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Time of the Winter Solstice: A Collaborative Music Event

Official flyer for the “Time of the Winter Solstice” performance at Palomar College. Image used with permission from the Palomar Performing Arts department Photo credit: Palomar Performing Arts Department

As the holiday season approaches, Palomar’s Performing Arts invites all to celebrate the season’s essence with their new performance, Time of the Winter Solstice.

“The essence of this season is just continuing to celebrate coming back to that live in-person collaboration. We don’t want to take that for granted anymore,” John Russell, director of the Palomar Singers and Palomar Chorale, said.

The Time of the Winter Solstice is a collaborative musical concert that combines the Palomar Chorale, Palomar Chamber Singers, and the Palomar Symphony Orchestra. The Palomar Performing Arts describes it as “a fusion of harmonious selections that beautifully capture the essence of the season.” The performance will occur in the Howard Brubeck Theater on Dec. 2 at 7:00 p.m.

“They seem very excited about it,” Russell said when asked about the students performing. “We work really hard… This is our second big performance of the semester.”

Ellen Weller, the director of the Palomar Symphony Orchestra, talked about the theme of the performance by first touching on the history surrounding the winter solstice. In the past, societies fought off the fear of darker days and colder nights by turning to each other for comfort and support.

“It’s also a time where, traditionally, many societies think about other people,” Weller added. “We think about people outside of our circle. And that’s where the orchestra section is coming from… We extend our wishes of peace and goodwill towards humankind.”

Extending that peace and goodwill also means being inclusive, which is something Weller and Russell have worked into each performance. The performers include current students, former students, professional musicians, music majors, and those who are there to appreciate the art of music.

“That mix is very reflective of our community and of our college,” Weller said. “We serve a diverse group of people, and you will see that diversity all focused towards the artistic purpose of making community happen live in the theater… That extends that sense of community out to our audience as well.”

Weller explained that while the performance won’t have a visual aspect, the “bubble of sound” that fills the theater will be enough to draw the audience in. She explained that music performances can create their sense of time, leading to attendees getting lost in the moment. She also mentioned that seeing an outstanding performance can be a renewal for many, and seeing over 100 musicians come together could create a shared cultural experience.

Russel added that with the “culture of distraction” of today’s world, the break from our phones could help us enjoy the art of music on a deeper level.

“You don’t want to be distracted when you’re listening to live performers. So, the moments where we put our devices away tend to be few and far between. So this would be a wonderful way to practice that,” Russell said.

For more information about the performance, visit the Palomar Performing Arts website.

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Time of the Winter Solstice: A Collaborative Music Event