Holiday musical offerings set for Bartow County this weekend
by Marie Nesmith
Dec 07, 2011 | 2109 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With three concerts on tap this weekend, The sounds of the season will ring out in Bartow County.

Atlanta Pops Orchestra

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra -- the second offering in The Century Bank Entertainment Series at The Grand Theatre -- will take the stage Saturday at 7 p.m. With this being the eighth year the orchestra has performed at the Cartersville venue, its Holiday Concert has become a tradition for some residents who annually attend the December offering.

"I think this concert is a good mixture of the more spiritual side of Christmas as well as the fun side," said Terri Cox, program coordinator for The Grand, 7 N. Wall St. in Cartersville. "They include music of both kinds.

"We even tried to expand it to just the holiday season in general -- we always have a Hanukkah piece included -- just to get everybody in a wonderful mood. It's also a great opportunity to dress up in your finery and just have a wonderful time with all of your friends."

Along with familiar melodies that will be brought to life by the Atlanta Pops, the concert also will feature two vocalists with ties to Cartersville.

"Laura Hettinger, she's a Cartersville [resident]," Cox said. "She just graduated from Kennesaw [State University] with her degree in vocal performance. She'll be singing. Then also we're going to feature Nathan Autry. Nathan directs our Summer Music Theater Camp every summer. He's been doing that with us for about 10 years so he's very well-known in the community and has a wonderful tenor voice. He'll be singing on the program as well this time.

"To sing with an orchestra of this caliber is a wonderful opportunity and I always really think about someone in our community -- who many times it's a young person but not always -- just someone who's never really had that opportunity and really deserves it. So I'm just really pleased that [the Atlanta Pops are] willing to work with us on that."

Tickets for Saturday's concert are $20 for balcony level and $25 for orchestra level and can be purchased by calling 770-386-7343 or visiting The Grand Theatre Ticket Office through Friday from 8 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 5 p.m.

Jonn Serrie

Billed as "an incredible audio and visual experience," Jonn Serrie's Concert Under the Stars will be performed at Tellus Science Museum on Saturday at 7 and 8:30 p.m. During each offering, Serrie's New-Age music will be enhanced by celestial images on Tellus' 40-foot planetarium dome.

"[Jonn] has a couple of Christmas CDs [and] he's going to be featuring the music from those," said David Dundee, astronomy program manager for Tellus. "The nice thing about doing the concert in the planetarium is not only do you have the music -- we'll set up the keyboards kind of in the front of the planetarium, so you'll [experience] the live music -- but we'll [also] dim the lights so that you can see things going on on the planetarium dome.

"So we'll have the stars going over and we'll have pretty pictures of outer space going along with the music. So it's a really nice experience. ... I love experimenting with different ways of using that theater and the stars are so beautiful. Having the stars and pictures of deep space objects and galaxies and nebulae go through as you're listening to this beautiful music, it's just a really pretty experience. It's just an opportunity to hear a live [performance] and get in the Christmas spirit and enjoy the stars all in one happy concert."

Along with a cash bar, patrons will be able to purchase hors d'oeuvres in the cafe prior to each performance. After each concert, attendees will have the opportunity to meet Serrie and have him sign CDs.

Encompassing 120,000 square feet at 100 Tellus Drive in Cartersville, Tellus is comprised of four main galleries -- The Weinman Mineral Gallery, The Fossil Gallery, Science In Motion and The Collins Family My Big Backyard -- a 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory. Since it opened January 2009, the museum has attracted more than 500,000 visitors.

Tickets for Jonn Serrie's Concert Under the Stars are limited and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 770-606-5700, ext. 431. The concert costs $25 for non-members and $15 for Tellus members.

For more information, visit

Bartow Winds Concert Band

On Sunday at 3 p.m., the Bartow Winds Concert Band will perform its Christmas Concert at West Ridge Church, 245 S. Tennessee St. in Cartersville.

"The majority of it is traditional holiday music but we're throwing in a few pieces that are not necessarily Christmas pieces but they can fit in a Christmas theme," said Michael Elzey, Bartow Wind's founder and conductor. "We're putting in Alfred Reed's 'Russian Christmas Music.' Even though the title would make you think it's a Christmas tune, it's really not.

"We're [also] putting in Robert Reynolds' 'O Magnum Mysterium' and then one that is related [to the holidays] -- we are doing scenes from 'The Nutcracker,' four movements from 'The Nutcracker Suite.' We are doing 'Sleigh Ride' ... Leroy Anderson's 'A Christmas Festival' and then two really nice jazz arrangements of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' and 'Baby It's Cold Outside,' which will feature two of our high school musicians that will be attending college music programs next fall."

While there is no admission fee, donations will be accepted to support the four high school band programs in Bartow County and Cartersville.

Formed in 2009, Bartow Winds provides an outlet for youth and adults to foster their musical talents.

"The Etowah Jazz Society was already in existence," Elzey said, explaining why we felt led to create the Bartow Winds Concert Band. "The Etowah [Valley] Chorale was already in existence but there wasn't anything for instruments that belong in a concert band. ... So I saw just a great amount of talent in the county on those instruments and I said, 'Well, somebody needs to do something' and I just took it upon myself to do that because I saw we needed it and I was like, 'Well, let's get it started.'

"Right now we are approximately 50 members. We actually have five or six eighth-grade students of mine here at Cartersville -- I'm one of the band directors at Cartersville Middle and I have five or six of my eighth-grade students here that have marched with our high school band and are just outstanding musicians -- all the way up to grandparents."

For more information about the Bartow Winds' performance, visit