Kamas continues Christmas concert tradition
December 15, 2017
Many people who observe Christmas have fond memories of celebrations from their past, whether they enjoyed the season with their families and friends.
Ali Barr, the creative director and producer of the annual Kamas Valley Christmas Concert, said she hopes this year's performance, which will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the DeJoria Center, will not only bring forth those nostalgic memories, but also start new ones.
"The concert's theme is 'Remember,' and the idea stems from the idea that while people come to Kamas Valley from all over the world, we want them to remember their favorite Christmases," Barr said during an interview with The Park Record. "We know Christmas celebrations all over the world are different, but we share a common love for the meaning of the holiday itself."
To do this, Barr will bring together a diverse performance lineup that will include three choirs, a dance company, an alternative pop group, an aerial artist, a youth orchestra and more, she said.
“We know Christmas celebrations all over the world are different, but we share a common love for the meaning of the holiday itself...” Ali Barr, Kamas Valley Christmas Concert creative director
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Although the full concert, emceed by Brianna Bodily from KSL Newsradio, is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., doors will open at 6:30 and feature a prelude performance in the lobby.
"The South Summit Strings Orchestra will perform so we encourage people to come early to enjoy some hot chocolate and enjoy the music," she said. "This will get people in the mood."
During the actual concert, aerial artist Olivia Lee will perform two numbers while suspended above the DeJoria Center's stage.
"She will work with a lyra, which is an aerial hoop, and then she will also another performance while hanging from strands of silk," Barr said.
The concert will also feature dancing by Body Motion Dance Compan, with one of the numbers accompanied by the South Summit Strings, Barr said.
Tapestry, the choral group from South Summit High School, will sing a few numbers.
"They are directed by David Omer, who will be our conductor for the whole concert," Barr said.
Speaking of local choirs and musicians, the South Summit Children's Choir and the Wasatch Back Choir and Orchestra is scheduled to perform that night.
"These musicians and singers are mostly locally based," Barr said. "And many of the musicians we recruit are professional artists who live in the Wasatch Back including Kamas, Park City and Heber."
One of the other professional acts on the program is up-and-coming independent alternative pop band Shrink the Giant, which is seen frequently playing in Park City.
"Most of the musicians grew up in Kamas and attended South Summit high school," Barr said. "They've been a band since 2010 and are multi-instrumentalists who have released two albums. They're very young, but have already toured California, and are just coming back from a two-year hiatus."
In addition to the local artists, Barr wanted to bring in a non-local performer. She recruited Marj Desius, a performer from Haiti who makes her home in Salt Lake City.
"She has recorded music with Alex Boye and is getting ready to release her own Christmas album," Barr said. "She will bring an ensemble group that will perform some gospel, creole and a cappella holiday works."
The Kamas Valley Christmas Concert has grown over the past decade, and Barr said she wants to see it continue to grow.
"The concert started out as an event that was sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we have included more and more people from the different denominations in the area," she said. "Like it has been in the past, all of the artists are donating their time."
The DeJoria Center is also donating the venue and the crew for the concert.
"They have been so generous," Barr said. "We are so grateful to them."
The Kamas Valley Christmas concert will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the DeJoria Center, 970 N. S.R. 32, in Kamas. The concert will feature live music, an aerial artist, dance, an orchestra and special guests. For information and tickets, visit this website.
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