Viva la Musica!’s eclectic assembly of volunteer singers flawlessly fuses the choral-orchestral genre with folk songs, gospel, and multicultural numbers. This December, the troupe celebrates its 11th annual holiday concert, reaching deep into its repertoire to dazzle listeners with an aural collage more inspirational than a self-help book penned by a state bird. Director Shulamit Hoffmann leads the spirited squad of singers who, backed by a brass ensemble, traverse musical history, covering hymns from 16th-century Venetian antiphonies all the way up to modern-day genres such as contemporary American jazz. At 3:30 p.m. before the concert starts, Hoffmann will discuss details and historic information on the show's works and musical notes at no additional charge. Adding to the festive airs and flocks of gift-wrapped quarter notes, the performance will also include a rendition of John Rutter’s fiery anthem, Gloria. St. Peter's has free parking.
Peninsula Symphony, founded in 1949 with the goal of enriching communities with affordable musical productions, grew from a grassroots ensemble to a 90-plus-member orchestra of well-trained local musicians. Music Director Mitchell Sardou Klein leads the ensemble with a steady baton, a sharp ear, and the stamina to carry on through the inevitable triple encore.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Kenneth Donald Rogers—an American country-music star, photographer, producer, actor, and fellow with a nice beard—has won three Grammys and more than a dozen American Music Awards for his sweet, stirring crooning. Though he won't be toting his dozens of awards, Mr. Rogers will be bringing an impressive showcase of selections from his extensive collection of country hits. To prep the crowd for the main event, The Herndon Brothers—a local act lead by Ray Herndon, a country star known for livin' the dream—will layer the crowd in hometown vibes from their wide library of inspiring and honest tracks.
The original members of the Lafayette String Quartet, who are artists-in-residence at the University of Victoria, B.C., continue their 25th year of euphonious musicianship with a majestic performance at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Throughout the evening, the all-female foursome will traverse the fiery notes of Beethoven, Mozart, and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" before igniting the auditorium with a spirited rendition of Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade. The Fremont Symphony Orchestra—which boasts 48 seasons' worth of classical-music performances—presents the evening inside the 405-seat G. Craig Jackson Theatre, where a specially engineered setup allows acoustics to sprout and unfurl as fully-grown audible bouquets.