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Holiday Entertainment Due This Month At Gallo Center
Virginia Still/The News

Gallo Center for the Arts has planned some holiday entertainment, with special performances due over the next couple of weeks. For ticket information, call 209-338-2100. The Gallo Center is at 1000 I St., Modesto.

First up, the Opus Handbell Ensemble, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Foster Family Theater.

The holidays will be all the more delightful when you include Opus Handbell Ensemble in your entertainment plans. This advanced community handbell choir has been performing their extraordinarily beautiful music in the Modesto area since 1992. They play a highly unique instrument requiring precision eye-hand coordination, music reading ability and great teamwork. Their musical range stretches from Bach to Heavy Metal to Rock n’ Roll, and of course their enchanting holiday repertoire.

Returning for a third year, ‘A Very Choral Christmas’ presents six local choirs performing holiday favorites over two nights, Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15, in the Foster Family Theater.

Each choir will perform different songs for approximately 15 minutes. Just like previous seasons, the Dance Factory will be on hand to entertain as well. Both shows are 75 minutes long and benefit the non-profit Gallo Center. Matt Cover, instrumental music director at Modesto High School, will again serve as master of ceremonies and direct the final number by the combined choruses.

Friday Choirs: Revival Center Singers, Modesto, conducted by Matthew Agguire; Woodbridge Singers, Manteca, conducted by Elizabeth Cunning; and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Choir, Modesto, conducted by Madeline Deardorff.

Saturday Choirs: Thomas Downey High School Knightengales, Modesto, conducted by John Armes; River Lights Chorus, Modesto, conducted by Dixie Tirre; Ripon High School Choirs, Ripon, conducted by Geoffory Felver.

A Saturday pre-show lobby performance is scheduled by the Funstrummers Ukelele Band.

Both the handbell and choir programs are sponsored in remembrance of Bette Belle Smith.

Finally, ‘Noel the Musical’ takes the stage on Monday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Stuart Rogers Theater.

This brand new holiday family musical is the touching story of a young girl who is preparing for her starring role in a school Christmas performance, when her mother disappears. Set in London, as the little girl tries to find her mother, she encounters a diverse group of homeless folk who have lost their way in life. With a gorgeous score, Noel is a heart-warming poignant message of love that teaches us all to find the joy in our own lives and to rediscover the magic of Christmas.