Holiday Concert Series Will Feature Bluegrass, Big Band, Gospel, and Dulcimer Music

Winchester, VA 12/04/13…The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley will celebrate the holiday season with a series of concerts taking place on Saturday, December 7; Friday, December 13; Sunday, December 15; and Saturday, December 21.

Concert admission—which includes admission to the Museum galleries—is free to MSV Members and youth ages 12 and under and is just $5 for all others. For all evening concerts—those on December 7, 13, and 21—the Museum Café by Bonnie Blue will be open until 8 p.m. for dinner and desserts, and wine and beer will be available in the Museum lobby for $5 per glass.

At 6 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, Circa Blue will perform bluegrass favorites and holiday tunes. This West Virginia band, which released its debut CD in 2012, is known for its tight vocal harmonies, clean instrumentation, and creative arrangements. The band includes guitarist and vocalist Steve Harris; bassist and vocalist Dave Harris; banjo-player Matt Hickman; and mandolin-player, guitarist, and vocalist Ron Webb.

At 7, 8, and 9 p.m. on Friday, December 13, the MSV swings into the holidays with a Big Band concert from the Yesterday Swing Orchestra. This eighteen-piece ensemble under the direction of Bob Johnson will play holiday favorites and Big Band classics from the 1930s through the ‘50s.

The daytime concert at 2 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 15, features Larnell Starkey & The Spiritual Seven Gospel Singers performing traditional and contemporary gospel music. Back by popular demand, this award-winning group from southern Virginia, known as the “Gospel Temptations,” has toured nationally and internationally.

The Spiritual Seven’s performance at the MSV is partially supported by funding from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Finally, at 6 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 21, acclaimed dulcimer-player Madeline MacNeil will perform songs of Christmas and the New Year. Renowned for her beautiful voice and skills on the hammered dulcimer, Madeline will perform classical, Celtic, jazz, and traditional music. 

Along with enjoying the concerts, Museum-goers may also celebrate one of the Shenandoah Valley’s most widely known cultural icons by touring Becoming Patsy Cline in the MSV Changing Exhibitions Gallery. On view through July 6, 2014, the special exhibition was organized by the MSV in partnership with the Winchester-based organization Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc. (CPC). Becoming Patsy Cline uses objects, rare photographs, video and audio recordings, and clothing—much of which is on first-time public display—to illustrate Patsy Cline’s Shenandoah Valley story. Becoming Patsy Cline received critical underwriting support from Grove’s Winchester Harley–Davidson, Shenandoah Country Q102, and Winchester Printers, Inc.

Those interested in attending the holiday concerts are encouraged to arrive early, as seating is limited and concert tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for the concerts will be available at the MSV Visitor Information Desk beginning at 10 a.m. on the day of the concerts.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, the MSV will be closed December 24 and 25, and January 1. In conjunction with the First Night Winchester New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts, the MSV will be open on Tuesday, December 31, for gallery tours and family-oriented daytime entertainment. Admission is not required to visit the Museum Store, which is open during regular museum hours. Additional information about holiday activities and events at the MSV are available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.