November 27, 2019 – “Ding dong, merrily on high” – the joys of the holidays are upon us. The Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra will present a gorgeous and lively program entitled “Joys of the Season,” for its annual holiday concerts Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 in Grass Valley.

For her first holiday concert as conductor of the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra, Alison Skinner curated a festive holiday program that features John Rutter’s “Magnificat” and Kirke Mechem’s “Seven Joys of Christmas” – with guest soprano Carol Kessler.

The program features a medley of traditional and not-so-familiar carols intertwined into a program that contrasts the styles of famed choral composers John Rutter and Kirke Mechem.

“The music will wow the audience. The Rutter ‘Magnificat’ is easy to love, and is purely delightful to sing and to hear,” said SMC tenor Ken Getz. “The Mechem ‘Seven Joys of Christmas’ is exactly as it sounds – joyful, full of holiday music that’s well known, and ultimately charming and moving. The choir loves singing both pieces.”

InConcert Sierra Artistic Director Ken Hardin said Alison’s program is “brilliant, because knitting the ancient text used in Rutter’s ‘Magnficat’ with the modern carol settings from Mechem while interweaving them throughout the program creates a joyous effect. The audience is going to be swept away in the beauty of some works, and grinning from ear to ear with others.”

The SMC will also premiere a jovial new choral work by local composer and InConcert Education Director Mark Vance called “Christmas at Home,” set to a poem by local poet Louis Jones. The poem takes us on a humorous winter holiday journey in our own community. And the traditional audience sing-along will be a delight for all with ever-popular carols such as “Hark the Herald Angels,” and “Silver Bells.”

The Sierra Master Chorale is a 65-member auditioned community choir that always performs with the esteemed InConcert Sierra Orchestra, comprised of local and regional professional musicians, including Ken Hardin at the organ and piano.

As the new conductor, Skinner has settled right in and the choir enjoys her leadership.

“I love making music with Alison. She’s warm, funny, charming, and thoughtful – and so talented. Rehearsals are a pure joy,” said Getz.

Tickets for the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra Holiday Concerts are $38 for general admission, $18 for youth (17 and under) and are available by phone at 530-273-3990, online at (online tickets fees may apply), or in person at BriarPatch Food Co-op and at the door.

The concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 and again at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grass Valley, 12889 Osborne Hill Road in Grass Valley. For more information, please call 530-273-3990 or visit