Jingle spreads cheer in Irvine

Sarah Komisky

The Irvine Valley College Choir, along with four other choirs, provided an afternoon filled with Christmas cheer with the “Joyful Jingle” performance held Dec. 1 at the Irvine Civic Center.

In its sixth year, this event has become an annual IVC choral Christmas tradition that offers an array of Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holiday tunes for members of the Irvine community.

“We had approximately 200 singers, as well as a dozen instrumentalists such as trumpet, clarinet and percussion,” said Choral instructor Dean Shepard. “In addition, there is behind the scenes support from both IVC and the city.”

IVC alumni and member of the choir, Ruth Larsen, noted that even though the choir rehearsed three hours every Tuesday for 12 weeks, this performance was not the easiest to pull together.

“It was difficult. We had a concert on Nov. 27 and a Gala opening in October,” Larsen said. “There was not a lot of time to prepare for this one, and it was a bit hard to prepare because we were so busy with the other two concerts, but hopefully our energy reached the audience.”

This holiday event was geared toward the family and people of all ages to what Shepard called a “multi-cultural, multi-faith, family inclusive event.”

“We try to present music that is not only secular,” Shepard said. “We use music that represents the diverse faiths and cultures present in Irvine.”

Having the opportunity to perform at the Irvine Civic Center is a privilege for the IVC choir since they only perform here once a year.

“We had approximately 500 people attend this year. That is more than the Center can facilitate,” Shepard said. “We are looking for a new hall, possibly IVC’s new Performing Arts Center as we need more space and better acoustics, as well as professional recording technology in order to keep up with the demand for this popular event.”

The major goal of the Joyful Jingles concert is to allow audience members to fully enjoy and participate in the joy of the holiday.

“I want them to feel good about the holiday season and have a great time,” Healey said. “I want to introduce families to choral music so if they like what they hear, they will come to some of our other concerts. It’s great music and it’s fun music.”