During the 2020 holiday season, singers, groups, and organizations shifted in the face of the ongoing global health crisis and produced virtual or recorded holiday performances. This December, fueled by love for singing, the desire to share joy, and an emphasis on health and safety protocols, choruses adjusted to the times, and shared holiday glee with live audiences once again in innovative ways. Here we spotlight a few unique performances filled with the holiday spirit from this year’s season!
Fairfield County Chorale - A Celebration of Adolphus Hailstork Plus Holiday Favorites
In its first in-person performance since March 2020, the Fairfield County Chorale(FCC) marked its return to the stage with a celebration of the holiday season and the 80th birthday of leading composer Adolphus Hailstork, who was in attendance for the performance. By incorporating past, new, and unexpected pieces into its repertoire, FCC shared songs dedicated to strength and resilience.
Orange County Women's Chorus – What We Missed
The Orange County Women’s Chorus December program reflected on the happenings of almost two years with lesser-known compositions from Beethoven, and songs from Finland, Estonia, and the film Harriet. Focusing on holidays, social justice movements, Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and other subjects, the group’s letter to the future was filled with hope and a desire to share experiences with audiences again.
Conspirare - Conspirare Christmas
Conspirare dared to push the boundaries of the traditional holiday performance in 2021. Accompanied by special guests Isaac Cates and Ordained, the Kansas City-based gospel choir, the collaboration offered songs of hope, courage, and love in the Conspirare Christmas show this holiday season. You can watch the genre-bending performance here.
Los Angeles Master Chorale - Carols on the Plaza
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Master Chorale hosted a free outdoor singalong, after canceling its traditional indoor singalong of Handel’s Messiah in response to concerns over COVID-19. The event featured classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” and the Messiah’s “Hallelujah” Chorus. The Chorale brought sheet music to the venue; all that was asked from the attendees was their holiday spirit. Groups and organizations have learned to be nimble throughout the pandemic, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s decision is another reminder that COVID-19 is still a grave concern.
Santa Fe Desert Chorale – Nochebuena
This December, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale again pays tribute to New Mexico’s Hispanic heritage in its 2021 Winter Festival. The program pays particular attention to compositions from Spanish and Anglo traditions while also including new work. A video recording will be available beginning December 24.