California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

Winter Festival Set For Dec. 3-4

Published: November 14, 2016

CSULB’s Winter Festival Concert will return to the First Congregational Church of Long Beach for its 37th annual event combining more than 200 musicians and singers to celebrate the holiday season. Performances will take place on Saturday Dec. 3, at 4 and 8 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m.

The Winter Festival is under the direction of Jonathan Talberg, Director of Choral, Vocal and Opera Studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory at CSULB, as well as conductor of the conservatory’s internationally renowned chamber choir.

“Every choral ensemble on campus will be performing,” Talberg said. “That includes the Chamber Choir, University Choir, Forty-Niner Chorus, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, Pacific Standard Time, and Jazz and Tonic. That’s seven choirs plus a string orchestra, organ and piano, totaling to about 200 musicians participating in the concert, so there’s a little something for everyone.”

Though a lot of things will be familiar from past years, Talberg says that there are some exciting new additions and something fresh to capture the audience.

“Having a string orchestra this year is something new for us,” he said. “We’re also doing a California premier of ‘The Rose That Bare Jesu’ by composer Ron Kean and the men’s chorus is performing an arrangement by The Filharmonic, the a capella group best known for its appearance on “Pitch Perfect 2.” VJ Rosales, is a CSULB alum and we will be doing one of his arrangements this year.”

The Chamber Choir won the Choir of the World Competition and Pavarotti Trophy at the 70th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales this past summer–Talberg believes that success will show in its performance.

“We’ve had such great morale all semester, there’s this attitude of ‘We’re world champions’ so we have to work at that level,” Talberg said. “I think that the Chamber Choir has never sounded better than how it sounds right now.”

The audience can expect one hour and 40 minutes of nonstop musical bombardment in many styles from all different directions, with the performers using every space of the church; there will also be a few special moments in which all 200 singers will be singing at the same time.

“I think that it’s a wonderfully varied concert,” Talberg said. “It has something for everybody. Not everyone is going to love every piece, but there will be some piece in the concert that every person loves.”

Talberg also says that there is a new piece that will be performed at this year’s event and the audience should look out for.

“There’s a really wonderful new Hanukkah medley by Jason Robert Brown, who is the composer of ‘The Last Five Years,’” Talberg said. “It’s so much fun, it rocks, it’s really joyful, and it features incredible piano by Guk-Hui Han. It’s going to be a highlight for people whether they’re celebrating Hanukkah or not.”

Talberg adds that all of the groups are especially great this year, and that it’s going to be a wonderful evening of music making.
For more information on tickets for the Winter Festival, call 562-985-7000 or visit the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music website.