Sierra Master Chorale another reminder of our exceptional talent in the Sierra Foothills

Like Music in the Mountains, InConcert Sierra finished a highly successful year with an inspiring performance Sunday from its Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra.

The 70-voice auditioned choir performed under the Rotunda at the State Capitol in Sacramento the previous weekend — a high honor. “The reverberation was so great in the Rotunda, I had the chorus stretch chords to hear the notes ringing, taking advantage of the acoustic,” said Conductor Ken Hardin.

Sunday’s performance was a reminder of the booming arts & culture scene in our Sierra Foothills, helping to fuel an economic rebound, as we have written in our current issue.

The Sierra Master Chorale performed at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grass Valley, which has very good acoustics. We appreciate that Conductor Hardin always comes up with a creative program, and Sunday was no exception.

The program featured the Poulenc Gloria with Soprano Soloist Lyra Dominguez and a joyful array of holiday favorites — some with a clever twist.

We sang “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” Silver Bells” and “Silent Night” with our son and listened to the chorus sing traditional favorites including a stirring version of “O Holy Night.”

Lyra Dominguez was stunning in her solo performance. We also had enjoyed her as Lotus Blossom in CATS’ production of Teahouse of the August Moon (winner of multiple Elly awards). The choir also was excellent.

I thoroughly enjoyed the musicological journey of the Twelve Days of Christmas, composed by Craig Courtney. Examples included Twelve Drummers Drumming from 19th Century America; Nine Ladies Dancing from 19th Century Austria; and Two Turtle Doves from 15th Century France.

The rest of the audience enjoyed it too, clapping loudly.

Here’s a version:

On December 26, KVMR 89.5FM and KNCO 830AM will air today’s performance again. You will also hear the holiday choral performances of Music in the Mountains, Nevada Union High School and Bear River High School.

Our local holiday entertainment included this program, Music in the Mountains’ Holiday Pops Concert and the Blind Boys of Alabama, sponsored by The Center for the Arts.

We’re big arts & culture fans. In fact, our happy little family is traveling to Paris, France, for Christmas — a very special occasion to celebrate my wife’s milestone birthday. We are going to Notre Dame on Christmas eve and to a Christmas concert at Saint-Germain-des-Pres.

But the music in our own backyard has proven as inspiring as any for the holidays.

All the best to you and your family this season!

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