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Town ‘Celebrates the Season’ Nov. 29

The town of Farragut has several performances and activities planned for its annual Celebrate the Season, to be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, at Farragut Town Hall, including extended tours of the Farragut Folklife Museum and the Farragut High School Madrigal Singers.

Doris Owens, museum director, said, “We will be decorated. … They are in the process of decorating the museum now for the season.”

The museum has a woodcarving exhibit that includes several special Santa Claus carvings courtesy of Bob Watt, barber, museum member and local artist.

Santa is on display now and will be featured in time for the event.

“We’re going to switch out some of the items on the main island under the Long Star sign for Santa Claus carvings,” Mike Karnitz, museum docent, said.

In addition to Watt, Larry Nowell and Jack Rice are also highlighted.

“These are all local people that are extremely talented. Some of the details in the work are amazing,” Karnitz said. “Jack Rice approached me about doing the exhibit. His father [Malcolm Rice] was a very famous woodcarver and architect. He came down here in the early 20s or 30s to inspect the marble quarry. He bought some property, and Jack tells me when he was very young they vacationed here. Then in the early 1950s, his dad semi-retired and really became the resident architect at U-T.”

The collection includes bark carvings, busts and Native American-themes carvings, in addition to the Santas.

If that doesn’t put everyone in the holiday spirit, what about live music?

Kenton Deitch, FHS choral director, said the school’s madrigal performance, set to begin at 6:40 p.m., will focus on the both the secular side and the Christian side of the holiday.

“People look forward to this every year,” he said. “What makes a madrigal performance madrigal is the type of music that is done. They started off as a way to tell the story of the birth of Christ. Over the years we’ve gotten more laxed as to what kind of music is performed … We’ve started including more contemporary music, but it is written and performed in the style of classical music. I would say the sacred music is the foundation of everything. If you come to a performance, you will still hear that.”

Students will be dressed in a costume reflective of the 17th and 18th centuries, which is “very typical” of madrigal performances.

“The costume is up to the kids. Most of them have been in the group before, and those that haven’t know about it. I’ve given them Web sites to look at, and sometimes those that have done it in the past will sell their costumes. It’s their responsibility,” he added. “They’ll all have hats or crowns, they all have to have some kind of headpiece, but that’s about the only guideline.”

Celebrate the Season is not the only event at which the group will perform.

“We go throughout the community and sing at churches. We’re doing the Fantasy of Trees, but we’re also going back to Children’s Hospital [of East Tennessee], which Fantasy of Trees benefits, from floor to floor, singing for the patients. We’re also going to sing for their staff Christmas party,” Deitch said.

“If in the future there are other groups who would like us to perform, they can contact us. The earlier, the better because we try to get the schedule out as soon as possible, and we’re having to turn people down for this year.”

Call 865-671-7137 to be put on next year’s performing schedule.

Celebrate the Season will also include photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, Dulcimers String Trio, Bearden United Methodist Quartet and Bearden United Methodist Children’s Bell Choir.


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