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Holiday Treat Concert is dessert for the ears

by Sally J. Taylor
Community/Features Editor
Gerald Franzen/photo providedDavid Bugli conducts the Carson City Symphony in a recent concert. The Symphony will be joined by the Carson Chamber Singers and Sierra Nevada Children's Choir for the annual Holiday Treat Concert Sunday.
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The Carson City Symphony will serve its 25th annual Holiday Treat Concert on Sunday along with the Carson Chamber Singers, returning for their 24th year. The veteran musicians will be joined this year by the Sierra Nevada Children’s Choir and the Carson High School Brass Ensemble.

The concert begins at 4 p.m. in the Bob Boldrick Theater in the Carson City Community Center. The Brass Ensemble will present a preconcert performance in the lobby beginning at 3 p.m. “to get people in a festive mood,” said Elinor Bugli, violinist and president of the Symphony Association.

“(The Holiday Treat Concert) just gets better and better,” Bugli said. “There is lots and lots of music on the program.”

The program is as varied as the voices and includes classical, popular and ethnic arrangements plus handbell players and singalongs.

This is the first Holiday Treat Concert appearance for the Sierra Nevada Children’s Choir, made up of children from schools in Reno ” including public, private and home-schooled students. The 39-member choir, which was formed three years ago, has two groups: Dolce (Italian for “sweet”) for grades 2-5, and Bel Canto (meaning “beautiful singing) for grades 6-8.

For the Holiday Treat Concert, the Children’s Choir will sing together “Gaudeamus Hodie” (Let us rejoice today) but Natalie Sleeth. Accompanied by the symphony, they will sing “Shepherds Pipe Carol” by John Rutter. The Bel Canto choir will sing Hebrew songs and the spiritual, “Children, Go Where I Send Thee.” The younger group, Dolce, will sing Slavik charols and “One Starry Night” by Jon Lief.

Conducting the young singers “is a total joy,” said Judy Monson, co-director of the children’s choir and director of the Carson Chamber Singers. “They keep me on my toes, keep me busy. We’re hoping it grows into something big like the Sacramento Children’s chorus or San Francisco Children’s Choir, and we can add other choirs.”

The adult performers will present a similarly varied program ranging from the symphony playing “Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth, to Russian Christmas music.

The Carson Chamber Singers, an affiliate of the Carson City Symphony, formed in 1985 and premiered at that year’s Holiday Treat Concert. The Chamber Singers’ 2008 repertoire features traditional Kenyan Christmas songs and other holiday pieces.

General admission tickets are $15 and $12 for seniors, students and Symphony Association members. The concert is free for children aged 16 and under to make it more accessible to families. Tickets are available in advance at Play Your Own Music in the Carson Mall, online at ActivityTickets.com or at the door. For information, visit http://www.CCSymphony.com or call 883-4154.

“We encourage people to bring children,” Bugli said.