It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and Sacramento International Airport is trying to make it a little merrier for travelers. Partnering with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the airport has brought a diverse ensemble of 14 talented musicians and musical groups to perform. This service entertains weary travelers as well as customers coming to pick up friends and family members.
In November and Dec., more than a million people will pass through Sacramento International Airport. While the summer months are busier, the weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas are concentrated with holiday travelers, many of whom do not fly regularly. But it’s also a celebratory time, perfect for lively local performers ranging from a hand bell choir to a cellist with the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra to a band playing traditional Irish music with a rock ‘n’ roll edge.
The holiday entertainment series is administered by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the city-county commission responsible for the Art in Public Places program. This is the same organization responsible for coordinating the public art installations in Terminal A and Terminal B, home to the “Leap” the red rabbit installation.
“The purpose of the Holiday Performing Arts Program is to bring high quality, diverse performances that are representative of the region to the Airport for the enjoyment of holiday travelers,” said Anja Aulenbacher, Cultural Programs Coordinator for SMAC. “The series adds holiday cheer to the lives of travelers while building Sacramento’s cultural identity.”
The program applicants can only be local artists and each year a panel of music experts spends hours listening to samples and watching videos of performances. The panel then makes their recommendations to the Art Commission and the schedule is created. The airport has had some type of holiday music program in place since 2001.
“Holiday travel can be stressful, but it also brings together families and friends who haven’t seen each other,” said Laurie Slothower, Communication & Media Officer for the Sacramento County Dept. of Airports. “We want to make a trip to the airport as enjoyable as possible and give our customers happy memories to take home.”
Musicians are performing in the public baggage claim areas of Terminal A and B, so if you are planning on visiting, check to see if you might be at our airport to catch a performance.