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Prism concert to showcase community talent

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By Tris DeRoma

One of the sure highlights of WinterFest is the upcoming  Los Alamos Community Winds’ Holiday Prism Concert on Dec. 8, where the Winds have invited several special guests with them to spread the holiday cheer.

Accompanying the Winds at the Crossroads Bible Church at 7 p.m. will be the Los Alamos Flutes, Quemazon Brass and Coro de Cámara, a choral group from northern New Mexico that grew from a small group of madrigal singers from Los Alamos County. Also participating are numerous solo artists from the community.

The concert will feature about 28 Christmas songs from about 15 groups and solo performers.

A prism concert is a very unique experience. According to Community Winds Conductor Ted Vives, a prism concert is designed to individually showcase each of the participating groups and the soloists with mini concerts within the larger performance. At the end of the concert, every group and soloist participating the event comes together for a finale. In this case, that will be Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival.”

The concept behind a prism concert is about 40 years old and started in New England at a famous school for music located in New England.

“The concept of the prism concert itself came from the Eastman School of Music, under the direction of Donald Hunsberger,” Vives said. “The concept is that you break up the ensemble into its components and showcase them during the concert, much the way a prism breaks up light into its separate colors.”

Vives also thought the prism concert was a good way to show off the community’s musical talent.

This the Community Winds’ eight-annual holiday concert.

Vives said the prism concept was originally done to liven up the band’s holiday repertoire and to also do something unique for the community.

“My idea is that this would eventually become a full community event, so there wouldn’t necessarily be 15 different Christmas concerts to go to, there would be one big one where everybody does their thing,” Vives said.

This concert will feature about 15 groups and soloists from the community and from within and without the Community Winds. The numbers of those participating with the Winds has grown steadily, and Vives said he would like to see that trend continue.

“That’s been the really nice thing. Performers from the community have begun to contact us to become a part of it. That’s really fulfilling for me because that’s the whole idea, to showcase what the community has to offer,” Vives said.

The concert will be the third event after the Holiday Lights Parade at 6 p.m. and the Ashley Pond Tree Lighting at around 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The Holiday Prism Concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Crossroads Bible Church. A $10 donation is suggested.

“We just want the audience to be immersed in the music of the season,” Vives said. “It’s going to be a wonderful evening of music and celebration.”