Sunday, 14 July 2024

CLPA holds annual Christmas program Dec. 16

KELSEYVILLE – For the past 29 years a highlight of the holiday season has been the annual Christmas Celebration presented by Clear Lake Performing Arts and featuring the Lake County Symphony.


This year's program will take place on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 pm. in the Student Center at Kelseyville High School.


Orchestra director John Parkinson has assembled a stellar cast of artists to help salute the season with music ranging from Christmas traditional to pop to jazz. Much of the program consists of Parkinson's own musical arrangements.


Guest vocalist Paula Samonte, who was forced to cancel last year's appearance due to illness, will return for this year's concert.


In prior appearances Samonte has developed a Lake County fan base that loves her jazz-based pop renditions of such seasonal favorites as “White Christmas,” “Let it Snow,” “Christmas Time is Here” and many others.


Samonte is a singer and actress who has toured the US, recorded with Sarah Vaughn and played leading roles in Broadway musical productions. Her CDs include “Paula! Live at the Playhouse” and “From Rags to Riches” She currently lives in Mendocino County and teaches singing.


Another invited guest artist will be harpist Jessica Schaeffer playing her parts with the backing of the full orchestra.


Other audience favorites will be the Potter Valley sister-brother duo of Laura and Darin Smith. The two teenagers were a huge hit at last year's Christmas celebration, and have been invited back by popular request.


Laura is an accomplished classical violinist, but also is equally comfortable playing old-time and Celtic-style fiddle music. Fourteen-year-old Darin started playing violin at age 6 and a year later turned to the cello, where he excelled in playing “fiddle style.” He also is expert on the tenor guitar.


The Smiths recently released a new CD entitled “West Road” which is where their Potter Valley home is located. It will be available for purchase at the concert.


Samonte also will join the orchestra in “Stille Nacht,” the version of “Silent Night” as originally released by the popular recording group “Mannheim Steamroller” as well as excerpts from the “Nutcracker Suite,” and in an audience sing-along of Christmas Carols, ending with Handel's perennial favorite the “Hallelujah Chorus.”


Admission to the concert is $15, with $10 for CLPA members, and young people under 18 free.


For more information contact Conn Murray, 277-7076.


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