Sep 28, 2017 at 04:51 PM

Choral Society Warming Up for 70th Season

By Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation


Choral Society Warming Up for 70th Season

Conductor JoAnne Wasserman marking her 25th year with vocal group

Fannie Flagg reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with SBCS Chorus and Orchestra at Lobero Theatre. (Santa Barbara Choral Society)

Since its founding in 1948, Santa Barbara Choral Society has been singing for 70 years, offering local vocalists the opportunity to study and perform great choral masterworks.

Through those performances, choral singers contribute to keeping the works alive for the cultural benefit of the community locally, regionally, and even globally through the International Performance Tour series.

Readers can take a sentimental journey back to read about the Choral Society’s founding and history at

This season marks not only the 70th Anniversary Season for the organization, but also conductor JoAnne Wasserman’s 25th season holding the baton.

Wasserman has planned a repertoire that includes some music not performed in Santa Barbara during her tenure, such as Joseph Haydn’s “Mass in Troubled Times,” the “Missa in Angustiis,” better known as the “Lord Nelson Mass.” Here’s what’s on tap for the coming season:

» Nov. 11 – 10 a.m. Veterans’ Day Tribute sponsored by Pierre Claeyssens’ Veterans’ Foundation at Santa Barbara Cemetery. A program of words and music honoring our nation's veterans. Free to all. No ticket required.

» Dec. 9-10 – Hallelujah Project 5 at the Lobero Theatre. The family-friendly holiday musical tradition continues with a program of traditional and classical seasonal favorites, this year, including the “Vivaldi Gloria.” And celebrity narration of holiday classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Previous narrators have included comedienne Fanny Flagg, actress Stephanie Zimbalist, daytime TV star Allison Sweeney, and the first lady of movie musicals, Shirley Jones.

» Feb. 17-18  – Tribute to Leonard Bernstein with Santa Barbara Symphony, Nir Kabaretti conductor, on the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth, at The Granada Theatre.

» April 7-8 – Masterworks: Haydn “Missa in Angustiis” (“Lord Nelson Mass”), Vaughn Williams’ “Benedicite,” and a tribute to SBCS alumni, who will be invited to join the chorus in singing a final number. Performance will be at First Presbyterian Church.

» May 19  – Sentimental Journey Our 70th Anniversary Gala at Rockwood Woman’s Club. Featuring SBCS chorus in a concert of music from the 1940s, plus cocktails, dinner, and live and silent auctions of vacation stays and themed items.

» May 2018 – Memorial Day Tribute to the Armed Services sponsored by Pierre Claeyssens’ Veterans Foundation at the Santa Barbara Cemetery. A program of music and words honoring the sacrifices of the military. Free to all, no ticket required.

Tickets and information for the season’s concerts and gala are at


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