ART BEAT: GSO and Stone Mountain Chorus celebrate Valentine's Day; Onionman announces festival plays

Our Gwinnett arts community always hums with activity around Valentine's Day, and this year is no exception. Both the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra and the Stone Mountain Chorus have ideas for Valentine's Day treats that will satisfy even the most discerning artistic "sweet tooth."

The GSO will present "Masterworks II: A Romantic Valentine's Date Night" on Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. This concert will feature the lush orchestration of two composers known for their romanticism: Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

Two Tchaikovsky pieces will be featured. First will be his "Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48." In addition, the orchestra will perform the dramatic and atmospheric "Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20."

To finish, the orchestra and chorus will present Beethoven's beloved "Symphony No. 9 in D Minor: Choral, Op. 125, Mov. 4." Conducted by Robert Trocina and Gregory Pritchard, this stirring evening of beautiful music will start concertgoers' week off in the right romantic direction.

Tickets are $10 to $35 and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 404-249-6400, visiting any Ticketmaster location or visiting the Gwinnett Center Box Office.

For those looking to find the most unique Valentine's Day gift in town, look no further than the Stone Mountain Chorus and its singing Valentines. This special offering from a celebrated barbershop style chorus has curled the toes of many recipients over past years, urging one to "Say I Love You in Song!"

The recipient of a singing valentine will receive a personalized card and a serenade of two love songs provided by a quartet of SMC singers. Packages start at $50, and the singing valentine can be delivered to a home or office.

For more information and to order, visit the SMC website at www.stonemountainchorus.org. They also have a new CD available for purchase titled "From the Top."

Other arts news features Onionman Productions' announcement of their play selections for "Summer Harvest 2012," which will occur June 14 to 24. The festival is a collection of 10-minute plays by local playwrights and will be held at Lionheart Theatre, 10 College St. in Norcross.

Plays selected are: "Birds of a Feather" by Steve Pryor, "Confessions at the End of the World" by Jessica Alexander, "Cruel History" by James Beck, "Eight, Nine, Ten, Shoot!" by Michael Jared Tarver, "Man Baby" by Haley Rice, "Runaway" by Paige Steadman, "Waiting for Leonard" by Raymond Fast and "Wake Up Call" by Greg Fitzgerald.

For more information about Onionman Productions and the "Summer Harvest 2012," visit www.onionmanproductions.com or call Managing Director James Beck at 404-519-7591.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.