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WHAT’S SO FUNNY: Projecting hopes on a local chorus

Last December I mentioned I wanted to compose a Christmas song hit to assure my financial security in my golden years, and I gave myself a year to come up with it. As year-end approaches, I find I’m not quite there yet.

I haven’t been idle. I have an MTV-ready title: “All I Want for Christmas Is Grand Theft Auto III.” But it needs some lyrics to surround it, and music. Without those, let’s face it, you haven’t got a song. I hope to wrap it up by well, it’s coming along.

Fortunately there’s no lack of Christmas songs out there, and you can hear a fine selection of them Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., when the Lagunatunes chorus presents its holiday concerts, this time at the Forum Theater at the Festival of Arts, co-directed by Roxanna Ward and Christin Cornell.

I admire our chorus folks a great deal. They sing in harmony and in public at the same time, a combination I have always found difficult to impossible.

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Singing is easy as long as you don’t have to do it in front of an audience. I, for instance, can sing exactly like Dean Martin, James Taylor, Bobby Vee, Randy Newman and Ben Folds. It’s uncanny, really. But I can do it only when driving alone in my car.

Many of us have this fragile talent, which withers and disappears when exposed to the spotlight. In my case, when confronted by an audience, my voice gets all, I don’t know what, it’s like it’s got a filter in it. It carries to the second row but no farther.

The members of Lagunatunes, while not, perhaps, as versatile as I am as vehicular singers, are considerably better in public. In the end, there’s really no substitute for audibility.

When the Laguna chorus began it was a frail plant itself, with 12 to 15 women and two or three men. It’s grown, however, through exposure in concert, to become a goodly throng, and the Christmas show will feature a full-bodied choral sound along with the soloists.

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On Saturday they’ll be offering a strong selection, including “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “Merry Christmas, Darling” and their big-finish specialty, the “Hallelujah!” Chorus.

They’ll also “Wish You a Merry Christmas,” and who can’t use one of those?

You may see me there, too. You won’t hear me, though.


SHERWOOD KIRALY is a Laguna Beach resident. He has written four novels, three of which were critically acclaimed.


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