Music this week is ... massive. Kicking it off is Colorado College's Jazz Ensemble, which will present a tribute to jazz genius Thelonius Monk. The group will play big-band arrangements of Monk's most popular works. The concert is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. in Packard Hall, on the southwest corner of Cascade and Cache la Poudre. Call 389-6607 for more information.
The first of the week's many holiday music events is tonight's performance by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. But this isn't just your regular "Jingle Bells" and "Joy to the World"s; this is Christmas rock. Paul O'Neill -- rock promoter, producer and Broadway guitarist -- is the Orchestra's founder, and the brain behind Christmas Eve and Other Stories, the production that will be held at the Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave. Tickets are $25 to $35. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Call 520-SHOW to find out more.
The upperclassmen at the Colorado Springs School have put together a performance of the play, The Diary of Anne Frank, and are presenting its debut tonight at 7. The 9th-, 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-graders are acting, directing and working as the technical crew in the school's Louisa Performing Arts Center on the school's campus, 21 Broadmoor Ave. Admission is free. Call 475-9747 for more information.
It was on Matt Groening's list of forbidden words for 2000, but I have to use it just once more -- shopportunity. Because that's what this is, this show at CHAOS-TheaterArts, 802 N. Weber St. It's called $2 to $200, and is, bingo Ringo, a collection of affordably priced artwork in the $2 to $200 range. Oil paintings, sculpture, collage, photography, greeting cards and other "possibly self-destructive constructions" go on sale at tonight's opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Call 634-5429 for more.
Thank you, Yahweh. One of the best bands in the WHOLE WORLD is playing up at Tres Hombres, 116 Midland Ave. in Woodland Park. Brethren Fast, a funkabilly trio from Denver whose hobbies include hot rods, hot rods, and hot rods, is an awesome live band -- especially if you want to get down to a heavy bassline. Tickets are $5, and the show starts at 9 p.m. Call 687-0625.
On the other hand, this is the time to be merry and bright, and nothing can put you in the mood quicker than a little singy-singy to the heavens...
The Soli Deo Gloria Choir will shoot their holly-adorned and pine-scented praises skyward from the floor of Holy Apostles Church, 4925 N. Carefree Blvd. The choir's annual Christmas concert, featuring works by Dawson, Kraehenbuehl, Mendelssohn, Bach, Schalk, Handel, Rutter and Holst, begins at 8 p.m. Admission is free, but a free-will offering will be accepted. Call 597-4249.
But wait! There's more!
Colorado College once again hosts the beautiful Festival of Lessons and Carols, a Christmas service of reading, carols and choral performances in Shove Chapel, at Nevada and Yampa. The chapel is decorated and lit by candlelight alone, and is truly striking. Admission is free. The service begins at 6 p.m.; call 389-6607 for details.
Another church featuring a free candlelit event is Grace Episcopal, at 601 N. Tejon St. The Schola Cantorum Chant Choir will be, yes, chanting at 4 p.m. Call 633-5529.
The holidays aren't the holidays without rosy-cheeked singing children, so we threw them in too. The Colorado Springs Children's Chorale has a performance of carols old and new planned for this afternoon at 3 at the Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave. Tickets to 'Tis the Season are $8. The box office number is 520-SHOW.
Colorado: 1870-2000 is a beautiful book, and if you have the money to shell out on it, it would make a wonderful gift for any local. Photographer John Fielder spent years traveling to places photographed by William Henry Jackson, finding the exact location Jackson stood, and duplicating the shots, resulting in a fascinating scenic before-and-after look at the state. Fielder is signing his book at Barnes & Noble, 795 Citadel Dr. E. at 2 p.m. Admission is free. Call 637-8282 to learn more.
The acoustically-crafted walls of the All Souls Unitarian Church, 730 N. Nevada Ave., will ring with the sounds of the Colorado Springs Guitar Society's 15th annual Classical Guitar Recital. The talented group of local musicians plan to perform pieces by Albeniz, Barrios, Carulli, Bach, Sor, York and others at 7:30 p.m. This is your last chance to catch the Society in concert this year. Admission is free. Call 599-8761 for details.
Pile the kiddies in the car. This is a great night to go look at Christmas lights. There's a few great houses in the Broadmoor area, as well as the one at Uintah and Chestnut, and a pretty impressive house at the end of North 15th Street. I was at Super Wal-Mart the weekend before last and people had already cleaned them out of multicolored lights -- they had to get the forklift to get more out of storage. Somebody's putting all of those lights to good use, it's just up to you to find out who.
If anybody around here can come up with classy Christmas music, it's the Steve Barta Trio. Their subtle, understated jazz is the perfect music for decking the halls, stringing the lights, wrapping the gifts, etc., especially if you're doing it with a nice glass of Merlot in hand. Barta and his compadres, bassist Kim Stone and drummer Ronnie Shaw, play their annual Christmas Concert at the Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., this evening at 7:30. The group has a new holiday CD out, and this concert should be a great preview. Tickets are $8 to $15. Call 634-5583 for details.