When the Valley Concert Chorale was founded 43 years ago as part of an adult education class in Livermore, their first performance was Handel's Messiah. This year, their 53 members - four of whom were there at the beginning - come full circle with a Sing-It-Yourself Messiah, a special performance that they hope will become a new Tri-Valley holiday tradition.
"The San Francisco Symphony used to host one every year, but they're not doing it anymore, and the City of San Ramon used to do one but they stopped," explains Heidi Massie, Valley Concert Chorale spokesperson. "We decided to take it upon ourselves to start a new tradition and see how it flies, because there's nothing here in the Valley like it. We want to make it something that people will count on doing every year and will make it part of their holiday tradition."
The Friday, December 15 event is a great opportunity for area singers to come out of their showers and sing in public for a change. Shy vocalists will be pleased to know that they'll have plenty of company in the crowd.
"We will be there in the audience singing along with anybody else who wants to sing it," says Massie. "It's also open for anybody who just wants to listen - they don't have to sing. Lots of people used to go to Davies Symphony Hall just to hear so many people come together to sing. It's the most well known choral masterwork there is."
The VCC has two concerts coming up prior to that show, however. On December 9 and 10, their annual holiday concert will feature performances of John Rutter's Gloria and Donald McCullough's Christmas Triptych, as well as a selection of Christmas carols. The choir, led by artistic director John Emory Bush and featured pianist Daniel Glover, will be joined by a brass ensemble for this seasonal showcase.
"John Rutter is one of the leading contemporary choral directors and composers and Gloria is a well-known piece. The brass gives it a lot of excitement and provides that holiday feel as well. Christmas Triptych is a new piece that has only been performed once or twice."
The VCC's holiday concert will be performed on December 9 at 8:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pleasanton and on December 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Livermore. The Sing-It-Yourself Messiah will be at 7:30 PM on Friday December 15th at the First Presbyterian Church in Livermore. Additional information and ticket prices are available at www.valleyconcertchorale.org . For those who wish to take the sing-it-yourself experience one step further, the web site also has information on auditions.
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