Thursday, 18 July 2024

CLPA's Symphony Christmas Concert is Dec. 21

Accomplished musicians Laura and Darin Smith have both won wide acclaim for their skills, including awards at Weaverville's "Open Fiddle" contest, the Nevada Championships and numerous other local and regional contests. They will appear in this year's annual CLPA Christmas Concert with Laura on violin and Darin on cello, playing a medley of holiday songs they arranged themselves. Along with performing the Potter Valley pair are music teachers. Photo courtesy of Andi Skelton.



LAKEPORT – The annual Christmas concert of the Lake County Symphony, under the sponsorship of Clear Lake Performing Arts (CLPA), will take place this year on Sunday, Dec. 21 at the Marge Alakszay Center at 3 p.m.

The center is located at the Lakeport Unified School District headquarters on the campus of Clear Lake High School on Lange Street in Lakeport.

Featured along with the orchestra, will be the always popular brother and sister act of Laura and Darin Smith, Lake County vocalist Tamah McQueen and the CLPA Youth Orchestra, directed by Wes Follett.

Over the years the Christmas concert has proven to be one of Lake County's most popular musical events, and the 2008 version promises to maintain that tradition.

Music Director John Parkinson has created a program of largely popular-music Christmas favorites, many of which he adapted personally for guest vocal artist McQueen. McQueen, who was born and raised in Lake County and attended schools in Kelseyville, has worked extensively with Parkinson during her music career.

She will sing a number of holiday classics including Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time is Here" Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song," Irving Berlin's "White Christmas and Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn's "Let it Snow."




Kelseyville vocal artist Tamah McQueen will join the Lake County Symphony in presenting a series of popular holiday favorites at the CLPA Christmas Concert on Dec. 21. She not only lives in Kelseyville but is a product of that community's school system, having been influenced by such local music notables as Lyle Stockwell, Nick Biondo and Tom Aiken. Photo courtesy of Andi Skelton.



The concert will open with the full orchestra performing Handel's traditional tribute to the faithful, the Overture from the "Messiah" and will conclude with the last of a three-number sing-along – the "Hallelujah Chorus" from the same piece.

Other sing-along numbers include a medley of "Joy to the World, Oh Come all ye Faithful, The First Noel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and We Wish you a Merry Christmas" as well as Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." The audience is encouraged to sing along with the performers.

An overwhelming audience favorite is the "Nutcracker Suite" by Tchaikovsky, and this year the Symphony aims to please, with all seven hallmark pieces from the Suite, opening with the "March of the Nutcracker" and ending with the magical "Waltz of the Flowers." Following this Director Parkinson has chosen a mix of popular and religious songs to wrap up the Symphony's first half

As always members of the Clear Lake Performing Arts Auxiliary will provide holiday cookies and juice during intermission, after which the Smith siblings will perform a special Christmas Medley which they have arranged themselves Laura is an accomplished, award-winning violinist and fiddler and a skilled music teacher.

Her 15-year-old brother Darin plays a variety of string instruments but has selected the cello as his instrument of choice for this concert. In prior appearances in CLPA concerts the Smith youngsters have proven to be true crowd-pleasers.

Admission to the concert is $15 for CLPA members and $20 for the general public. Youths under 18 are admitted free.


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