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Free Family-Friendly Programming at The Kimmel Center


Tuba Christmas photo courtesy of The Kimmel Center. Want a better holiday deal than shopping online during Cyber Monday? How about giving the family an experience they’ll remember long after they outgrow that new argyle sweater? How about if it’s FREE! 

If you’re looking for something affordable and cultural to do with the family during the holidays this year, then look no further: the Kimmel Center has announced its FREE community concert series. The series that, as the Kimmel Center puts it, “will stimulate the senses while curbing expenses,” is part of the Wachovia Gateway to the Arts Community Access Program and the PNC Grow Up Great initiative. 

These family-friendly concerts and programs include Friday LIVE, showcasing regional musicians on the Commonwealth Plaza stage Fridays from 5:30pm to 7:15pm, and the PNC Grow Up Great concerts and themed tours offered daily. The concerts take place in the Commonwealth Plaza and the tours include art & architectural tours of the Academy of Music building and theater.  

ENJOY! The following is the event listing for the FREE community concert series:

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at Noon
Commonwealth Plaza | Free at the Kimmel
TUBACHRISTMAS Toot your own horn at the eighth annual TUBACHRISTMAS celebration in the Kimmel Center's Commonwealth Plaza. The holidays come to life as 100 regional tuba, sousaphone and euphonium players join together to perform holiday classics free to the public and for all ages. For registration and rehearsal details, visit www.kimmelcenter.org/free.

Friday, December 18, 2009 | 5:30pm
Commonwealth Plaza | Friday LIVE
Temple University Horns and Trombones Led by Philadelphia Orchestra members Jeffrey Lang and Matthew Vaughn, the Temple University Horn and Trombone choirs will fill the Plaza with holiday cheer during their free performance. Both choirs will perform holiday selections, from choral transcriptions to jazz arrangements.

Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Noon
Commonwealth Plaza | Free at the Kimmel,
Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble
Annual Anniversary Performance The Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble introduces a professional-level musical experience to gifted young artists providing them the opportunity to train with accomplished jazz musicians and teachers and perform in the Kimmel Center and its concert halls. Join us for the Ensemble's first Commonwealth Plaza performance of the 2009-2010 season.

Friday, December 11, 2009 | 5:30pm
Commonwealth Plaza | Friday LIVE
The Cartoon Christmas Trio The Cartoon Christmas Trio was started in 1995 by bassist Rob Swanson for the sole purpose of playing music from classic Christmas cartoons, especially the music of Vince Guaraldi, the composer of the "Peanuts" soundtracks. The trio is comprised of Jeff Knoettner on piano, Jackie Browne on drums and Rob Swanson on double bass violin. All veterans of the Philly jazz scene, CC3 brings superb and innovative execution to timeless music, leaving the listener filled with nostalgia, happiness and a 'Grinch-like' smirk. After more than a decade, the trio finally released their self titled debut CD to rave reviews from across the country.

Saturday, December 5, 2009 | 11am
Commonwealth Plaza | PNC Grow Up Great
Two of a Kind and the Give 'Em a Hand Band 'Two of a Kind is a one-of-a-kind find!' says Publishers' Weekly. Two of a Kind presents musical programs for audiences of all ages, including songs, movement, sign language, puppets and more - all with an emphasis on interaction and participation. Audiences sing and dance to songs about everything from animals, friendship and reading to conflict resolution, diversity and environmental topics. Two of a Kind is an award-winning duo comprised of the husband and wife team David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans. Two of a Kind will be joined by The Give 'em a Hand Band, featuring Hope Wesley Harrison on bass and Justin Solonynka on piano, trombone, melodica, panpipes and dijereedoo. PNC Grow Up Great concerts for kids take place at 11am on the first Saturday of each month from October through May in the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza, unless otherwise noted at www.kimmelcenter.org/family.

Friday, December 4, 2009 | 5:30pm
Commonwealth Plaza | Friday LIVE
Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble (PHE) will surely ring you into the spirit of the season! PHE is a community ensemble comprised of auditioned, advanced-level handbell ringers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble appreciates a wide array of musical styles and moods with a repertoire spanning original compositions, arrangements and transcriptions of classical literature. This free performance takes place prior to the ticketed performance by the Vienna Boys Choir in Verizon Hall. 

Academy of Music | Free Themed Tours
Academy of Music Tour- NEW!
Select dates, 11:30 am Visit this historic grand opera house, decorated in baroque style, for a tour that includes the Grand Lobby, Stage Door Canteen , the recently renovated Ballroom and the main auditorium with its dazzling chandelier. Due to the Academy’s busy performance calendar, tours are available on select dates, by reservation only. Call 215-790-5886 for information and reservations. This tour is approximately one hour in duration.

Tuesdays-Sundays | 1pm
Commonwealth Plaza Information Desk | Free Themed Tours
Building & Theater Tour Join us for a themed tour which includes a history of the Kimmel Center; architectural and construction highlights; and visits to Commonwealth Plaza, Perelman Theater, Verizon Hall, Merck Arts Education Center and the Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden. This tour is approximately one hour in duration. Please note: Building & Theater Tours will not be offered on December 25 or 31.

Saturdays | 10:30am
Commonwealth Plaza Information Desk | Free Themed Tours
Art & Architecture Tour Join us for a themed tour which includes an in-depth look at the Kimmel Center's architecture, a walk along the Avenue of the Arts to view the Center in the context of the cityscape, and a tour of artworks on display throughout the Kimmel Center, including the Moore Galleries and the recently installed Percent for Art collection. This tour is approximately 90 minutes in duration.

Updates and complete schedules are available at www.kimmelcenter.org/free. All artists and programs are subject to change.

*except December 25


Kimmel Center Presents 2009/10 Season is sponsored by Citi. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Kimmel Center Presents.

Free at the Kimmel events are made possible through the Wachovia Gateway to the Arts Community Access Program supported by a generous grant from Wachovia Foundation.

The Kimmel Center is the recipient of partnership funding through the nationally recognized PNC Grow Up Great initiative, a 10-year, $100 million investment in preparing children for success in school and life.


Photo Credits: 

Academy of Music
Broad & Locust Streets
3.78 MB JPG
Photo: Nick Kelsh

Tuba Christmas photos courtesy of The Kimmel Center.