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A universal Christmas message

Valencia Mormon church offered a musical production

Posted: December 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.

The orchestra and choir of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perform at the fifth annual Christmas production.

 

With only a few days left until Christmas, much of the Santa Clarita Valley hurries around finishing last-minute shopping. Last weekend, instead of rushing around malls or checking gifts off Christmas lists, nearly 3,000 people attended the fifth annual Christmas production at the Valencia stake Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on McBean Parkway.

The church hosts an annual Christmas production, which features a live orchestra, narrated video Christmas scenes and an adult and children’s choir. The performance features a unique script and music each year. This year, the show was titled “Come, Let Us Adore Him” and was produced and directed in a flashback style by entertainment industry veteran Richard Rich.

This year’s production offered attendees three performance times on Dec. 15 and Dec. 16. Stake members and the public at large were invited to the free performance.

What began as an 80-piece choir, two flutes, a piano and an oboe grew to something more. Now the angelic voices of a 45 person children’s choir, more than 120 person adult choir and a 48 piece, all volunteer, full-orchestra filled the church with Christmas carols and sounds of the holiday last weekend.

Universal message

Rich, who is a renowned director and producer and has worked on major feature-length animation films including “The Swan Princess” and “The Fox and the Hound,” is also the Mormon church’s Valencia stake musical director.

“It isn’t anything particular to the Mormon faith or offensive to anyone,” Rich said. “It is a traditional telling of the Christmas story using Christmas carols. We usually hear back from people that this was the best thing about Christmas for them.”

Glen Glancy, the event’s technical director, also has a long history in the entertainment industry as a record producer for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Both Glancy and Rich conveyed the universality of the productions message discussing it’s traditional telling of the nativity. Many attendees of the event are not Mormon church members, but enjoy the production and continue to attend.

“The production has a beautiful script,” said Glancy. “It is a very emotional and very well-conveyed message.”

Setting the stage for Christmas

The production has not only grown in scope and artistic richness, but has also gained new attendees from the public each year. This year he received special permission from the musical arranger on David Archuleta’s Christmas album to use an arrangement for this year’s production.

“Once people come the first time, they always want to come back,” Rich said.

Rich majored in theory and music at Brigham Young University. After working in the entertainment industry for many years, he is happy to be able to use his passion for music to bless others.

“This is a dream come true,” Rich said. “It is so exciting for me to use that skill that I have been blessed with. I really wanted to create a memorable experience that will set the tone for Christmas for every person who comes.”

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