For many people, New Year’s Eve parties provide the finale each year for three months of holiday celebrations that start with Thanksgiving dinner.

But the fun needn’t stop after 2009’s shower of streamers and balloons settles on the floor. The greater Tucson area’s calendar of events provides plenty of reasons in the coming months to get dressed up and act festive.

The area will play host to everything from a classy Valentine ball to a show featuring monster-size vehicles. And many of the events happen in the Northwest.

The Greater Oro Valley Arts Council will offer several firsts in the wake of 2008 – a year that saw significant expansion of the arts council’s programming.

“We have had overwhelming successes on events we held this past year, and we’re excited about making them bigger and better,” said Kate Marquez, the executive director.

February will bring a new venue for Opera 101, a program series that makes opera’s stories and music accessible to novices and more meaningful for opera lovers.

The series, which has taken place at a country club and at Oro Valley Town Hall, will move to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church at the southwest corner of Magee Road and La Canada Boulevard. There, it will feature theater-style seating.

“It will be a more formal performance than in the past,” Marquez said.

Also in February, the arts council’s Art with Heart Ball will make its debut. The romantic evening will include dinner, libations and a single rose. Proceeds will go toward the arts council’s programs that bring the arts to schools.

Another first, in March, will also benefit arts in schools. The Passion for Fashion charity show will include a brunch, a presentation by about 40 models and a silent auction. It’s pegged as a family event that fills a gap in the Northwest’s arts offerings.

“We had a lot of people tell us that fashion is an art, too,” Marquez said. “There are no fashion events in this area.”

For symphony-goers, the arrival of the New Year brings a chance for Northwest residents to wish Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s violinist Steven Moeckel the best of luck in his upcoming venture as the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster.

Moeckel will join pianist Paula Fan at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in January for one of his last Tucson performances.

As the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council covers new ground in the Northwest through its early 2009 programming, UA Presents will offer Tucson a few months heavy in dance.

In January, the group Pilobolus will present its own brand of vaults and flips about which the New York Times said, “acrobatics are liquefied into poetry.” The 40-year-old troupe mixes humor, inventive choreography and striking costumes.

In February, the Bingham Young University International Folk Dancers will honor Native cultures in North and South America and the South Pacific through energetic rhythms and dance. Flamenco Vivo will present vibrant flamenco dance. UA Dance will present an evening of ballet, modern dance and jazz, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will give a performance marking its 50th anniversary of bringing African-American expression to the world.

In March, Joffrey Ballet, the first dance company to perform at the White House, will take a Tucson stage.

At the Tucson Convention Center, upcoming events will include the annual Gem and Mineral Show, the Monster Jam giant car show and a performance of the classic musical “Grease.”

Complete events lists through March are available at, and


The following includes arts, cultural and entertainment events for the coming months:

Greater Oro Valley Arts Council; 797-3959 for times and prices.


Jan. 10: Musical Magic for Kids concert

Jan. 16: MasterWorks Concert Series concert

Jan. 29: Chamber Music Light with Steven Moeckel and Paula Fan

Feb. 1: Opera 101

Feb. 13: Art with Heart Ball

Feb. 20: MasterWorks Concert Series concert

Feb. 21: Musical Magic for Kids concert

March 14 and 15: Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Festival

March 20: MasterWorks Concert Series concert

March 28: Passion for Fashion show

UA Presents; 621-3341 for times and prices.


Jan. 11: Interpreti Veneziani

Jan. 15: The American Soul & Rock ’n’ Roll Choir

Jan. 28: Pilobolus

Feb. 2: Katy Perry

Feb. 4: BYU International Folk Dancers

Feb. 7: “The Ant and the Elephant”

Feb. 12 Jim Brickman

Feb. 19 Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana

Dates in February and March: UA Dance

Feb. 24 Munich Symphony Orchestra

Feb. 27: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

March 2: Afro-Cuban All Stars

March 5: Bob the Builder

March 7: The Klezmatics

March 14: Broadway to Hollywood with Marvin Hamlisch and Joel Grey

March 18: Etta James and The Roots Band with Joe Bonamassa

March 22: “An Evening with Dennis Miller”

March 26: Opera a la Carte

March 29: Joffrey Ballet

Tucson Convention Center; 321-1000 for times and prices.


Jan. 23: Playhouse Disney

Jan. 27-31: “A Bronx Tale”

Feb. 12-15: Gem and Mineral Show

Dates in February and March: “Grease”

Dates in February and March: Monster Jam

Dates in March: Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival

March 10: Lippizzaner Stallions

March 20-22: “Damn Yankees”

March 24-25: Thomas and Friends: A Circus Comes to Town

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