Maricopa Music Circle

The Maricopa Music Circle holds a home-based audition.

MARICOPA — The annual grand winter holiday concert has become a tradition in Maricopa and on Saturday, Dec. 18, the 18th annual show gets underway at 7 p.m. at the conference center at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37530 W Smith-Enke Road.

“This very special concert has become a Maricopa tradition, combining holiday warmth, spirit, good fellowship and musical artistry at a high level,” MMC chamber orchestra member Judith Zaimont said in an email.

The event brings together musicians from the Maricopa Music Circle and the Maricopa Chorus for a concert event aimed at lifting spirits with the sounds of the feast.

It’s “a feast for both ears and eyes. Projections, caroling, and art-on-the-spot by Jenniann West are added to seasonal orchestral and choral favorites both familiar and new, combining alluring melody and intriguing, toe-tapping rhythms to embody the many moods of Christmas-time, from joy to reverence,” a press release from show organizers said.

A reception follows the performance.

“Majesty, mystery, beauty, great joy, and reverence percolate through a rich program that includes two Maricopa premieres,” the press release said.

Harmony music composed by Edward Elgar will be featured at the beginning of the program followed by Irving Berlin’s beloved “White Christmas.”

The show also includes performances of “The First Noel,” “Mary did you know?” and Bach’s majestic “Prelude and Fugue.” Also performed will be “ a “Hanukkah Suite,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” Tchaikovsky’s iconic “Nutcracker,” and more.

As well, a “glorious garland of choral carols, chorus-with-orchestra ‘Hark! The herald angels sing,’ whose familiar melody was composed by Felix Mendelssohn and Adeste fidelis, and vocal solos including Panis angelicus,” the press release said.

Four movements from Handel’s “Messiah” will conclude the evening music, including the chorus “Glory to God in the highest.”

The concert will close with a sing-along to the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

“Now in its 12th season, MMC is unique because it performs standard orchestral music and popular favorites entirely without a conductor,” the press release said. “Its instrumentation morphs regularly as new performers come on board, producing a rich, colorful and true symphonic sound. MMC is our city’s premier chamber orchestra featuring local musicians sharing their artistry and love of music.”

MMC performs throughout the year at various Maricopa venues.

“MMC programs are always vibrant and diverse, including selections from orchestral works and solos, seasonal music, popular tunes, jazz and great big-band standards. All arrangements are specially adapted for MMC,” the press release said.

The Maricopa Chorus launched in 2013 under the direction of founder John Janzen. Its current director, Don Raflik, continues the group’s dedication to traditional songs of the season.

Maricopa Chorus has several performance coming up throughout Maricopa. At each performance, members will be dressed in unique period costumes.

Tickets for the grand winter holiday concert are available at the door and are $15 per person or $10 for students. Only cash or checks are accepted at the door. For more information, send an email to maricopamusiccircle@yahoo.com or call (520) 510-4107.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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