Sierra Master Chorale holiday concerts on tap |

Sierra Master Chorale holiday concerts on tap

Submitted photo by Fred Hall

Are you dreaming of “A White Christmas” with “Silver Bells” and “Angels Singing Glory?” This weekend, celebrate the season with jubilant holiday songs and the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra with conductor Ken Hardin.

This season’s program features the Poulenc “Gloria,” noted as one of Francis Poulenc’s most celebrated works, using the setting of the traditional Gloria in Excelsis Deo text. Joining the SMC is soprano soloist Lyra Dominguez, locally recognized for her work with Sierra Stages and Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS). Most recently, she won an Elly Award in 2012 for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.

Before moving to California, Lyra earned her diploma in voice from the University of the Philippines.

“This is a departure from what audiences have experienced with Lyra in local musical theater,” said Ken Hardin. “And I know everyone will be thrilled by her performance. She has a beautiful and powerful classically trained voice and floats the high notes exquisitely. She’s also a doll to work with and the choir has enjoyed having her at rehearsals with us.”

“The holiday program is sprinkled with cherished gems and also some not-so-familiar seasonal gems,” Hardin said. “‘The Musicological Journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas’ is one that everyone gets a chuckle from as it takes you through the centuries in various styles, starting with Gregorian chant, referencing Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Wagner and others, and ending with a Sousa march. It’s very fun. We’ll have an orchestral version of ‘Carol of the Bells’ that puts me in the holiday spirit every time, and it will showcase our 35-piece orchestra that is made up of exceptional local and regional musicians. The program will include audience sing-alongs of known treasures and then, my favorite, the most beautiful arrangement of ‘O’ Holy Night’ with orchestra and choir that I have ever heard. We’ve built new stage extensions just to be sure we could add more players and, consequently, more spice to the programming.”

This will mark the first concert of Sierra Master Chorale’s fifth season. In September, the SMC performed a special encore performance of “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” by Karl Jenkins to a sold-out audience and to rave reviews. Concertmaster for the Sierra Master Chorale Orchestra is violinist Richard Altenbach.

The Sunday matinee performance is sold out; however, tickets for 7:30 p.m. Saturday are still available. Tickets are $26 for general admission, $13 for youth under 17 and are avialable for purchase at BriarPatch Co-op, the Nevada City Box Office or online at The concerts are sponsored by Quail Ridge Senior Living, Dr. Jay and Leo Stovall and John and Valarie Bush.

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