Holiday performances open the winter season

As the holidays approach, the greater Olympia area presents many seasonal performances.

The college’s new orchestra, led by Chip Schooler, just started rehearsing in September. Schooler explained that SPSCC “has never had a group like this. . . It’s a pretty cool thing to see this group of 70 musicians on stage playing where there was no group before.”

The orchestra concerts featured songs performed by SPSCC’s orchestra, 2 small jazz bands from SPSCC, and the Lakewood Community Jazz Band. The groups, consisting of students and members of the community, will be playing some standard holiday music that audiences have come to expect, as well as some interesting and new pieces.
Some pieces includes: Mozart’s “Magic Flute”, “Sleigh Ride” and pieces from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. They performed on Dec. 5.

The SPSCC choir had its annual holiday performances. The choir is comprised of members of the community and students, and is celebrating its 16th year.
The concert consisted of four groups performing together: SPSCC’s daytime choir, a class for credit; SPSCC’s evening choir, for community members; St. Martin’s University Chorale, directed by Darrell Born; and the Department of Washington American Legion Band, conducted by Kevin Robertson. Entitled “Sounds of the Season,” the show offered a variety of music selections that will please all audiences, according to Molly McNamara, director of the choirs at SPSCC.

Pieces included classics from Broadway and Irving Berlin, fun holiday favorites, holiday songs from around the world, and even a sing-a-long.
The greater Olympia area is also an exciting time for holiday performances. Ballet Northwest will be performing their annual The Nutcracker performed by 200 students and adults from around the area. Josie Johnson, co-artistic director for Ballet Northwest stated: “Audiences delight in our traditional Nutcracker performance in the beautiful Washington Center.”

In their 30th year of performing, students age eight and up dazzle audiences with the beloved holiday classic. Performances will be held at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 19 and 20 at 7:30, and Dec. 20 and 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 to $36 and are available at olytix.org. Studio West Dance Theatre, established in 2011, also performed the ballet at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts.

The theater scene in Olympia is also joining in this season. Harlequin Productions, in the heart of downtown Olympia, is performing it’s “Traditional Holiday Musical for the Whole Family,” as described in a press release. The show promises to include the “magic” and “joy” of the holidays with “good ‘ol rock’n’roll of the late 1950’s.”
Performances will be at The Historic State Theater, from now until Dec. 31, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m., with a special 7 p.m. performance on Christmas Eve. Tickets can be purchased at harlequinproductions.org and are $25 for Students, $35 for seniors and military, and $39 for general admission.

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