Christmas concert ushers in the season



EL CENTRO — The El Centro Methodist Church filled with beautiful Christmas music Sunday afternoon as the Imperial Valley Choral Society and the Imperial Valley College presented a Spectacular Christmas Festival of Song to an appreciative audience.

Denny Lang, conductor, led his musical artists in classic and familiar Christmas songs, with several smaller acts also showcasing their talent.

Besides the Master Choral, Imperial music teacher, George Scott, had his very talented Imperial High School Advance Choir perform. Solos by Olivia Murillo, Michael Flores, Chase Seals and Madalyn Morales on “Mary, Did You Know” and “Never Ending Peace” impressed the room at the level of skill and poise the young students possessed. The arrangements were complicated and nuanced, yet the young musicians handled the score with ease. Fellow student Dane Drewry accompanied the advanced choir on the piano.

Emma Walker, 10, sang “One Little Child” accompanied by her father, Danny Walker on the guitar. Walker’s voice not only is powerful, but able to express emotion far beyond her young years.

Joel Jacklich arranged a Christmas Carol Melody for the Imperial Valley String Quintet, which consisted of Luke Hamby, Esteban Corona, Joel Jacklich, Marissa Gohl, and Josh Corona. The Imperial Valley String Quintet accompanied the Master Choral on many of their musical numbers.

Ruth Smith, an accomplished soprano, sang the haunting, “I Wonder As I Wander” accompanied by Laura Goodsell on flute. The duet of Deborah Thornburg & Joan Thornburg sang “Merry Christmas, Mozart,” Ron Griffin had a solo singing Christmas Dinner with Luke Hamby on violin, and the trio of Trina Hamby, Marilyn Pyle, and Susie Walker sang John Rutter’s, “Nativity Carol.”

For the seventh inning stretch, Lang asked the audience to stand and join in singing, Deck the Halls, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Jingle Bells.