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December 12, 2004

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C O N C E R T   R E V I E W  -  Evergreen  -  West Coast Singers

 
        

LOS ANGELES, CA - West Coast Singer's seasonal offering "Evergreen: Hope and Renewal for the Holidays" was a festive reminder of the indulgences that make this time of year so 
popular. 
   
With but a few exceptions, the evening's repertoire 
steered clear of traditional holiday music and instead 
presented several new works and lesser known pieces. 
In his sophomore turn as West Coast Singer's Artistic 
Director, Karlan Judd continues to challenge this group with dynamic results.
   

Starting off the evening was the darkly festive "Masters In This Hall" which immediately set the bar and tone for a promising concert. Composer David Frank Long was introduced out of the audience before the men performed his arrangement of "A New December." 
   
In showbiz there is an old adage warning against performing opposite scene stealing children or animals. Well, perhaps snow should be added to that list. Snow lightly falling directly behind the chorus during "The Snow Begins To Fall" was a wonderful effect and even some of the singers later commented that they had to fight the urge to turn around and watch the snow themselves.

Written specifically for the West Coast Singers, "What A Gay Ol' Christmas Tree" was a fun look at guilty pleasures. Narrator, Mark Packer, led the song with the youthful and polished savvy of Mickey Rooney. Performed in the second half of this concert was a haunting piece which simply enchanted. "Sacred Places", an three part women's arrangement, was executed with such exquisite power that it truly held the audience in its spell.

An easy favorite was "Parking Spaces" or the trials and rewards of hunting down a parking spot during the holiday season. Assistant Director and Accompanist, Patty Breitag, put together an excellent quartet to accompany the Singers during the show. Their solid performance only added to what was already an excellent evening. - Ruston Harker


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