Your Official Guide to the L.A. County Holiday Celebration 2017

As Los Angeles’ largest multicultural holiday celebration, the 58th annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration, presented by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, provides Angelenos of all ages an opportunity to come together on December 24 to experience and honor the dynamic, rich cultures of the County. During the free event, many diverse L.A.-based artists and community groups showcase their talent, artistry and traditions on The Music Center’s iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage. The show is also broadcast live on PBS SoCal and rebroadcast on Christmas Day.

HISTORY:

Founded in 1959 by the late Kenneth Hahn, supervisor of the Second District of Los Angeles County for 40 years (from 1952-1992) and  an advocate for access to the arts, the free three-hour live production features instrumental music, choral music and dance performances.

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WHEN:

Sunday, December 24 from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

WHERE:

The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Address: 135 N. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012

PARKING:

Parking at the main Music Center garage is free on December 24, 2017.

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TICKETING:

The event is free. First come, first served. Patrons are welcome to come and go throughout the three-hour performance. There will be a standby line available as people leave. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. 

ACCESSIBILITY:

The Music Center prides itself on being accessible to all our patrons. There will be a sign language interpreter at the performance. The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is also ADA accessible. Handicap parking is available in the main Music Center garage with displayed placards.

Email requests for information to ADA Compliance Officer Carolyn Van Brunt: cvanbrunt@musiccenter.org. You may also call the recorded Access assistance line to leave a voice mail request: (213) 972-0777. 

LIVE BROADCAST:

The show is broadcast live in Southern California on PBS SoCal (KOCE) and live streamed on pbssocal.org.

ARTISTS:

New This Year – 

 

The City Ballet of Los Angeles – @cityballetofla

Joining the Celebration this year for the first time is the City Ballet of Los Angeles, presenting an excerpt from The Nutcracker to a mix of Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington.

The City Ballet of Los Angeles provides Los Angeles with its own ballet company that is unique and representative of this multicultural community. The company presents work that is a mixture of classical and contemporary dance theater, examining non-traditional themes and blending music from all over the world. Learn more.

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JC Culture Foundation

JC Culture Foundation will be performing both Chinese dragon and Chinese lion dances for the first time as part of the L.A. County Holiday Celebration.

JC Culture Foundation is a 501C (3) non-profit and art educational organization, which provides training opportunities for Chinese culture activities and focuses on the performance and promotion of those activities. In 2013, with support from ACTA’s Development Program, JC Culture Foundation conducted a mentorship with master artist Corey Chan to train and enhance the skills and knowledge of the company’s lion dance troupe. Learn more.

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Le Ballet Dembaya – @leballetdembaya

For the first time at the L.A. County Holiday Celebration, West African drum and dance company Le Ballet Dembaya will perform with a traditional West-African mask dance from the Mandenyi people of Guinea.

Le Ballet Dembaya is a professional West African drum and dance company based in Los Angeles.With Guinea being the company’s primary country of study, they practice traditional percussive rhythms, typically played on djembe and dundun drums, accompanied by intricate, polyrhythmic dances from various regions throughout West Africa. Learn more.

M-Pact – @mpactmusic

This Los Angeles-based ensemble a cappella group will be putting their unique twist on popular holiday songs.

Hailed as “one of the best Pop-Jazz vocal groups in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, m-pact is respected worldwide as a cutting-edge trailblazer in the realm of vocal music. Emerging from an age of auto-tune and overproduction, this Los Angeles-based ensemble has cultivated a new generation of ears hungry for the fresh, raw power of nature’s “first instrument” – the human voice. Learn more.

Returning – 

Daniel Ho – @daniel_ho_creations

Daniel Ho & Halau Keali’i o Nalani will present Ho’s original songs in English and Hawaiian with captivating hula choreography.

Ho performs original songs in English and Hawaiian that feature his versatility on ‘ukulele, slack key guitar and piano. His simple philosophy of presenting music with sincerity and artistry encompasses six consecutive Grammy Awards, number-one albums on national airplay charts and top-10 albums on Billboard. In 2010, his solo ‘ukulele CD, Polani (Pure), was the first ‘ukulele album in music history to receive a Grammy nomination. Learn more.

