Songs echoing the joyous sounds of the season were showcased by the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale and Orchestra’s annual Holiday Concert for the Family. The Los Angeles Pierce College Philharmonic Choir presented the musical event at St. Mel Catholic Church, which gave the sacred music a spiritual setting.
The enthusiastic performance by the choir was only exceeded by their talent for strong harmonies. That was a tremendous asset for the stirring selections which included “Shepherd’s Chorus,” and the traditional crowd-pleasers “Fum, Fum, Fum” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.” But it was the soloists during “Laud to the Nativity” who created the goosebump moments in the program. Bravo to soprano Grace Baliut as the Angel, tenor Daniel Plaster as Shepherd, and mezzo soprano Lindsay Patterson as Mary for bringing the first Christmas to life in a musical crescendo.
At the helm was conductor Terry Danne who obviously has a knack for bringing out the best in everyone as the founder and artistic director of the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale and the Premiere Chorale. Dr. Donald Caldwell was the assistant conductor and Dr. Frank Garvey served as accompanist. Also noteworthy was soprano Tanya Edwards who enhanced the program with her magnificent “O Holy Night” solo.
An intermission had the choir leading the audience into the cozy auditorium next to the church, where they continued to sing more lighthearted songs including “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Even Santa was seen singing along.