'HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS'

UPSCALE SINGERS TO DEBUT NEW CHRISTMAS CONCERT

The Upscale Singers aren’t just doing Christmas concerts this year. They’ll be more like Christmas parties.

It’s a new look for Scottsdale’s premier adult choir, which will perform “Home for the Holidays” on consecutive Sundays, Dec. 8 and 15, at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 34605 N. Scottsdale Road, and on Saturday, Dec. 14, will make its first visit to the ASU Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 N. Scottsdale Road. What will it sound like? Click on the red button above -- it's one of our new recordings, courtesy of the Grand Canyon University Recording Studio.

Tickets for the Desert Hills Presbyterian performances are available here or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Kerr Center tickets are available by calling 480-596-2660.

The new venue was the impetus for the change from a traditional choral concert to more of a sing-along around the piano, typical of a Christmas party in a home – thus, the name of the show. A grand piano sits in the middle of the stage at the Kerr Center, and rather than move it aside, director Margaret Watson decided to incorporate it into the production.

“I’m super excited,” she said. “I really think this is going to be our best show, and I think the singers are going to find that it’s their favorite, too, because it’s going to challenge them and it’s going to be beautiful harmonies.”

The concept is for the Upscale Singers and Upscale Kids to move on and off the stage as they would at a Christmas party, complete with gifts and merry banter. They’ll be singing both traditional and new arrangements of old favorites as well as selections from Michael Bublé and The Manhattan Transfer, and at the end of the concert the audience will get to sing along, too.

About 40% of every Upscale Singers concert features music they’ve never performed before as a group, and the Christmas shows will be about the same in that regard. But just about everything else will be completely different.

“I don’t want our returning audience members to be saying, ‘They always do the same music.’ That would be boring for me and boring for them,” Watson said. “I try to bring back the favorites, the songs that I know people love and can never get enough of.

“I’m very excited about the new concept of the piano in the middle – that it’s something different.”

Plans also are in the works for the Upscale Singers’ spring concerts, “Broadway Bound.” The Kerr Center again will be one of the venues, on April 18, and performances also are scheduled for March 29 at Desert Mountain Golf Club and April 25-26 at Holland Cabaret Theater, 34250 N. 60th St.

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