Fall Events at Vanderbilt Museum
By Patrick Keeffe
The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has a calendar of fall events that includes music and ballet in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium; the annual holiday dinner in the Vanderbilt Mansion — and tours of the grand, 24-room house — decorated by local designers and garden clubs; the annual tree lighting and carols with the Northport Chorale; the premiere of a new seasonal Planetarium show; and a live performance of songs from a famous musical.
Lumiѐre Ballet performance of The Nutcracker
Saturday, October 12
From Stage to Screen Presents
Songs from Godspell
Twenty teenage and young adult singers will perform songs from the musical Godspell on Saturday, October 12, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the Great Lawn next to the Vanderbilt Mansion. The event is produced and directed by Gene Forman of From Stage to Screen, a performing-arts academy in Huntington.
Based on the Gospel of Matthew and including the thoughts of philosophers throughout the ages, Godspell has been an Off-Broadway, Broadway and international hit since its premiere in 1971. The event is free to all Vanderbilt visitors who pay the general-admission fee: $7 for adults, $6 for students with ID and seniors (62 and older), and $3 for children 12 and under. If it rains, the event will move to the Vanderbilt celebration tent.
Sunday, October 20
Monmouth Winds Quintet: Winds, Waves and Skies
The Long Island Composers Alliance will present Winds, Waves and Skies, a concert by the Monmouth Winds Quintet, at 6:30 p.m. in the William and Mollie Rogers Theater at the Vanderbilt’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.
Featured will be delightful, wide-ranging styles of original music created by members of the Long Island Composers Alliance, accompanied by intriguing video imagery projected onto the Planetarium’s 60-foot dome. The program will include Dana Richardson’s Ecstasy of the Stars, a virtuosic solo flute work that evokes the wonder and mystery of the heavens, with NASA images captured by the Hubble Telescope. Also featured will be Marga Richter’s Reflections, written after she experienced “the vast quietness” of the Grand Canyon and of Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks. Richter’s photographs of those immense places and their vistas will be projected onto the dome.
Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (62 plus) and students with ID, $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling the Vanderbilt at 631-854-5579.
Sunday, November 10
Lumiѐre Ballet: The Nutcracker
Lumiѐre Ballet will present scenes from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at 6:00 p.m. in the William and Mollie Rogers Theater at the Vanderbilt’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. The program will feature excerpts performed by live dancers and graceful video imagery of dancers on the Planetarium dome. Tickets ($15 per person) may be purchased at the door or by calling the Vanderbilt at 631-854-5579.
Saturday, November 23
Premiere – The Longest Night: A Winter’s Tale
This new, seasonal Planetarium show will premiere on November 23 at 8:00 p.m. The production, by the University of North Carolina’s Morehead Planetarium and Space Center, represents a new advance in full-dome planetarium video storytelling that combines puppetry with 3-D animation.
A timeless fable of courage, generosity and renewal, the story also explores the concept that winter is a time for Earth to rest, waiting for new growth in the spring. The heroine, a young girl from a family of nomadic storytellers, embarks on a simple quest that leads her to a dragon’s nest. What will she discover there, and how will it help her save her village?
Friday, November 29
Holiday Tours of the Decorated Vanderbilt Mansion
Each year, garden clubs and individual designers deck the historic halls of the Vanderbilt Mansion festively for the holidays by local decorators and garden clubs. The spectacular results charm hundreds of visitors between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. In addition, the Vanderbilt offers its popular twilight tours of the decorated mansion Thursday-Saturday, December 26-28, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Admission at the door: $10 for adults, $9 for students and seniors (62 and older), and $5 for children 12 and under. Hot chocolate and cookies are included.
Saturday, November 30
Annual Tree Lighting – Vanderbilt Mansion Courtyard,
This event, free and open to the public, is held at 4:00 p.m. Included: the singing of carols, led by the Northport Chorale, and cookies and hot chocolate.
Saturday, December 7
Holiday Dinner – Vanderbilt Mansion
This very popular tradition held in the elegant Vanderbilt Mansion, decorated festively for the holidays, offers seatings at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person; members receive a 10% discount. This event sells out quickly, so early reservations are strongly recommended. Purchase tickets at vanderbiltmuseum.org or call 631-854-5579. Reservation deadline: November 29.
Sunday, December 8
Itkus Percussion – Celebrating the Winter Solstice
This high-spirited concert, Celebrating the Winter Solstice, begins at 6:30 p.m. Members of the Iktus Percussion group will join with other musicians to perform original compositions by members of the Long Island Composers Alliance. The performance will be accompanied by intriguing imagery projected onto the 60-foot Planetarium dome. Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (62 plus) and students with ID, $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling the Vanderbilt at 631-854-5579.
Museum & Planetarium Information
Fall Hours – Museum and Mansion
September 9 through November 4: The museum is open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Fall Hours – Planetarium
September 9 through November 4: Daytime shows Tuesday and Friday at 2:00. Daytime shows on Saturday and Sunday at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00. Evening shows Friday and Saturday, 8:00 and 9:00. The planetarium is closed Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Night-sky viewing on Friday (weather permitting), 9:00-10:00 p.m. Observation is free to visitors with a planetarium show ticket, $3.00 for those without a show ticket.
For details on the fall planetarium show schedule, visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org
General museum admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students with ID and seniors (62 and older), and $3 for children 12 and under. General admission includes estate-grounds access to the Marine Museum, Memorial Wing natural-history and ethnographic-artifact galleries, Nursery Wing, Habitat Room, Egyptian mummy and Stoll Wing animal-habitat dioramas. For a mansion tour, add $5 per ticket. (A video tour of the mansion is available on request.)
During the day, visitors to the Planetarium pay general museum admission ($7 for adults, $6 for students with IDs and seniors 62 and older, and $3 for children 12 and under), plus $5 each for a Planetarium show. Since the museum is closed in the evening, no general museum admission is charged — visitors pay only for Planetarium show tickets: $9 for adults, $8 for students with IDs and seniors 62 and older, and $7 for children 12 and under.
Location and Website
The Vanderbilt Museum is located at 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, NY. Directions and updated details on programs and events are available at www.vanderbiltmuseum.org. For information, call 631-854-5579.