Classically Trained: A hefty price tag for 'Creation'

The merriest music month of them all continues with two Pacific Chorale performances in the coming days.

Set for 5:30 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Wednesday, the chorale's annual "Tis the Season!" concerts will feature Christmas tunes and other favorites at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

Accompanying the chorale, which is led by John Alexander, are the Pacific Symphony, Southern California Children's Chorus, organist Jason Klein and pianist David Clemensen.

Tickets start at $20. They're available at or by calling (714) 662-2345.

In other Pacific Chorale news, its leaders recently announced that they're getting a $43,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The federal organization is giving the chorale, one of three resident companies in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the grant to support the commissioning, performance and recording of a new work by Jake Heggie, titled "Acts of Creation," according to a news release.

"Acts of Creation" will require the talents of the 24-voice John Alexander Singers, 140-voice Pacific Chorale and eight instrumentalists. The premiere is scheduled for 2014 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, with a recording to be released afterward.

"We are extremely grateful that the NEA continues to fund and support Pacific Chorale's mission of creating new, innovative works by American composers," said Pacific Chorale President and CEO Kelly Ruggirello in a statement. "The 2014 premiere of 'Acts of Creation' will be the first of four performances nationwide, and the piece is guaranteed a wider audience and future performance opportunities as a result of the recording, distributed by the Delos label."

The chorale's grant was one of 832 that totaled $22.3 million.


The Pacific Symphony is inviting music lovers to come hear the pipes of the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ on Tuesday.

The "Holiday Organ Spectacular" concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, features organist Todd Wilson, singer Lisa Vroman and a few Pacific Symphony principal musicians: Benjamin Smolen, flute; Barry Perkins, trumpet; and Mindy Ball, harp.

Wilson is returning to Costa Mesa for a third year. He heads the organ department at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Vroman is a veteran of Broadway whose performances include playing Christine Daaé in "The Phantom of the Opera."

Tickets start at $25. For more information, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

BRADLEY ZINT is a classically trained musician. Email him story ideas at

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