To give some historical math to the subject of the Santa Barbara Choral Society, the city’s premiere choral ensemble and entity, the group is celebrating its 75th anniversary this season, while JoAnne Wasserman is hitting the 30-year mark as director/conductor. And this weekend’s Hallelujah Project, at the Lobero Theatre (Dec. 10-11), will be the eighth edition of this savory menu of serious and frothy musical treats. It’s beginning to look a lot like an entrenched Christmas tradition in town.
This year’s program follows the established concept, issuing the Baroque splendor of JS Bach’s Cantata 191 Gloria in Excelsis Deo for its substantive classical component, but also dipping into the lighter fare of John Williams’s songs from Home Alone, Irving Berlin’s songbook, and more confections.
Also from the program’s traditional playbook, the show wraps up — spoiler alert— with a reading of Clement Moore’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, with children, props and a roly-poly Arctic Saint making a cameo. The list of past guest readers includes Stephanie Zimbalist, Shirley Jones, and Andrew Firestone, and the honor turns this year to a well-spoken man of music, Scott Reed, head of the Music Academy. The Music Academy connection rings true in another way, as young musicians from its Sing! program will be a part of the program.