Holiday Glory Galore


 A quick roundup of Christmas services


If you’re not already singing somewhere for Christmas this year, you won’t want to miss some of the best music of the season.  There’s something particularly warm and inspiring about traditional carols, a special concert or a seasonal piece such as Britten’s unique and evocative Ceremony of Carols.  Here are a few choice examples of spectacular holiday fare — all of these events have parking available, and are family-friendly!:
Organist James Vail leads a Candlelight Lessons & Carols service at 9pm in the Palisades, featuring choir and soloists, with two settings (old and new) of the beloved ‘O Magnum Mysterium”.

St. George’s in La Cañada offers a program of the very best arrangements of traditional carols at 9:30pm, featuring soloists Meghen Miles, soprano; Veronica Christenson, mezzo; Daniel Chaney, tenor; and Michael Freed, bass; with music director Connie Grisham conducting from the organ.

Britten’s Ceremony of Carols is the highlight of the Christmas Eve celebration at St. Alban’s in Westwood.  Join the parish choir and guest singers for this very wintry tradition, led by music director James Taulbee, starting at 10pm.

FUMC Pasadenas maestro Stephen Gothold preludes their seasonal Lessons & Carols and candlelighting service with a concert of music by organ and handbells at 10:30pm. The service continues with the Chancel Choir and brass ensemble for a service that will leave you with holly in your heart.

The holiday at St. Cyril’s will be celebrated on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with two performances of the Missa in C from Johann Ernst Eberlin.  The 18th-century composer was one of the best in his time, but is now more often known for his keyboard pieces.  You won’t want to miss the rare opportunity to hear this powerful and exemplary classical choral work.  Led by music director Bill Beck, soloists include soprano Susan Mills, mezzo Natalie Beck, tenor Daniel Plaster, and bass-bari Mark Kelley.

Finally, if you want to experience Midnight Mass at the Cathedral*, you now have a choice:  get the full experience by coming to downtown LA (early!) and basking in the energy of thousands of holiday worshipers, or watch the live stream on the Web, so you can try to catch Santa when he comes.  Either way, the music starts at 11:30pm, and you’ll hear carols with choir, organ, trumpet and flute, all led by director Frank Brownstead.

Whether you attend one of these, one of your own, or none at all, have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll see you in the new year!

 

* Lauri is a staff singer at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

NOTE:  This article has been flagged for reformatting. 
Please bear with us as we continue to migrate our old posts to the new blog!

 Originally published in the 12/23/11 issue of Next 7 – our vocal newsletter.

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