10th Annual Simi Community Christmas brings you ‘THE GIFT” of Christmas.

Celebrate THE GIFT of the birth of the Christ Child with hundreds of magnificent nativities from around the world in artistic settings and with “live” Christmas music at the 10th Annual Interfaith Simi Community Christmas and International Créche Display & Musical Performances beginning December 3rd through Dec 6th, 2015, from 5:00pm to 9:00 pm each night.

Simi Community Christmas will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 480 Sinaloa Road, Simi Valley, California 93065. The family event is offered as a gift to the community and is FREE Everyone is welcome, for any or all of the performances..“Simi Community Christmas this year will represent” The Gift: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16. Jesus Christ was God’s Christmas Gift” states set designer Marschelle Bateman. We want this year to be very simple and peaceful, yet to glorify the divinity of THE GIFT to the world.”

The exhibit is continuously evolving with themes carefully hand picked and designed over the past ten years, not only in the number and variety of crèches, but also in community participation.. Crèches are displayed from the very elaborate to simple child-like expressions and created from ceramic, porcelain, wood, metals, coke a cola cans, marionettes, wood shavings, cookies, glass, rice, origami’s, bark with European traditional, international carvings, nativities around the world, crèche exhibitor stories and much more. Again, we will feature our high-tech interactive video display. It is being recreated this year to the theme of THE GIFT, and shouldn’t be missed. The center of the displays will host a “Live” Nativity. It gives the Gift of the real feeling of this momentous occasion There will also be a special children’s center where there will be crafts, activities and costumes to dress-up to act out a live nativity. There is also a game for the older kids, “Seek and Find” through the main exhibit.

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Thursday Dec 3th OPENING NIGHT features The Stonebridge Bell Ensemble. Also featured on opening night are returning our school performances by Valley View Middle School Vocal Ensemble, Hillside Middle School, a beautiful organ solo By Dana Huse, who has played the piano for worship services at the Veteran’s Administration, participated in a regional music festival, accompanied school choirs, and has even played the Tabernacle organ. By request, the returning delicacies of the Bell Canto Ringers, Handbell Choir for a full hour set; we will continue with a new addition, the Leininger Family Singers. This family’s love for musical theater has spanned the childhoods of all six children and will perform a melody of special music just for the occasion. The other returning favorite, world renown harpist Elaine Litster along with her sister Marie Pack in a harp duo. Elaine, performs and freelances throughout Southern California. She has played with many orchestras and Philharmonics. For the past 17 years Elaine has organized and conducted “Harp Extravaganza,” California’s largest “spontaneous” holiday harp ensemble, averaging 25 harpists. She has been featured in many TV shows and was Miss Idaho featured in the Miss America Pageants, She lives in Simi, is also a music teacher at Royal High school and is married with 5 kids. If that isn’t enough she is this years music director along with her husband Greg. The audience will enjoy Elaine’s glorious music, but her informative and humorous commentary as well..
The Program

Friday night begins with the multi award winning Royal High Vocal Ensemble and Chamber/Jazz group, followed by The ARC English Handbell & Chime Choirs, who are an incredible choir with musicians who are developmentally disabled and supported by musical directors and accompanists. The choirs are a beautiful expression of community and ability. Each of the musicians play 1-4 bells/chimes and when they work together, to the best of their ability they create delightful music. Following are Simi Valley High School Vocal Jazz and Vocal Ensembles and SVHS Chamber Ensembles Continuing in the school performances, we include Thousand Oaks Philharmonic Conservatory Soloists and end the evening with the Moorpark College Jazz Ensembles under the direction of Brendan McMullin Their award winning jazz ensembles regularly perform around town for community events, college functions, and school outreach.

Saturday: The Simi Community Children’s Choir, starts the night off with a theatrical production that is very precious, followed by Marie Pearson Tarbet. Marie is a singer/songwriter. a mom to three children and is one half of the brother/sister duo, The Pearsons. The Pearsons music can be found on projects by Target, PBS, Deseret Book, Shadow Mountain, and Especially For Youth. They will be followed by the Simi Valley Elementary Chorus and Youth Choir. We also will feature Shannon Stover, a vocalist and native to Ventura County, has studied music most of her life. She has evolved making music her major study and performs regularly on stage. Additionally we will be hearing from The Gold Coast Pipe Band, who performs throughout Southern California at many events including with the World Famous Chieftains, and have appeared in many TV shows, Movies and concerts. Returning by request will be the ChannelAires in their 10th along with the with LYRA (a cappela quartet) and to finish off the evening, we will feature Sara Pulsipher, a vocalist. Sara loves to sing. She attended Hillside Middle School and Royal High School graduating in 2008 where she participated in numerous choirs. She attended Brigham Young University Idaho and studied Vocal Performance. Now at 25, she performs music from several genres such as jazz, opera, musical theater and pop and cant wait to sing songs of her Savior’s birth.

Sunday features: Santa Susana High School Award winning Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Following will be the Pipe Dream Flutes & Friends, who strive to introduce and promote original works and arrangements, as well as commissioned works. They include percussion, world flutes, voices, keyboards, and strings. St Rose of Lima Mater Chorale will join as followed by The Simi Valley Community Choir under the direction of Megan Hanks. Both choirs combine for a grand finale of this years event.

• Each evening is ended by the moving bagpipes of Craig Mathais of Clan Buchanan, who has been playing the highland bagpipes since 1999. He performs throughout the year at community events throughout Southern California including Memorial Day observances, dedications and flag raising. He has closed every evening of the Simi Community Christmas celebration since its inception.

“I am very excited about the performances that will be taking place every evening. Throughout the course of the four evenings we will be hearing the musical offerings of nearly 600 performers representing all ages and experiences and culminates with outstanding church choirs joining together to sing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. It will truly be a musical feast” .explains Elaine Litster, Music and Entertainment Director.

The event is under the direction of Cathy Roberts, Public Affairs Specialist for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Simi Valley, and embraces hundreds of volunteers to coordinate every aspect of the 4-day event. Many of the crèche displays are offered by curator Leila Jones and Marilyn Teerlink, who created the Simi Community Christmas, with other displays from the community as well.

For more information, hours of performances or display information please visit the website at: http://www.SimiCommunityChristmas.Com. See our Facebook page under Simi Community Christmas.

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