational, dynamic repertory company comprised of an evolving and unparalleled roster of performers. Demonstrating the belief that the future of chamber music lies in engaging and expanding the audience, these expert chamber musicians draw more people to the genre than any other organization of its kind. More information and tickets here.

Download the Digital Program (PDF)

Media Resources

Karen Nikos-Rose, UC Davis Arts Blog Editor, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

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