The Idyllwild Master Chorale celebrates 40 years with a Holmes at the helm — first, founder Robert Evans Holmes and now his son, Dwight “Buzz” Holmes.
And the 40th is celebratory in several ways. First, the concert takes place at Bowman Auditorium (IAF Theatre) on the Idyllwild Arts campus where the elder Holmes inaugurated his Idyllwild “Messiah” tradition. Second, it features the Christmas section of Handel’s “Messiah,” which the elder Holmes made a mainstay of Idyllwild holiday entertainment and a reason for music aficionados to visit the Hill. And finally, it will be a festive fusion of classical and jazz music, pairing the venerated 1749 Covent Garden vocal arrangement and orchestration of the “Messiah” with some sweet, saucy jazz from Marshall Hawkins, John Fleming, Sherry Williams and pianist/composer John Rodby.
As an extra holiday offering, IMC follows the Sunday, Dec. 20, concert with an intimate “Afterglow” reception and fundraiser at the Grand Idyllwild Lodge. With fine wines, catered tastings and jazz up close and personal with Hawkins, Rodby, Fleming and Williams, “Afterglow” will warm, enfold and entertain in the most beautiful of settings.
The Covent Garden “Messiah,” performed in 1749 is considered the most stirring version of Handel’s “Messiah.” With its grand choruses, dazzling vocal solos and bright trumpets, the music awakens, excites and uplifts. From haunting shepherd melodies to stunning arias to the great “Hallelujah” Chorus, this is Christmas music at its most brilliant. With a full chamber orchestra, featured soloists Amy Fogerson, mezzo, John B. Fleming, tenor, Mark Kelley, bass, Dimyana Pelev, soprano, and the IMC singers, this will be a “Messiah” to remember.
The IMC Winter Solstice Concert pairs tradition and modern — a celebrated baroque oratorio classic with world-premiere jazz arrangements of popular Christmas songs, there is something for everyone’s musical tastes. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20.
Tickets are available online and at the door, for both the concert and the “Afterglow” gathering at Grand Idyllwild Lodge. Concert tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. For “Afterglow,” tickets are $100 per person and $185 for a couple. “Afterglow” tickets are very limited so advance reservations are strongly suggested.
For more information, visit www.idyllwildmasterchorale.org.