December IAS features Brucemore, Panther Marching Band, Don Giovanni, The Nutcracker, and more!

Nov 25, 2014

December is packed with holiday arts events. This month’s Iowa Public Radio Iowa Arts Showcase features:

  • Brucemore Mansion’s Manager of Interpretation and Collections Jessica Peel-Austin sharing details about the historic site’s holiday events and the mansion’s Skinner Player Pipe Organ Preservation Project
  • University of Northern Iowa Panther Marching Band director Dr. Daniel Galyen previewing the band’s upcoming performance in the London New Year’s Day Parade
  • Daniel Kleinknecht talking about the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s January production of Mozart’s master work, Don Giovanni
  •  Iowa State University’s professor Janice Baker reveling in Stephens Auditorium’s 34th annual Nutcracker Ballet Performance
  • And Cedar Falls artist and illustrator Gary Kelley discussing his children’s book “Harlem Hellfighters,” which was selected by the New York Times as one of the 10 best children’s books of the year

Jessica Peel-Austin, Manager of Interpretation and Collections at Brucemore Mansion, gives us a tour of the mansion’s holiday offerings this season. She also outlines plans for the Skinner Player Pipe Organ Preservation Project, which will totally refurbish Brucemore’s 1929 player pipe organ to mint condition.

The University of Northern Iowa Panther Marching Band has been invited to play in the London New Year’s Day Parade. The band’s director, Dr. Daniel Galyen, shares his excitement about the trip and provides background on UNI’s “Pride of Panther Nation.”

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s artistic director and conductor Daniel Kleinknecht shares details about the CROT’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Directed by William Ferrara, this timeless classic revolves around the story of the promiscuous and arrogant Don Juan and his path towards self-destruction.

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet returns to the stage of Iowa State University’s Stephens Auditorium for its 34th annual performance. ISU’s professor Janice Baker talks about the dancers in this year’s production and the history behind this long-standing holiday tradition.

Written by author J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Iowa artist Gary Kelley, Harlem Hellfighters has been chosen by the New York Times as one of the 10 best children’s books of the year. The story depicts the achievements made by the all-African-American 369th Infantry in World War I. These 2000 soliders were recruited in New York and headed by bandleader James Reese Europe. Although they received little respect from the American government, they were transferred to the French army where they fought bravely and received many accolades. Kelley talks about the conception and development of his award-winning publication.

You can now listen to or download this month's show right here. Tune in to Iowa Public Radio on the first Saturday of the month, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., for the Iowa Arts Showcase.