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Lake Tahoe choral performances to feature selections from around the globe

Adam Jensen
ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com

If you go

What: Christmas Around the World — A Multicultural Journey

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Where: Lake Tahoe Community College (Friday) and St. Theresa Catholic Church (Sunday)

Tickets: $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, children under 5 free

Info: 530-541-2635 or 530-541-4660

A pair of choral performances at the South Shore this week have presented plenty of linguistic challenges to singers.

There’s the nuanced pronunciation of Spanish, the unusual rules of German and the complexities of Russian’s Cyrillic script. Over the past couple months, singers have soaked up all of the languages in preparation for Christmas Around the World — A Multicultural Journey. The choral performances take place Friday, Dec. 4, at Lake Tahoe Community College and Sunday, Dec. 6, at St. Theresa Catholic Church.

In addition to selections in Spanish, German and Russian, the performances also include songs in English and Polish.

“All together they created this nice piece of multi-cultural flavors,” said Ania Helwing, musical director of Tahoe Choir, which has partnered with the Lake Tahoe Community College Chorus for the shows. Performances also include guitar, marimba, harp and piano accompaniment, as well as Spanish dance and a children’s choir. The Tahoe Ukulele ensemble will play American holiday classics during the shows as well.

“We want to reach all the different cultures of our community,” Helwing said. “Hopefully it will resonate with the community.”

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Taking on some of the less familiar material has been an adventure for the approximately 30 singers who will perform Friday and Sunday.

“It’s a lot of fun to learn singing in foreign languages, but it’s challenging as well,” Helwing said.

For the Russian parts of the performances, singers have basically learned their parts phonetically, as none are familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet, said choir member Michael Lloyd. German’s rules are tricky, but are applied consistently once you understand them, he added. The collection of Spanish songs are an especially beautiful part of the show, Lloyd said. All of the selections have at least three-part harmonies. Some have up to eight.

“For me what makes them so beautiful are the multi-part harmonies,” Lloyd said.

There’s a touch of togetherness in all choir performances, Lloyd continued. Bringing that spirit out during the holidays should make for a pair of special shows.

“I love singing in a group and having all of us come together and create something I couldn’t do by myself,” he said about his passion for song. “Everyone who is in this choir is here because they love singing.”

Tickets to the performances are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Children under 5 are free. For more information call 530-541-2635 or 530-541-4660.


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