The Bell Canto Ringers are thrilled to return for a sixth season at Simi Community Christmas. The Bell Canto Ringers are a handbell choir consisting of 11 musicians from Agoura Hills, Newbury Park, Simi Valley, and Westlake under the direction of Jodi Ream. Following her eight years as a youth and handbell choir director in Santa Monica, Jodi Ream and her sister, Sally Walter, organized the Bell Canto Ringers in 2008 as a tribute to their parents for the support and encouragement of their daughters’ musical pursuits. The Bell Canto Ringers have performed throughout Ventura County.
Craig Mathias of Clan Buchanan has been playing the highland bagpipes since 1999. He performs throughout the year at community events throughout Southern California including Memorial Day observances, dedications and flag raisings. He has closed every evening of the Simi Community Christmas celebration since its inception.
During the nights of Simi Community Christmas, several pipe tunes will close each evening including Amazing Grace, Going Home and an assortment of traditional Christmas songs.
Piper Craig wears traditional 19th century attire including kilts of Clan Buchanan in both modern (reds and yellows) and hunting (greens and blacks) tartans. His clan medallion shows an arm holding the crown of Scotland, signifying the role of Clan Buchanan in saving the Scottish crown in several battles of the 15th through 17th centuries.
Elaine Litster performs and freelances through Southern California. She is the principal harpist of Channel Island Chamber Orchestra, and is currently playing for the Nutcracker Ballet with performances in Ventura and Oxnard. She is a part of Witness Music and has performed “Lamb of God” the past three Easter seasons.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of Harp Extravaganza. She organizes and leads a group of harpists that “spontaneously” perform Christmas carols at the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Often there are over 25 harpists participating. Elaine’s solo album has been well received and she has collaborated with multiple recording projects.
She is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of the American Harp Society, with 3000 members. Elaine holds a bachelors degree from BYU, and masters in Urban Planning from UCLA. Elaine is particularly appreciative of her husband Greg, her five children, and two grand children that put up with all of her musical craziness, particularly at this time of the year.
Hillside Middle School Choir has a comprehensive, award-winning choral program. There are three choirs in this program, including the Mixed Choir, Concert Choir, and Choral Ensemble. These choirs produce their own on-campus concerts, as well as participate in choral festivals and off-campus performances. The choirs include students in grades 6th through 8th grade.
Looking Back is now entering its second decade of bringing to memory the soft rock sounds of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s to audiences around Southern California. This group came together to share a love of music and talent with a special touch of brotherhood that has been a lively part of our experience together. Our musical diversity and vocal harmonies cover a wide range of songs that defined some of the best music from several great musical eras.
The lineup of Looking Back – Del Steele (Keyboard, Accordion), Randy Moffett (Guitar and Lead Vocals), Kent Hambly (12 String Guitar, Bass and Banjo), Darrell Wight (Rhythm Guitar), David Sardoni (Mandolin) Steve Murphy (Percussion, Drums) and Dave DeGregorio (Acoustic Guitar and Vocals). Each of the members of the band enjoy a variety of musical tastes and backgrounds, from Classical Music to Classic Rock and Barbershop all of which brings a unique influence to the music we perform.
Pipe Dream Flutes & Friends has evolved from the original ensemble called Flauto Badinage, which was founded in 1992 in response to the growing flute ensemble repertoire and performance opportunities for flute ensembles. The ensemble has been featured at many venues and festivals throughout the United States and in Vienna, Austria.
Pipe Dream Flutes & Friends strives to introduce and promote original works, arrangements, and commissioned works, some of which include percussion, world flutes, voices, keyboards, and strings, plus flutes from the contrabass flute family. Pipe Dream Flutes & Friends were featured performers at the 2013 National Flute Association convention in New Orleans, LA, where they premiered a program of commissioned works PipeDreamFlutes.com
The St. Rose of Lima Master Chorale is composed of talented parishioners from our church. All the members of the group are very dedicated and devote their time and talent in the music ministry at St. Rose. Their main ministry and joy is leading the congregation in song and prayer every Sunday at the 9:00 Mass. This enthusiastic group is directed by Clare Delto and accompanied by Dr. Rachel Yoon.
