Holiday Songs a Balm

The Santa Barbara Choral Society’s 5th annual Hallelujah Project concert took place during one of the escalating periods of the huge Thomas Fire, and by the next day, amidst intermittent power losses, the Sunday performance was called off. The members of the chorus sang as though they weren’t affected by the smoke and ash that filled the air outside the theater, sounding glorious. Board member and bass Jeffrey Warlick did a splendid job reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” as a last minute substitute for Angela Cartwright, who couldn’t make it due to the fire. This year’s program followed past form, featuring classical and popular holiday fare with a couple of pieces by contemporary composers. The joyousness in the house for the Saturday evening performance went a long way toward ameliorating some of the sadness of cancelling the next day’s planned show.