Los Angeles Music Preview: HOLIDAY CANDLELIGHT (Pasadena Symphony)

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by Tony Frankel on November 29, 2017

in Music,Theater-Los Angeles


I always waited until too late to procure tickets to Pasadena Symphony’s enormously popular extravaganza, Holiday Candlelight. Consistently a sell-out in the past, they started to add an extra performance a few years ago, which allowed me to finally see what all the Ho-Ho-Ho-hoopla was about. The gorgeous concert actually exceeded expectations, proving to be one of the finest holiday concerts on record. On Dec. 16, you have two chances (at 4 & 7) to witness this gorgeous and intimate lollapalooza by candlelight in the architecturally exquisite and acoustically sonorous All Saint’s Church.

In this case, you get to hear two choruses for the price of one: The Donald Brinegar Singers and the remarkable Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (which will be offering its own event on December 3 at Disney Hall). Led by conductor Grant Cooper, the merry mix includes the LA Bronze Handbell Ensemble and Pasadena Symphony musicians, many of whom get a chance to shine with superb solos. The vocal soloist this year is Broadway’s Lisa Vroman (pictured below), one of the most luminous performers I know, and a highlight of my previous Candlelight visit.

Another draw of this concert, aside from the schmaltz-free eclectic offerings, is the continuous, immersive staging, which means there is no audience applause to interrupt the aural reverie. Expect traditional carols, masterpieces of modern choral composition, and inimitable arrangements. I promise that holiday favorites (such as “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells”) will be given fresh treatment. The programs contain just under 20 selections—from classical to swing, orchestral to a cappella. If you haven’t been in a while, the seating is now reserved, and tickets start at just $20, so act fast. Prepare to have your soul revived at this Gothic Revival-style church.

photos courtesy of Pasadena Symphony

Pasadena Symphony
Holiday Candlelight
Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 4:00 & 7:00
All Saints Church
132 N Euclid Ave. in Pasadena
for tickets, call 626.793.7172
or visit Pasadena Symphony

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