German Society of Pennsylvania

Today, The Nutcracker ballet is as much a Christmas tradition as eggnog, jingle bells, and mistletoe. But centuries ago - long before a nutcracker appeared on stage - miners in the rural Ore Mountain region of Germany began crafting the ubiquitous household characters. The whimsical, dual-purpose figurines were toys that inspired play among the young, and tools that cracked nuts for all.

Among the earliest settlers to the new world, those of German origin have made a strong imprint on the Philadelphia area. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, an organization that celebrates the history and legacy of Pennsylvania Germans is celebrating a landmark anniversary with a new opera. 

As PRISM Quartet celebrates its 25th anniversary, David Patrick Stearns profiles the all-saxophone group that has built a repertoire of more than 100 pieces.

Susan Lewis looks at the way Phoenixville is reinventing itself through arts, culture, and entertainment. The former mill town is getting set to stage its 11th annual BlobFest - an event that kicks off with a reenactment of a scene from The Blob, the 1958 horror movie that made the Colonial Theater famous.

We pay a visit to the German Society of Pennsylvania. The American Virtuosi plays music by Bach, Chopin, and Tchaikovsky in the final concert in the society's concert season.

Susan Lewis considers Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, as Tempesta di Mare, the Philadelphia-based baroque orchestra, gets set to wrap up its season-long cycle of the works.

And as part of National Older Americans Month, we explore arts and aging.

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