This Week’s Missoula Arts & Culture Scene | Nov 24


The University of Montana School of Music Opera Theater and Symphony recently brought home a first-place prize for their production of “The Legend of Orpheus,” which was performed in February.

UM professors Anne Basinski, stage director; Luis Millàn, conductor; David Cody, musical director; and Joy French, choreographer, all collaborated with scenic, costume and lighting designers from Missoula Community Theatre to produce the Baroque pastiche production.  For more, visit here

Current exhibits at the Missoula Art Museum include The Art of Human Conflict Conflict through December 24; Pamela Caughey: Ubiquitous: Migration of Pathogens through December 2; Crossing the River: Hmong Story Cloths through December 24; Kate Hunt: Recent Works through February 21, 2015; Elizabeth Dove: Corpus of the Unknowable through January 31, 2015; Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts: Selected Works through March 21, 2015; Pat Zentz: Trio through March 28, 2015 (pictured here).

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents Amanda Browder: End of the Infinite in the Meloy Gallery, and Vanessa German: Bitter Root in the Paxson Gallery (pictured here).  Both exhibits run through January 10, 2015.  To honor MMAC’s 120th anniversary, the museum has published the first-ever guide to the permanent collection, The Art of the State: 120 Artworks for 120 Years. Learn more here

Picture10Fact & Fiction presents The Whizpops! singing and signing Talking ‘Bout Dinosaurs, 5:30 p.m. on December 5.  On Saturday, December 6, Fact and Fiction hosts the annual First Night Missoula Book Fair.  Support First Night while taking care of your holiday shopping.  Both events are at F&F Downtown.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Theo Ellsworth reading from the second volume of his trilogy The Understanding Monster, November 25 at 7:00 p.m., and Larry Evans shares from his latest publication A Field Guide to Tropical Amazon Mushrooms, December 2 at 7:00 p.m.

The Hip Strip invites you to our warming station for the holidays, Located on the Hip Strip at 509 S. Higgins.  Each Saturday between November 29 and December 20, you will have the opportunity to be dazzled by a local non-profits gift wrapping talents and warm up with some cider and treats. Each Non-profit will provide a unique and special gift wrap, for a donation of your choice, for each of your lovely gifts. Call 543-3955 or visit Jeanette Rankin

The UM School of Music presents Sam Carl, viola and Chelsea Pierce, violin in their Junior Recital, November 24 in Music Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.; UM Percussion Ensemble on November 24 7:30 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre; Student Recital Series with Laura Matzke on piano, November 25, UM Music Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.. The University Choir, Chamber Chorale and UM Symphony Orchestra presenting Gabriel Faure’s Requiem with a special appearance by The UM Women’s Chorus, 7:30 p.m. on December 3 in the UM Dennison Theatre.

The 20th Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition at the Gallery of Visual Arts at the University of Montana is on display from now through December 5.  For more information, visit the website.

The University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Jere Lee Hodgin, with performances November 25 and 29 at 7:30 p.m.; November 30 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; December 2-5 at 7:30 p.m.; December 6 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Montana Theatre, PARTV Center, U of M Campus.

Picture11The International Choral Festival and the  UM School of Music will present their annual benefit performance of George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah” on Sunday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre on the UM campus. This free concert is a beloved community sing-a-long with a volunteer chorus, which has delighted local singers and audiences annually since 1995. The chorus will be conducted by Dr. David Edmonds, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Montana, and accompanied by an orchestra of professional area musicians. And, honorable Mayor John Engen will be there too to welcome everyone and to mark the official kick-off of the holiday season in Missoula with this concert. Join the Chorus by signing-up online at either website.  The concert is free to the public, but as a fundraiser, singers are required to raise or donate a minimum of $75 to join the chorus ($40 for students), and are encouraged to obtain sponsorships from friends and family that exceed these minimums. Exciting prizes such as overnights with deluxe lodging, float trips, gift certificates, etc. will be awarded to those singers who bring in the highest level of sponsorships. Proceeds will equally support Missoula’s 10th International Choral Festival scheduled for July 13-17, 2016, and the UM School of Music students traveling to Vienna.

Picture12The Missoula Community Chorus presents its annual sing-along of The Sound of Music Sunday, November 30 at the Roxy Theater at 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. Email chorus manager or call 493-9255.

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center presents a screening of Beyond the Divide, a Feature-Length Documentary Film About War, Peace, and the Courage to Find Common Ground, Thursday, December 4, at 7:00 p.m. at the Roxy Theater.  Call 543-3955 for more information.

The University of Montana Emerging Ceramic Artists (UMECA) and the Student Sculpture Association (SSA) of the UM School of Art will be holding its 29th annual Art Annex Holiday Sale and Juried Show Thursday through Saturday, December 4-6, in the Art Annex.  The sale will include ceramics and sculpture by students and faculty from the School of Art and the show will feature student work created in the past year. The work will be juried for entry and awards by ceramic sculptor Chris Dufala, an Archie Bray Foundation Resident.  For more information, call 243-4181.

Missoula’s premier vocal ensemble, Dolce Canto, presents, “Wonderful Peace” on Friday, December 5th at 7:30 PM at St. Anthony Parish (207 Tremont Street).  Tickets may be purchased at Fact & Fiction, Rockin’ Rudy’s, or via the choir’s website. Dolce Canto recently released its second CD, “A Joyful Season”. Copies of the new CD will be available for purchase at the concert.

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale present “Holiday Pops,” ringing in the season with a joyful and touching program of holiday favorites, on December 6 at 7:30 p.m. and December 7 at 3:00 p.m. Dennison Theatre.  Call 721-3194 for tickets and more information.

The International Wildlife Film Festival is now accepting submissions for the 2015 festival, happening in Missoula, Montana April 18-25 at the historic Roxy Theater.  Now in its 38th year, the week-long event will feature new and exciting films, special guests, workshops, seminars, field trips, technology sessions, product demos, parties and dynamic networking events. With 6,000 annual attendees, IWFF engages Missoula’s progressive community with dozens of screenings and events like the WildWalk Parade. A filmmakers’ festival, IWFF focuses on films and filmmakers, and celebrates emerging artists and the future of wildlife & environmental media. Our expanded programming welcomes all films about the natural world, from environmental and conservation films, to issue driven explorations of earth and its inhabitants.

For more information about arts events in the Missoula area, visit our website


Tom BensenTom Bensen has lived in Missoula since 1986, and has been the executive director of the Missoula Cultural Council since June 2004. He has directed First Night Missoula each New Year’s Eve since 1997.   He is a member of Missoula’s choral ensemble Dolce Canto, and enjoys being outdoors, whether it is hiking, biking, skiing, walking the dogs, or mowing the lawn.  His wife Susan works for Montana Public Radio, and their son Peter attends Hellgate High School.