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Hallelujah Homage – Dec 2016

CONCERT REVIEW by Richard Mineards/Montecito Miscellany

Veteran music director JoAnne Wasserman was clearly in her element when the Santa Barbara Choral Society staged its fourth annual Hallelujah Project at the Lobero in memory of former board president Dr. Dan Secord, who delivered more than 6,000 new residents in a 35-year medical career. The concert, which of course included Handel’s uplifting Hallelujah Chorus conducted by former politico Brooks Firestone, was a glorious Yuletide miscellany of seasonal cheer featuring the Goleta Valley Junior High Choir and the American Riviera Children’s Chorus, with hp4-2016-shirley-jones-headshot-hp4-2016Oscar-winning Partridge Family actress Shirley Jones, narrating “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” with four of her Cassidy grandchildren, Caleb, Rowan, Lila, and Mairen.

The two-hour show kicked off with local Stephen Dombek’s Fanfare de Noel with the audience joining in the rousing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, before wrapping with “The Twelve Gifts of Christmas” – with soloists Naomi Merer, Sally Rose Bates, James Kirkland, Eric Rodkey, and Tyler Reece – and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”.

Oh, what a beautiful evening.