Vilar Center presents ‘A Classical Christmas,’ featuring Boulder Philharmonic and Boulder Bach Festival Chorus |

Vilar Center presents ‘A Classical Christmas,’ featuring Boulder Philharmonic and Boulder Bach Festival Chorus

Maestro Gary Lewis will conduct the Boulder Philharmonic for Monday's program, "A Classical Christmas," at Beaver Creek's Vilar Performing Arts Center.
University of Colorado | Special to the Daily |

If You Go ...

What: “A Classical Christmas Celebration,” with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and Boulder Bach Festival Chorus.

When: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.

Cost: $25 for students and $65 for adults

More information: Tickets can be purchased at the VPAC Box Office, or call 970-845-8497.


Boulder Bach Festival Chorus, Zachary Carrettin, music director.

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Gary Lewis, principal guest conductor.

• Overture to “L’enfance du Christ,” by Hector Berlioz.

• “Stille Nacht” and “Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella,” arranged by Chip Davis, Mannheim Steamroller.

• Concerto grosso in C-major, “Pastorale per il Santissimo Natale,” Op. 3, No. 12, by Francesco Onofrio Manfredini.

• Christmas section of “The Messiah” and “Hallelujah” chorus, by George Frideric Handel, featuring Jennifer Bird-Arvidsson, soprano; Abigail Nims, alto; Michael Hoffman, tenor; and Ashraf Sewailam, bass.

One still stands during the “Hallelujah” chorus, for lots of very good reasons.

First, it’s tradition.

Second, it’s late in the show and you’ve already been sitting for a couple of hours, so standing will do you some good.

And third, if you stand during the “Hallelujah” chorus, you’re already on your feet for the standing ovation that you’ll want to give the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and Boulder Bach Festival Chorus.

“And you can sing more loudly,” said Gary Lewis, who’s conducting the Boulder Philharmonic for this performance.

They’re in Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center on Monday for A Classical Christmas Celebration.

If you’re unfamiliar with the “Hallelujah” chorus, the classic Christmas portion and crescendo of Handel’s “Messiah,” go find your music-appreciation teachers and skewer them with their batons. Or, better yet, skewer yourself because it’s certain they tried to enlighten you, but you were pretending to be too cool for classical music. You’re not.

“This is the type of program that can be really uplifting and add to the beauty of the holiday experience for all of us,” said Zachary Carrettin, music director of the Boulder Bach Festival Chorus.

The Vilar performance is the second of a three-show run next week for the Boulder Bach Festival Chorus and the Boulder Philharmonic.

They have a sold-out show the night before and another sold-out show the night after.

“Bringing this music to the community is what we musicians love to do this time of year,” Lewis said.

Lewis is guest conducting the Boulder Philharmonic for these three performances. For his day gig, Lewis is the director of orchestras at the University of Colorado’s College of Music.

“I really enjoy my collaboration with the Boulder Philharmonic,” Lewis said.

Lewis is the principal guest conductor with the Boulder Philharmonic. The Classical Christmas program is one of three programs he’ll conduct this season.

“It’s a busy holiday season, and that’s how musicians like it,” Lewis said.

The featured piece is the Christmas portion of “The Messiah.” They’ll fill it out with a potpourri of holiday classics.

Manheim Steamroller arrangements of “Stille Nacht” and “Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella” will be followed by “Pastorale per il Santissimo Natale,” by the Italian composer Francesco Manfredini.

The Christmas section of the Handel “Messiah” and “Hallelujah” chorus will feature soprano Jennifer Bird-Arvidsson, alto Abigail Nims, tenor Michael Hoffman and bass Ashraf Sewailam.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and

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