Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Sun Valley Soul Christmas

Hallelujah Chorus offers free holiday concert with Shalom

Express Staff Writer

Express Staff Writer
    Residents and visitors need go no farther than Ketchum for an international, soul-filled Christmas.
    The Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus will perform for the third year in a row in what has become an annual valley Christmas tradition—A Sun Valley Soul Christmas.
    Along with wonderful classic Christmas songs and carols, there will be a variety of music, dancers, a live band and even an illuminated Christmas tree.
    The festivities will be led by local conductor Patty Parsons-Tewson, who created the chorus three years ago after performing with a gospel chorus in Alaska. Every year has a different theme of exploring and opening to other cultures for a few of the songs. Last year included some traditional African songs and dances.
    This year Parsons-Tewson was inspired when she was invited to put together a choir for the Wood River Jewish Community High Holy days.

“Shalom means peace with a passion.”
Patty Parsons-Tewson,

   “The community was so welcoming and embracing,” she said.
    As a result, this year’s program will include a few Hebrew traditional folk songs. Idaho Mountain Express Production Manager Tony Barriatua will sing the prelude to “Havenu Shalom Aleichem.”
    Hilarie Neely’s Footlight Dancers will dance along in full costume.
“The message of the concert is about peace and bringing people together,” Parsons-Tewson said. “Shalom means peace with a passion.”
Other highlights include the Elvis version of “Santa Claus Is Back in Town,” some hand-clapping gospel tunes, a Leonard Cohen ballad and a solo by Dawson Howard. And, as always, the rocking live band—The Cliff Cunha Trio.
The concert is free and begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, through Sunday, Dec. 23, at the nexStage Theatre. There will be a Patron’s Party pre-concert every evening from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with appetizers and desserts, a reserved seat and a no-host bar for those who would like to support the expenses of the free concert by making a $20 donation.
    Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.

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