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Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles – @gaymenschorusla

Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) returns to the Holiday Celebration to perform traditional holiday songs for the 23rd year in a row.

Now in its 39th Season, GMCLA has built an international reputation for musical excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the community. Hailed as “a jewel in the crown of Los Angeles,” GMCLA now has over 250 singing members. The group has toured internationally, released 14 albums, commissioned over 300 new works and arrangements and appears frequently on film and national TV, including the Academy Awards. Chorus members donate 60,000 volunteer hours annually to make their mission of musical excellence and community partnership a reality. Learn more.

 

Harmonic Bronze

Harmonic Bronze returns to the L.A. County Holiday Celebration to play iconic holiday classics.

Harmonic Bronze is a youth handbell group representing the communities of Acton and Agua Dulce and the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District.  Members range from 11-20 years- old. Learn more.

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The Immaculate Heart of Mary and Precious Blood School Children’s Choir

A dynamic youth ensemble with an arsenal of multilingual and multi-genre repertoire, Immaculate Heart of Mary and Precious Blood School Children’s Choir will perform songs that celebrate the Christmas holiday.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary and Precious Blood School Children’s Choir are comprised of second  through eighth-grade students from the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Precious Blood School, under the Catholic School system of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Both choirs were founded by its artistic director, Cristopher “Pete” Avendano. They are members of the American Federation of Pueri Cantores. Learn more.

 

Jung Im Lee

The Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, the official Korean cultural ambassador to Southern California, will perform Korean drumming in traditional costume.

The Korean Dance Academy provides an opportunity for students to not only learn dance but also to learn more about Korean heritage.  The group participates in various events in its neighboring communities and schools within Los Angeles County. Learn more.

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KAYPA

Korean American Youth Performing Artists (KAYPA) will perform a traditional Korean fan dance.

KAYPA is a non-profit organization under the direction of JaeEun Park Lee and rooted in Southern California. The organization focuses on enriching the community through Korean traditional dance and modern K-pop dances. KAYPA provides its members the opportunity to further educate themselves about their Korean heritage through dance, as well as share their culture with others. Learn more.

 

LAS COLIBRÍ – @lascolibri 

Las Colibrí, or “The Hummingbirds,” is an all-female mariachi ensemble that will perform holiday songs blending vocal harmonies with unique arrangements and interpretations of traditional sones, huapangos and rancheras.

These women are flying into new territory as one of the most unique ensembles of its genre by returning to the all-string instrumentation of the early 20th-century mariachi tradition and the colorful, feminine costumes of the Mexican cinematic divas of the 40s and 50s. Learn more.

 

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Band

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Band is an all-volunteer group of musicians dedicated to giving their very best for the band, the Sheriff’s Department and the community. They will play a traditional medley of Christmas and holiday carols.

Under the direction of Dan Glass, the present group of musicians traces its history to 1914 when it was first established as musical ambassadors for Los Angeles.  Today the band performs for law enforcement ceremonies, Los Angeles-area schools and civic functions throughout the county. Learn more.

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Mostly Kosher – @mostlykosher

Mostly Kosher, a Jewish cultural revival band, will play upbeat klezmer, plaintive Yiddish melodies and other Jewish heritage folk genres spun with a modern twist.

Leeav Sofer is recognized as one of the Jewish Journal’s “30 under 30” most accomplished professionals in Los Angeles’ Jewish diaspora, performing at venues such as The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Staples Center. Sofer is founder of Urban Voices Project, a music outreach program for the homeless featured in the Los Angeles Times and NPR. Sofer has worked with Dick Van Dyke, the Black Eyed Peas and the Rolling Stones. As Mostly Kosher’s bandleader, he has met critical acclaim at Disney parks and on national tours. Sofer is on the faculty at Colburn School in Los Angeles, directing choir outreach programs. Learn more.

The Mt. San Antonio College Chamber Singers

On their return to the L.A. County Holiday Celebration, the award-winning 38-member Mt. San Antonio College Chamber Singers will perform a medley of traditional holiday songs.

