Port Angeles Symphony Chorus members Janis Burger, left, and Bonnie Christianson, seen here last December, are preparing for the symphony’s Holiday Concert at Port Angeles High School on Saturday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles Symphony Chorus members Janis Burger, left, and Bonnie Christianson, seen here last December, are preparing for the symphony’s Holiday Concert at Port Angeles High School on Saturday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Symphony serves holiday fare on Saturday

PORT ANGELES — The “Snow Maiden Suite,” “The Adoration of the Magi,” an Overture on Hebrew Themes and a “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” — these are all part of the 100-member Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra and Chorus’ December get-together, aka the annual Holiday Concert on Saturday.

Make that 101 members, because baritone David Meyer of the Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia is on his way here.

Meyer — a professor of voice at the conservatory and a singer who has performed across this country and in The Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Switzerland — will sing Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” with the ensemble Saturday at the Port Angeles High School Performing Arts Center, 304 E. Park Ave.

As is traditional, conductor Jonathan Pasternack will give a short pre-concert chat onstage at 6:40 p.m., and the concert will start at 7:30 p.m.

Holiday Concert tickets range from $12 for students and seniors to $15 for general admission and $20 to $30 for premium seats.

They’re available at Port Book and News at 104 E. First St. in Port Angeles, The Joyful Noise Music Center at 108 W. Washington St. in Sequim, and the Symphony office at 360-457-5579.

Remaining tickets are sold at the door, and as with all Port Angeles Symphony concerts, youngsters 16 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

“I love this music,” Meyer said of the “Fantasia.”

“Vaughan Williams beautifully captures the mystery of this time of year … [and] when so many people — chorus, orchestra, soloist, conductor — come together to share such a wonderful piece of music, it’s absolutely magical.”

Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rimsky-Korsakov and Strauss also will come to life on the instruments and voices of the ensemble. The chorus, now in its second season, is larger than last year, with seven men and 21 women.

“I love working with them,” said director Joy Lingerfelt, adding that these singers pour their hearts into the music.

Pasternack noted that the chorus will join the orchestra on two “serious” works — the “Fantasia” and Berlioz’s “Shepherd’s Farewell” — and then offer a lighthearted holiday medley.

“They will also lead us in the singalong, which is fun for everyone,” he said. “We’ll provide the words to the carols for audience members to enjoy raising their voices with us.”

The baritone soloist for this concert, Pasternack said, will be a knockout.

“David has a beautiful voice,” he said, “and a warm, generous nature” that transforms the music.

Meyer and Pasternack have worked together before: the baritone sang the role of Scarpia in Puccini’s “Tosca,” which Pasternack conducted at the Bellevue Opera.

“In putting together the holiday program, I look for festive and colorful music that will appeal to as many people as possible,” said Pasternack. “There’s always a generous helping of classic orchestral music as well.”

Music lovers have an additional chance to hear the orchestra, chorus and soloist do this program.

The final rehearsal is open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday, also at the high school performing arts center. Admission to the working rehearsal is $5 per person or $10 per family.

For more about the Port Angeles Symphony, which has seven concerts yet to come in its 2017-18 season, see www.PortAngeles Symphony.org.

For a season brochure, call the office at 360-457-5579 or email PA [email protected]


Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer.

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