Arts, community and music: Pre-Holiday recreation

As the holidays approach, venues for entertainment and cultural events come to peak as shoppers search for a break from the “madding crowds.” Here are a few things going on around the area to provide some personal recreation for the entertainment-starved.

The Coronado Theatre: Rockford’s Crown Jewel will be shown at Storefront Cinema, 711 N. Main St., Dec. 13, 14 and 15. Based on the book by local author Gwendolyn Quirk, this historical documentary covers the entire story of the Coronado Theatre beginning in 1925 with the formation of the Rockford Syndicate Group. Attendees will learn about the theater’s decline in the ’70s and follow the history to the Coronado’s rebirth in 2001.

This will be the first DVD release for Areveesee Productions, which is the media production division of the mass communication program at Rock Valley College. Showings will be at 7 and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and the Sunday shows are at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Prices range from $3 to $5. For information, call 962-FILM.

The United States Air Force Band of Mid-America will perform a special holiday concert Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Coronado Theatre. This free performance features the Air Force Concert Band, which has performed current popular styles, jazz, marches, concert and patriotic music for millions of listeners. The band’s Holiday Concert is rarely performed outside of Chicago and St. Louis; this marks the first holiday appearance in Rockford. The 50-piece band is conducted by Lt. Colonel Steven Grimo.

The Holy Family Concert Series continues this month with Advent Fridays at Noon. Rockford-area organists will present half hour mini-recitals with music of the Advent season. On Friday, Dec. 13, John Summers, director of liturgy for Holy Family Church,

will perform from 12:15-12:45 p.m. Community members are invited to take midday or lunch breaks for this free holiday concert. For information, call 398-4284.

Womanspace will offer a cultural and social bus trip to the Chicago Art Institute and Water Tower Place to view the new exhibit, The Medici, Michelangelo and the Art of Late Renaissance Florence. Sculptures and early drawings by Michelangelo, artwork by Bronzino, Pontorma and Salviati and sculptures by Cellini and Giambologna are featured in the exhibit. The bus leaves Womanspace, 3333 Maria Linden Dr., at 8 a.m. Breakfast is served on the bus. Cost for the day’s trip is $45. This is also a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping. For reservations, call the center at 877-0118.

As the family starts collecting for the holidays, Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, 411 Kent St., presents the sights and sounds of Christmas Past and Present on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15, from noon to 4 p.m., both days. Take the kids and in-laws to see this year’s theme: Victorian Christmas Carols. Many classic (and a few obscure) carols will be depicted in each lavishly decorated room. Children can make their own Victorian Christmas Cracker with a prize inside, and all can enjoy hot cider, homemade cookies, and tours of the decorated cottage. The River City Sound of Sweet Adelines will perform Christmas Carols on Saturday’s exhibit at 3 p.m. For prices and information, call 964-2424.

Also, on Saturday Dec. 14, the Bach Chamber Choir celebrates its 20th season by performing “A Bach Chamber Christmas” concert at First Lutheran Church, 225 S. Third St., at 7:30 p.m. Featured is Kantorei, the Singing Boys of Rockford, and some guest speakers from the community. For prices and information, call 633-9089.

For Metro Picks Of the Week (M-POW), Studio Zoom at 1907 Kishwaukee St., is having a live performance on Thursday, Dec. 12. Students of Studio Zoom will perform an eclectic mix of Rap, Hip-Hop, Christian Rock and other forms of music. The show starts at 10 a.m., and is free and open to the public. For information, call 965-3795. On Friday, Dec. 13, Chicago area’s own jam band Groovatron will play at Lungo’s Landing, 10 E. Riverside Boulevard. The band starts at 9 p.m., and there is no cover. This is a great reggae/rock/funk group that has performed in Rockford with great reception in the past. For information, call 877-8455. If Groovatron’s not appealing, Ryan Swanson & Friends is performing that same night at Curly’s Bar & Grill, 9032 N. Second St., Machesney Park. Local saxophonist Swanson has assembled a group of area musicians for an evening of jazz/improv. The show is from 7 to 11 p.m., Dec. 13, and there is no cover. For information, call 633-1006. The Celtic Seisiun Group will be performing “A Celtic Holiday” at Memorial Hall Saturday, Dec. 14. Hosted by Charlotte’s Web, the show starts at 7:30 p.m. For prices and information, call 964-2238. Also, bluegrass group The Shwill-Billies will play at Mary’s Place at 9 p.m. on the 14th. For prices and information, call 962-7944.

See the Arts, Music and Community calendars for other events in the area. With all these shows, exhibits and activities, it would be hard to get holiday depression! Show some Rockford spirit for all the hard-working musicians and cultural organizations—enjoy the recreational side of the holiday season.

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