Conducted by Lance Merrill, accompanied by a small orchestral ensemble
Published : Friday, October 27, 2017 | 12:29 PM
The Towne Singers present “There’s Magic in the Air – for Children Young & Old!”, their 2017 Holiday Concert featuring holiday standards for the young and young at heart, many with new choral arrangements, Towne Singers style for one night only on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at First United Methodist Church.
Imagine the nostalgia and beauty of 90 voices performing ‘songs of childhood’ bringing us the warmth and memories of the holidays including The Little Drummer Boy, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, O Nata Lux, Ma’oz Tsur, Christmas Time is Here, A La Nanita Lullaby, Christmas Toys on Parade, Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town, Polar Express Medley, finishing with the Hallelujah Chorus along with the church’s majestic organ. An orchestral ensemble along with dance performances will accompany the singers to highlight the musical repertoire along with a visit from Santa Claus and a holiday Hippopotamus. This is a great “Holiday” gift to get you in the ‘spirit’.
Two of their numbers are spotlighted by the historic First United Methodist Church organ of 1924, built by the E.M. Skinner Organ Company of Boston. In 1974 the organ was rebuilt to increase its versatility and brilliance. The church features convenient parking, comfortable seating for 1,200, and modern facilities.
Meet Some of the Towne Singers:
Kellye Nakahara Wallet (Pasadena) attended a performance in 2004 where it was announced that they were going to the British Isles and she and her husband David joined. Said says: “the Towne Singers are a staple in my life. I’ve made so many friends and its such a joy having music everywhere and I especially enjoy my comradeship with fellow altos. Kellye is an actress best known in her role as Nurse Kellye on M*A*S*H and a Pasadena artist, Kellye Wallett Studio. She creates all the posters for them and served as their Artistic Director.
Chuck Hains (Altadena), a Bass 2 joined in 2004. He missed singing after high school. He says: “I was urged to join by my wife as well as by my neighbor and friends. It means a great deal to me to be a member of the Towne Singers since retiring, a sense of fellowship, an opportunity for contributing my talents and a joy of singing.” Chuck worked for Xerox Corporation as a Principal Scientist & Research Fellow.
Alan Chong (Pasadena) joined in 2011. He had just spent a month in the hospital for a serious illness and had time to think and reflect creating a ‘bucket list’ and singing in a choir was one the list. So he googled local choirs, found the Towne Singers which said the requirements is to show up and work hard – he showed up and loves it. He describes the Towne Singer as ‘family’ as everyone is supportive, friendly and a lot of fun. Plenty of laughs during rehearsals. Alan says “it is so fulfilling to create beautiful music and share it with the audience.” In his real life Alan is a Defense Attorney.
Merrily Hake (Camarillo) joined the Towne Singers 22 years ago as a 2nd soprano. She was a music major in college but hadn’t sung in 20 years and missed it. She saw an ad in the La Canada local paper about rehearsals for an upcoming Town Singers concert and went. Merrily was a teach and school librarian. She says: “My love of choral singing and the friendships Ive made through the years have kept me going back year after year. The Towne Singers mean ‘music’ and ‘friendship’ to me.”
Bruce Spring, M.D. (Los Angeles) joined in 1995. Bruce says: “I loved singing and wanted to sing. I was new to LA and placed a personal ad in the Downtown News. “Musical baritone, decent voice seeks choir’. The Ad got 4 responses.” As a profession, Bruce is a Psychiatrist For him: “the Towne Singers is a place to have fun, express myself, and grow as a singer, performer, musician and person. Towne Singers is also a place to share music, sound and adventure, including great trips in California, the USA and Europe. It is a way to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life.”
Bennett Nelson (San Marino), Baritone, joined in 2015 on a dare by a former choir president. His profession was an Industrial Real Estate Broker, retired. Bennett says: “It’s a pleasure to be a member of such a wonderful group of people and share the joy of song with them.”
Howard Bucey (Temple City) the Towne Singers in 2008 after retiring as 38 years as a music middle school teacher. He loves the variety of music, has a wonderful time singing, improving his ability to read music and meeting new people.
Towne Singers One Night Only Concert will be performed Saturday – December 2, 2017 – 4:30 pm (doors open 4:00 pm) at First United Methodist Church (500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena). Tickets: Adults: $25 Child (3-10 yrs): $15 Group of 10 or more: $20.
For more information or to purchase tickets go to, visit http://www.townesingers.org/home.html
About Towne Singers:
The 90+ member Towne Singers is a non-auditioned community chorus based in La Cañada, California. Since being founded in 1987 by Phyllis Winnaman, the chorus has grown to become a well-known source of entertainment for Southern CA. Many members commute more than 40 miles to participate in the musical experience. They take pride in their ability to sing all types of music, and in a wide variety of styles. The group’s musical repertoire includes great classical elements, but these are always complemented with other choral genres, including popular, Broadway, spirituals, gospel, folk, and patriotic.
The full choir performs two or three major concerts each year. In addition, the auditioned Towne Singers ‘chamber choir’ performs in community outreach events, and other social/musical events in the region.
The choir has performed three times at Carnegie Hall, including a 2004 performance of Rutter’s Requiem (conducted by Rutter), and a 2006 performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria. They performed the Rutter Requiem again in 2010 at the Lincoln Center in New York. The group is often invited to attend festivals and choral events, and toured internationally in 2005. The Towne Singers have also been honored with citations of artistic excellence by the State of California and the City of La Cañada Flintridge.
It is a non-profit organization that is open to singers of all ages and backgrounds. Each concert season provides a place for people to sing and grow artistically, and to bring excellent choral entertainment to the region.