Is your holiday spirit ready to soar this season? Or are you feeling a little overwhelmed by all there is to do to make the magic happen this year? Head to the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex to kick off the season in style with some new twists on classic musical favorites. Here’s what you’ll find:

by Ann Leach

A Night of Christmas with John Glosson

You may remember Glosson’s stunning performance on the TV shows “Duets,” and “American Idol.” And now you’ll hear him in person when he shares his heartfelt renditions of some of the season’s most popular songs. His style is soulful and Southern, and music has been a part of his life since childhood. 

“We try to make everybody happy at the show,” Glosson said. “I’ll invite them to sing along and just enjoy the night with me.” Glosson will bring a full band and possibly some backup singers and horn players. 

An entrepreneur at heart, Glosson and his wife own a boutique and café in their town of Douglas, Georgia. “We do a huge winter wonderland theme in the store that we get ready by Nov. 1,” he said. “It’s a lot of work and this is our busiest time of year. But I am looking forward to relaxing by sharing the music and my ministry with Joplin.”

Merry & Bright: Christmas Cheer with Ryan & Ryan

It will be a full circle moment for Barron Ryan when he returns to the Cornell Complex for the third time. “I was the featured performing artist at the grand opening weekend in 2022 and played a private event there in 2023,” he said. “And my son, Donald, has been to Joplin to visit friends who lived there.” The family lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This father-son piano duo will perform their own arrangement of holiday music for this performance. “We offer a classical, calypso and funky take on holiday music,” Barron Ryan said. “We hope our audience feels a sense of gratitude from our playing. We feel that we’ve been given a gift to create and share music and want listeners to receive our offering to them with the same thankfulness we have in sharing it.”

Donald Ryan added, “Music is one of the best ways to find gratitude in any circumstance. We feel that every time we play and hope the audience will feel them, too.”


A Night of Christmas

Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

Beshore Performance Hall

Tickets start at $25 (plus fees)

Call the box office at 417.501.5550 for reservations.


Merry & Bright, Saturday, Dec. 16

Pre-concert lecture at 6 p.m. • Performance begins at 7 p.m.

Beshore Performance Hall • Tickets start at $25 (plus fees)

Call the box office at 417.501.5550 for reservations.