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Choral Arts Concert & Gala

Washington DC The Scene

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Last night we went to three extraordinary holiday concerts, with all the top rock and pop superstars singing their hits and the top choral group singing Christmas carols.

Choral Arts Concert & Gala

We’re starting with The Choral Arts Society’s 34th annual holiday concert and gala at the Kennedy Center; you have to scroll down for Ariana Grande. Everyone agreed this was the best holiday concert ever, from the beautiful processional by the singers with small lights, to Bach’s Gloria in Excelsis Deo, to delightful Argentine pieces by the Pan American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerado di Giusto, to the beloved sing-along carols and Jingle Bell Rock.

Choral Arts Concert & Gala

After the concert, everyone went upstairs for an Argentine-inspired dinner of seared hanger steak with Chimichurri, and music and dancing to ‘Round Midnight. Here, former FBI Director William Webster and his wife, The Webster group founder Lynda Webster.

Choral Arts Concert & Gala

During the cocktail reception, guests sipped on Kir Royals and bid on the extensive silent auction. Here, Avaya’s Jennifer Spade and the night’s gala finance chair, DTZ’s indefatigable Cathy Jones, are with designers Climis and Carol Lascaris.

Choral Arts Concert & Gala

Longtime patrons Danny Korengold and his wife Martha Dippell; Utah’s legendary Intermountain Guitar and Banjo founder Kennard Machol, in town for his first Choral Arts concert; former gala chair Laurie Monahan; and Benefit Committee member Dick Snowdon.

Choral Arts Concert & Gala

Music Director Scott Tucker conducted the world premiere of A Bell, which was commissioned for his wedding to organist Julie Huang Tucker by three Choral Arts couples who had met each other singing. We don’t know what the Choral Arts folks are drinking between songs, but love is definitely in the air. We snapped patron Rob Liberatore and executive director Debra Kraft.

Choral Arts Concert & Gala

Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Jeff "Skunk" Baxter dazzled the audience with his guitar solo at the start of O Holy Night, one of the night's most thrilling performances. He also soloed on Silent Night, which ended with a moving last verse sung in the dark, with only the choir’s twinkling lights. He’s with Trio Caliente stars Deborah Benner, who recently appeared in House of Cards, and Michael Bard, who will be playing the guitar solos at the next Christmas concerts, Sat. Dec. 20, Sun. Dec. 21, and Wed. Dec. 24.