The group, under the direction of Bruce Rogers, has won numerous awards and has received special performance invitations throughout the world, including performances at 11 American Choral Director Association National and Regional Conventions and headline performances in Canada, Australia and throughout Europe. Learn more.

MUSYCA

MUSYCA Children’s Choir, bringing together gifted young people ages four to 18 to create a community of singers built on respect, love for music and artistic excellence, will perform Christmas songs by contemporary artists. Learn more.

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Pacifíco Dance Company – @pacifico_dancecompany

Pacifico Dance Company, a 32-member ensemble dedicated to the preservation and reconstruction of classical and contemporary Mexican dance forms, will perform an excerpt from Jaranas y Danzones de Yucatan — a glimpse into the Yucatan Peninsula.

Pacifíco Dance Company was founded in 1992 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and reconstruction of classical and contemporary Mexican dance forms. Under the artistic direction of Adriana Astorga-Gainey, Pacifíco Dance Company has performed for audiences across the nation and internationally. Comprised of 40 accomplished dancers and musicians, the company prides itself on educating culturally diverse communities, as well as providing Hispanic audiences with a forum for developing pride in their own heritage. Learn more.

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Palmdale High School Chamber Singers

Palmdale High School Choral Union and Sunday Night Singers, a 45-member chorus comprised of current high school singers and alumni singers from Palmdale High School, will perform traditional holiday repertoire.

The Chamber Singers perform throughout the academic year for civic groups, community events and government functions. Learn more.

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Citrus Singers – @citrus_arts

This prestigious 45-member troupe from Citrus College, Citrus Singers has opened the Rose Parade, appeared at Super Bowl XII and provided entertainment at some of Hawaii’s finest resorts including the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Sheridan Waikiki. The Citrus Singers has the distinction of being the only American choir to win the International Choral Festival in Spittal, Austria. Learn more.

Colburn Children’s Choir – @colburnschool

Colburn Children’s Choir and Young Men’s Chorus, the advanced vocal ensembles of the Colburn School of Performing Arts, will perform festive songs for the holiday season.

Dedicated to the to study and performance of outstanding choral music, the groups perform regularly at Zipper Hall and other venues in the Los Angeles area, collaborate with artists and performing arts organizations, participate in music festivals and appear in special events and programs. Learn more.

The Los Angeles Children’s Orchestra – @pascalemusic

The Los Angeles Children’s Orchestra, known for its members’ young ages and their advanced level of musicianship, will perform classical repertoire that celebrates the holidays.

The Los Angeles Children’s Orchestra is a program within the Pascale Music Institute. The orchestra has a reputation for out-of-the-box performances.  It made headlines for appearing on a Rose Parade float, for playing the national anthem while marching in a 4th of July parade (the conductor walked backwards), for a flash mob in Times Square and, most recently, for appearing twice on NBC’s nationally-televised America’s Got Talent show, during which they danced and did the splits while playing their instruments. Learn more.

Spirit Chorale

The Spirit Chorale, a professional ensemble dedicated to keeping alive Negro spiritual along with jazz, blues and original Gospel works, will perform inspirational songs of the season.

The Spirit Chorale celebrates over 20 years on a journey of preserving the music of African-American composers, especially the Negro spiritual. Director and Founder Byron J. Smith has the pleasure of working with some of the most sought-after voices in Los Angeles to comprise this dynamic choral ensemble. Learn more.

VOX Femina – @voxfeminala

VOX Femina Los Angeles, a choir of 34 women that gives women a voice through the performance of quality choral literature, will perform songs celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah.

Diverse in culture, age, race, belief and sexual identity, VOX Femina is committed to commissioning new works and raising awareness about issues that affect the group as a family of women. Through music, it aims to create a world that affirms the worth and dignity of every person. Learn more.

 

Make it your tradition to “Celebrate LA” this holiday season with the L.A. County Holiday Celebration.  Watch it on PBS SoCal, see it at The Music Center or stream it live on pbssocal.org.

Photos & video courtesy of The Music Center and Jon Chu.