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Michael Gross – Courtesy photo
The music of Christmas will be presented in a distinctly family-friendly fashion when the La Canada Presbyterian Church presents “The Many Joys of Christmas” on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m.
The concert, featuring the acclaimed LCPC Orchestra and Chancel Choir, both under the direction of Jack Lantz, will include an audience sing-along of popular carols, a multimedia presentation with excerpts from popular movies like “Home Alone,” and, new this year, a special room where children may take in the show on big screens while also engaging in Christmas activities.
The family theme will also extend to “Family Ties.” Actor Michael Gross, who played dad Steven Keaton on the popular 1980s TV sitcom, lives near LCPC and will relate the Christmas story from the book of Luke, accompanied by the orchestra.
“There are so many joys of Christmas that are expressed so poignantly in the music of the Christmas season,” said Lantz, Director of Music and Worship Arts at the church. “More than any other holiday, Christmas music truly ‘gets us into the spirit.’ We warmly invite the community to join us for this magical expression of music, and to hear, see, feel and celebrate the many joys of Christmas.”
Lantz’s concerts are known for their clever twists on the familiar, and he won’t disappoint this year. One of the highlights from the concert will be “A Christmas Flourish,” arranged by Randol Alan Bass, which includes a medley of familiar Christmas carols, as well as an expressly American carol from the Revolutionary War, “Heavenly Host,” written by William Billings.
Waltz time? It’s not typically associated with Christmas music, but “Christmas a La Valse!” will present a medley in that tempo. Another wrinkle in the program this year is “Carols from the Dark Side,” written in minor keys and accompanied by contrasting but familiar themes from the world of classical music. Also, John Williams’ compositions for the “Home Alone” movies will be performed.
The more familiar carols of Christmas will of course be prominent in the program, including “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Away in the Manger,” among many others. The showcase will also include the lush melodies of Alfred Burt, who wrote “Caroling, Caroling” and other songs as Christmas cards to his family in the 1950s; they’ll be back by popular demand.
The multimedia component of the program will include movie clips, videos and familiar Christmas images.
Through the generosity of the Mae Douglas Memorial Fund, this concert and all future Christmas concerts at LCPC will be presented free of charge. To help defray costs, a free-will offering will be received.
The kid-friendly viewing venue will be set up in the Worship Arts Center, adjacent to the Sanctuary. In addition, child care will be provided.
La Canada Presbyterian Church is located at 626 Foothill Blvd. For further information, call the church office at (818) 790-6708 or visit lacanadapc.org.