When Diana Clark, the artistic director of the Coastal Sound Music Academy, was dreaming up ideas this past spring for her choirs’ next winter show, she landed on The Nutcracker.
Her husband was its inspiration.
Andrew Clark, who had played with the choirs in their last holiday concert with his Inlet Jazz Band, had always wanted his group to perform an 18-minute long version of the classical Russian masterpiece by the late big band leader Duke Ellington but he couldn’t find a suitable venue.
Diana Clark suggested their two ensembles partner once again for Comfort & Joy to celebrate the music in a new way.
But she didn’t know the Tchaikovsky’s ballet would be such a big hit this Christmas with Disney releasing its film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms last month.
“Everybody has got The Nutcracker on their mind this year,” she laughed, “but it’s great. It shows how timeless the score is.”
Sunday, CSMA will have two performances: the first — a matinee — featuring the younger singers (including a cameo by the four- and five-year-olds); the second — an evening show — featuring the older choirs anchored by soul chanteuse Dawn Pemberton, who is also on the CSMA faculty.
Still, the audience will have a chance to sing-along with the choirs as they perform traditional tunes for the season.
Meanwhile, CSMA has been spreading Christmas joy at special events around the Tri-Cities including at the Port Coquitlam emergency services volunteers recognition, Lights at Lafarge at Coquitlam Town Centre Park and, on Saturday, at the Coquitlam Farmers Market Craft Fair.
For tickets to Comfort & Joy on Dec. 9, call the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam) at 604-927-6555 or visit evergreenculturalcentre.ca.