Merry montage of local talent |

Merry montage of local talent

Cassie Pence
Shane Macomber/Vail DailyRehearsal for the play.

BEAVER CREEK – It’s not every day a 1980s pop king is incorporated into Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”But it’s not every day several local artists convene on one stage to celebrate the holidays with song and dance.The third annual Community Holiday Concert at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek today and Sunday will showcase the talents of Mountain Harmony, Vail Youth Ballet Company, Vail Valley Academy of Dance, Vail Performing Arts Academy, the Eagle Valley Children’s Chorale and the Dickens Carolers. Each group has prepared a number, or two, with the holiday spirit in mind.The dance academy literally kicks off the show with a tap number to “Sleigh Ride.””It’s a Rockette kind of number,” said Kris Sable, director of the Vilar Center. “The youth ballet follows with a beautiful piece called ‘Les Patineurs (The Skaters).'”The Vail Youth Ballet was started by dance academy owner Anne Powell, who wanted to give serious ballet students the opportunity to advance their skills and perform more than once a year. The group’s performance tonight and Sunday, “Les Patineurs,” gives the illusion that the dancers, en pointe, are on ice. “The show really comes out of providing another opportunity for these young people to perform,” said Sabel.

All proceeds from the $25 ticket go toward the The Buckman/Blount Community Performance Fund, which underwrites the technical, production, labor and theater-usage costs for these youth groups so they can continue to perform in professional environments like the Vilar Center.”Buckman/Blount issues grants up to $50,000 to fund 9 to 12 groups a year,” said Sabel.The money contributes to the youth ballet’s performance of “Nutcracker,” for example, or everyday costs of running the Children’s Chorale, an after-school program that teaches elementary and middle school kids about music. The chorale’s Sound Waves, fourth- and fifth-graders, will perform in the holiday concert. “If you’re not a parent or a grandparent of one of the kids in the children’s chorale you probably don’t ever see them perform,” Sabel said. “They were a huge hit last time.”Annah Scully of the performance academy said what’s special about this holiday concert is the community spirit.”We share our children in all these groups and this concert gives the groups an opportunity to showcase what they do and all of the different areas of study,” said Scully.The Vail Performing Arts Academy will feature 40 kids from ages 8 to 18 and will perform three numbers. The kids will sing “Christmas Bells Are Ringing” from the musical “Rent,” but the academy has changed the somewhat-negative script that talks about living with AIDS during the holidays to words about light-hearted teenage problems.

“We’re doing ‘Rent’ light. The kids will sing about SATs, ACTs, having no money to buy presents, typical teen issues. At the end of the song, they decide life is pretty good living in Vail,” said Scully.The academy has a surprise scene up its sleeve as well, incorporating the King of Pop into Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” I’ll give no further hints on the performance, but it’s quite innovative and fresh.Battle Mountain freshman Sean Pack, who plays Scrooge in the scene, thinks the holiday concert is unique because of the diversity between acts. “It’s just fun to see all these children groups get together and put on a really good show,” Pack said.But truly, Pack appreciates the extra opportunity to perform in front of a crowd.”I love the thrill of getting on stage, that surge when get out there,” Pack said.Mountain Harmony, a women’s barbershop group, will perform as well as the Dickens Carolers, who dress in period costumes and perform during the holidays on streets throughout the Vail Valley.

The show is 6:30 p.m. today and Sunday at the Vilar Center for the Arts, and all proceeds from the $25 ticket go back to the youth groups who are performing. To purchase tickets, call 845-TIXS.’Tis the SeasonCommunity Holiday ConcertToday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m.Vilar Center for the ArtsArts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or

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