Several local organizations come together for an unforgettable experience December 17–18 at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center


By Henry Flurry, Executive Director, Arizona Philharmonic

This December, prepare for an unforgettable evening of festive holiday dance and music: A Nutcracker Christmas Celebration, Saturday and Sunday, December 17 and 18.

Arizona Philharmonic (AZPhil), Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet (MFAB), Yavapai Youth Choirs and British conductor Alexander Walker are teaming up to deliver this premier holiday event. In it, international MFAB alumni dance to Tchaikovsky’s iconic Nutcracker Suite and Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs, a winter ballet set to the music of Giacomo Meyerbeer, performed by Prescott’s professional orchestra, AZPhil. The outstanding Yavapai Youth Choirs complement these performances with their angelic voices, accompanying the orchestra in the ballet and in Christmas music.

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a pre-concert discussion at 2:00 p.m., followed by the performance at 3:00 p.m. (tickets and information at

“Arizona Philharmonic is inspired to be collaborating with artists from around the world,” said Henry Flurry, AZ Phil’s Executive Director. “These include critically acclaimed conductor Alexander Walker, Artistic Director Ken Ludden of the world-renowned Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet, and international dancers from as far away as Tokyo. Before each half of the concert, accomplished members of the Yavapai Youth Choirs and Una Voce Women’s Choir will set the mood with Christmas carols beautifully arranged for voice and orchestra, an unforgettable Christmas treat for the whole family.”

“The Nutcracker Suite is at the heart of the Christmas season in America,” added Ken Ludden, MFAB Artistic Director. “It is exciting to bring this to Prescott. Working with live music from AZ Phil and Youth and Women’s Choirs, our students, top international guest artists, and members of the local arts community makes it a celebration to mark the season each year with warmth and love.”

The James Family Trust presents both public performances, and Friday’s December 16 performances for Prescott’s PUSD students.

Jenna James of the James Family Trust said, “To be able to be a part of bringing together some of the best artists, musicians and dancers to share in something beloved the world over to our community was an opportunity that could not be missed. Not only does it allow everyone to attend the performance in our little corner of the world, but it also introduces a new generation of PUSD students to one of the most treasured traditions of the holiday season.”

“Una Voce Women’s Choir is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with so many amazing artists,” said Arlene Hardy, Una Women’s Choir Artistic Director. “Sharing the stage with Alexander Walker, Arizona Philharmonic and Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet is an incredible performance experience within our inaugural season.”

“Yavapai Youth Choir is thrilled to be invited to perform alongside Arizona Philharmonic and the Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet and we look forward to many more collaborations in the future. Yavapai Youth Choir is a community youth choir organization consisting of five choirs ages 5 through 18 years of age,” said Amy Van Winkle, Community Theater Events Manager for PUSD.

About Arizona Philharmonic

AZ Phil is celebrating its fifth season as Prescott’s regional professional orchestra, presenting large and small concerts that engage and inspire listeners. AZ Phil draws musicians from across Arizona and is committed to offering transformative music, while nurturing community participation and supporting the needs and growth of the Prescott area performing arts scene. Recognized in 2021 by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce for Excellence in Arts and Culture, Arizona Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

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