(Nathaniel Vamas/ Lariat Staff)
McKinney Theatre was a holiday scene lit with Christmas lights adorned with poinsettias lining the stage with Christmas trees on either side. Last weekend Saddleback College choirs and Symphony Orchestra performed “A Feast Of Lights,” entertaining the audience with festive sounds of the season.
The Director of Instrumental Music Carmen Cortez Dominguez conducted the symphony orchestra and wind ensemble. while Director of Choral and Vocal Studies Dr. Scott Farthing led the choral ensembles.
Farthing opened the performance with “Christmas Bells are Ringing,” sang by the lively choir, accompanied by the symphony. Another highlight and holiday favorite, “Carol of the Bells” built up drama with harmonic voices. Chinese violin player Yang Li Bartolotti, was featured as the soloist in the piece “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
The passionate performer told a story with the music with a poem projected on the screen. The powerful violin ensemble accompanied Bartolotti by painting a scene of breaking ice with intense sounds. Dominguez entertained the audience with a story about the song “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” which was originally written for Judy Garland.
The choir sang the piece with a light and bright feel that brought the audience to a holiday cheer. Farthing brought a new twist to “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” narrating alongside the symphony with a theatrical rendition of the traditional poem.
In the second half of the evening, a member of the ensemble had requested they play the music from the film “The Polar Express.” The music was true to the film, and a perfect fit to a Christmas performance, with many of the audience was commenting with holiday excitement. Farthing brought the performance to a close with a sing along.
The entire audience stood up and sang along to a compellation of Christmas songs. The audience left with a festive attitude and appreciation for the music they heard.