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Meadows Music Alums and Colleagues to Present Holiday Show at Dallas's Kessler Theatre, Dec. 23

Award-winning opera graduate John Holiday headlines "The Holiday Experience 2014: a Jazzy Christmas Celebration with John Holiday and his 'Big Band' "

Looking for a different kind of holiday concert? Check out “The Holiday Experience 2014: a Jazzy Christmas Celebration with John Holiday and his ‘Big Band,’” a special event organized and performed by talented Meadows alumni and their professional colleagues. The concert takes place Tuesday, December 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff, 1230 Davis St. (Dallas 75208).

Award-winning countertenor John Holiday (B.M. voice performance ’07), who recently debuted with the Los Angeles Opera, will be joined by pianists Kristin Yost (M.M. piano performance and pedagogy ’06) and Neeki Bey (M.M. music education ’07), emcee and playwright/storyteller David Marquis, noted saxophonist and Duke Ellington Orchestra alumnus Shelley Carrol, saxophonist and jazz arranger S-Ankh Rasa and jazz vocalist/recording artist Tatiana Mayfield. The group will perform an eclectic mix of jazz, classical, R&B and gospel.

The event was first launched at the Kessler in December 2013, organized by Holiday, Yost and Bey along with fellow SMU alumni Fredricka Johnson (B.S. Markets & Culture and B.A. Economics ’08), who serves as graphic designer, and Eddie Gates (M.M. music education and M.M. choral conducting ’08). The collaboration has been a joy, the artists say.

“The Holiday Experience is truly a magical event,” said Yost, a music entrepreneur who is co-founder and executive director of the Centre for Musical Minds in Frisco and Southlake. “A group of talented and hardworking friends making music together, sharing with their community in a beautiful theater, is every musician’s dream – and we’re living it!”

About John Holiday

John Holiday, a prizewinner at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition in Los Angeles in August 2014, debuted this October at the Los Angeles Opera in Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas as the Sorceress. He will also debut at the Glimmerglass Festival in New York in Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica during the summer of 2015. Holiday made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He also joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera to cover Nireno in Giulio Cesare under Harry Bicket in David McVicar’s new production and reprised his roles in Philip Glass’s Galileo Galilei at the Cincinnati Opera, having first performed the work at the Portland Opera for his operatic stage debut. He has won multiple awards, including the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation and a Sara Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. He also was awarded first place at both the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition for 2013 and the Sullivan Foundation for 2012, and received a first place win at the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. In 2007, he was the first place winner in his district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In addition to his classical repertoire, Holiday excels in jazz and gospel music, and opened for Grammy Award winner Jason Mraz in concert. While a student at SMU, Holiday would frequently sit in at the Balcony Club to sing jazz standards. He recently released his debut jazz album entitled The Holiday Guide.

Tickets to the event are $22.50 for general admission; to purchase tickets, visit here. For more information about the event, visit or

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