Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra presents mix of concert, caroling

December 13, 2011

By Tom Corrigan

Conductor Doug Longman stands in front of the Issaquah School District’s Evergreen Philharmonic during the orchestra’s November show, the first formal event in Issaquah High School’s new Performing Arts Center. Contributed

“It’s kind of a whole new format,” said Doug Longman, director of the Issaquah School District’s Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra.

For the first Christmas concert ever put on by the districtwide orchestra, Longman wanted to do something involving the whole audience. While the idea apparently has been in the back of his mind for at least a few years, he said he overheard someone reminiscing about singing Christmas carols as a youngster, regretting that people don’t seem to do to much caroling any more.

In the end, Longman was inspired to come up with a Christmas concert that will invite audience members to sing carols accompanied by Evergreen.

“Home for the Holidays” is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center.

“We just thought, what would be better than caroling with a live orchestra?” Longman said.

Creating a holiday event and a local tradition are tandem goals of the performance, according to Pete Peterson, an avid Evergreen supporter.

Peterson and his wife Sam have backed the orchestra since their daughter, now a senior at the University of Washington, performed with the group.

If you go

Home for the Holidays

  • 7 p.m. Dec. 19
  • Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center
  • 700 Second Ave. S.E.
  • Adults: $10 online, $12 at the door; students and seniors: $6 online, $7 at the door
  • www.evergreenphil.org

“It’s something that is worthy of our attention,” Peterson added.

Regarding the idea of a combined concert and caroling performance, Peterson said the idea has been in the works for several years. But he and Longman wanted to wait until the opening of the Performing Arts Center, Peterson added.

To help facilitate the singing aspect of the event, Longman brought in professional singer/actress Lisa Peretti to emcee the evening.

Peretti has an impressive résumé, according to Longman, one that includes touring Europe as the female lead in “The Phantom of the Opera.”

In November, the Evergreen group was the first to perform in the still new arts center. Peretti came on stage to promote the upcoming Christmas event and gave a small sampling of her singing ability, Evergreen parent Karen Yose said.

“It got us all hyped up,” she added.

For at least one song, violinist Arthur Zadinski, first violinist for the Seattle Symphony and an Issaquah resident, will join the Evergreen orchestra. Zadinski performed an original solo on a recording of Peretti’s and will do that solo again as Peretti performs an original song.

“We will have Christmas cookies after the concert, of course,” Longman said.

Tom Corrigan: 392-6434, ext. 241, or tcorrigan@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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