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Tri-Valley: Musical voices celebrate the season

Cantabella Children's Chorus presenting winter concert

Joyous teen singers of the Cantabella Children's Chorus. (Photo by Tom Cayton)

Holiday favorites and more are sure to delight audiences at the Cantabella Children's Chorus winter concert -- "Jubilate!" -- next weekend.

Jubilate (pronounced "you-bi-law-tay") is an expression of "shouting for joy" or "giving voice to happiness," and artistic director Eileen Chang has prepared a dynamic program full of contrasting celebratory seasonal songs. "Master in this Hall" will be accompanied by two trumpeters. And Vivaldi's famous "Gloria" will contrast with "A Charlie Brown Christmas" medley.

"The choirs of Cantabella will lift your holiday spirit through this joyous music," Chang said.

Two songs were chosen via a pick-a-song fundraiser held in the spring, including "The Seal Lullaby."

"This piece is so calming and serene," board member Michael Cooke explained. "The dynamics are quiet, then not so, and then the lullaby becomes quiet again."

The chorus will also sing "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," a 1953 hit.

The Cantabella Children's Chorus grew this year from approximately 200 to just over 250 voices, welcoming young singers from the Lafayette area due to the closing of Contra Costa Children's Chorus. Cantabella currently has rehearsal sites in Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon and Lafayette.

"It is pure joy to work with the young artists in Cantabella," Chang said. "Especially when I see the choristers learn to enjoy quality music and express that appreciation as they grow to love it."

"Jubilate!" will take place at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. next Saturday (Dec. 8) at Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Ave., Livermore. Tickets are $19 in advance, and $24 after this Sunday. Children under 18 are free when accompanied by an adult. Visit www.cantabella.org for ticket information.

Cantabella also will give performances at Stanford-ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton, Our Savior Lutheran Church in Lafayette and Church of the Valley in San Ramon, as well as sing at "The Nutcracker" in Livermore. Visit www.cantabella.org.

Editor's note: Denise Leddon is on the Cantabella board of directors.

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