The director, Clare Delto is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston where she received her Bachelor degree in Music Education. She also earned her Master of Music degree in Conducting from San Diego State University. Clare has been featured as a solo vocalist and conductor at prestigious venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Chartres Cathedral, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the King’s Chapel in Versailles, St. Chapelle, Melbourne Scots’ Church, Sydney Town Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. The St. Rose of Lima Master Chorale would like to thank the Simi Community Christmas organizers for inviting us to sing again this year.
Simi Valley Adventist School bell choir is an audition only group for grades sixth through eighth. They perform off campus and at special events. This is an advanced musical experience requiring focus and discipline for the students. It provides an opportunity for the students to learn poise and confidence.
The classrooms at Simi Valley Adventist School, a K thru 8th grade school, operate under the multi-grade model, where students of two or three grade levels learn together in the same classroom. Research has shown that multi-grade classrooms have a positive impact on the attitudes of students and could enhance their academic achievements.
The Choir is conducted by Dave Watkins. David Watkins studied composition at Cal State Northridge but left to begin his career as a professional musician. He has toured with Hank Ballard and the Midniters (originator of “The Twist”) as well as the “World Famous Drifters”. He currently works with the choral and drama departments for Hillside Middle School, Simi High and Moorpark College as well as the Simi Valley Adventist School. He considers this school his home base and teaches a bell choir, concert band and singing chorus. He is passionate about teaching because children are the future and it is exciting to see them grow with a strong musical foundation.
Simi Valley Adventist Children's Bell Choir
The Simi Community Children's Choir . . . .
The Simi Valley LDS Community Choir is comprised of members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Simi Valley area. The choir has been organized for almost 50 years and has enjoyed participating in the Simi Community Christmas event since it's beginning 15 years ago.
Our choir director, Suzanne Shisley, has over 20 years experience as a choral arranger, pianist, and an instrumental (woodwind/brass) instructor at Viewpoint School in Calabasas.
Our humble choir is so grateful for our talented accompanist- Brennan Bown.
The Simi Valley Youth Choir has a long tradition of sharing their Christmas Spirit in the community. The combined choir of youth – ages 12 to 18 years old - has been practicing since September in preparation for this performance. Conductor Robert Erickson comes from a rich musical background and has led various youth choirs over the last 20 years. This choir is made up of youth from many different Simi Valley Schools.
Our talented accompanists are: Arianna Nelson and Kaleb Erickson. Arianna has been studying Piano for 11 years. She will soon graduate from Cal Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks, majoring in Business. Kaleb is working on a Master’s Degree at UCLA and has studied Piano for 12 years.
These youth have spent many hours preparing for this program. Our music celebrates the sacred story of Christ’s birth and in addition we sing a few fun songs to share the joy of the season, including “Mary Did You Know?” “Christ Is The Reason” and a carol medley entitled “Triumph of the Skies.” We all get to have fun with “Mistletoe” and a Jingle Bell Rock number. The program includes a medley of traditional Christmas favorites. We hope you enjoy this performance of the Simi Valley Youth Choir.
Tamali’is was established in 1977 by Dorothy Ae, a resident of Simi Valley for 38 years, along with her husband Tinou and children Stuart, Fa’atamali’i, Nafanua and Vincent. She taught her children, her extended family, friends and neighborhood children the art of Polynesian dance. Today, the Polynesian culture is shared by the Tamali’is throughout Southern California. (Tamali’is means “to be humble”.)
The Simi Valley Music Children's Chorus is directed by Ruth Elin Drossel, who strives to bring music into the lives of our city’s elementary students. Mrs. Drossel has been directing elementary school choruses for over 20 years as well as teaching general music education in the Simi Valley and Conejo Valley school districts. She is also the Director for the Children and High School Choirs at Westwood United Methodist Church in Los Angeles.