On Thursday, Dec. 18, The Salt Lake Avenues Community Choir brought us its first holiday concert. It was an inaugural affair done boldly, and certainly didn’t skimp on reimaginings of classic carols, mashups and audience participation.

The non-denominational, volunteer local 70-member ensemble joined special guest instrumentalists, under the direction of Peggy de Azevedo. The rollicking night within the lush concert environs of The University of Utah’s Libby Gardner Hall drew mostly young families whose wide-eyed children were eager to declare, “I know this song!” or “Ooh, this is the song from Frozen!”

But even such assuredness was kindly challenged by the choir. “Walking in the Air,” arranged by Audrey Snyder, seamlessly segued from “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” to “Jingle Bell Rock,” to “Let it Snow,” to pretty much the entire catalog of playful fun-in-the-snow hallmarks.

To boot, “Still Still Still” showcased the oneness of the choristers’ voices — and proved the ideal instrument for parents to rock their sobbing infants to sleep.

The well-rounded program of secular and religious songs also highlighted the talents of organist Matthew Clayton, who performed “Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella” precariously above the choir’s heads. Violinist Maria Clayton was the show-stealer, providing an exquisitely somber solo rendition of “Fantasia on Greensleeves,” which drew tears from both sides of the stage.

In the above photo, I am the soprano directly behind the violinist with the sparkley top and glasses.
My sister-in-law, Lana is directly behind me with glasses and a red scarf. Lana's daughter, Amber is directly 
behind her mom with a red scarf.

The Salt Lake Avenues Community Choir was founded by Avenues residents this past summer, on the basis of fostering community inclusiveness and bringing individual talents and diversity to the fore. It is an official committee of the Greater Avenues Community Council (GACC).

Plans to host performances during the holiday season and in the spring of each upcoming year are under way for the choir. For more information about the performance please visit avenueschoir.org.