Songs, story and dance to celebrate season

With a programme that includes singers, dancers, instrumentalists, and a hilarious dramatic reading, the upcoming Community Christmas Concert promises to sparkle with the season. And that’s not even including the quizzes, prizes, and goodie bags! Hosted by the Oliver Community Arts Council, the fun begins at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday December 1 at the Oliver Alliance Church. Admission is by donation. Proceeds will go to the Oliver Food Bank.

Oliver Dance Studio

The family-friendly concert celebrates both sacred and secular festivities associated with this time of year. The programme ranges from traditional carols, to modern compositions, to a rib-tickling seasonal narration, to ballet, tap, and jazz dance. Quizzes will test the audience’s knowledge of winter holidays and a variety of traditions around the world.

The opening act, the Oliver Handbell Ringers, will set a wintery mood with their pure, crystal tones. Each year, their skill literally makes the audience murmur and sigh with pleasure. What better music for this time of year than ethereal bells? If you have never heard their music, you will be surprised at the lovely, muted, uplifting sound. They truly sound otherworldly.

Nathan Linders, last seen starring in SOAP’s Twisted Tales, will be sure to get you chuckling as he describes a guy’s worst nightmare: having to cook the Christmas turkey by himself. “Dave Cooks the Turkey”, written by Stuart McLean, may be familiar to the CBC’s Vinyl Cafe fans, but like the best stories, never fades with retelling. Nathan’s pleasing baritone and dry delivery have already proved popular with local audiences.

Penticton’s Holy Cross Choir makes a special trip south to perform seven carols spanning 500 years and the globe. Students will also perform violin and percussion accompaniment.

Jeremy 1

Jeremy Cook has shared his talents on guitar at two public concerts this year. A talented composer and arranger in his own right, this time Jeremy will perform a familiar carol medley with both guitar and vocals. His quiet meditative style will provide a delightful contrast with the next performers:

The Oliver Dance Studio troupe will bound on stage with several dance numbers, both energetic and lyrical. The audience will be treated to solos, duets and group performances by youth in a number of dance styles, as well as a solo by their instructor Leah Moen-Garcia.

Matthew ThomasRounding out the repertoire will be pianist Matthew Thomas, tickling the ivories and adding his vocals to three modern compositions that have already become favourites. Matthew has recorded three CDs of his own compositions, with a Christmas album on the way!

Between sets, MC Penelope Johnson will keep the audience guessing with fun quiz questions. Prizes for both adults and children have been generously donated by Your Dollar Store with More, Osoyoos. All children will receive a goodie bag, courtesy of The Bargain! Store in Oliver.

See you there – with bells on!