Choral singing in Ventura County returns in a big way

So big, in fact, that it’s being called a Holiday Spectacular! Channel

Islands Choral Association (CICA) and the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra (CHICO) in collaboration with the CSU Channel Islands University Chorus, and the Santa Paula High School Concert Choir are presenting excerpts from Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, and Camille Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony No. 3. This celebratory program will be conducted under the skilled baton of Dr. KuanFen Liu, Artistic Director and Assistant Professor of Performing Arts at CSUCI. Concert dates are scheduled for Saturday, December 4 at 7:00 PM at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 25 N. Las Posas Road in Camarillo, and Sunday, December 5 at 3:00 PM at First United Methodist Church, 1338 E. Santa Clara Street in Ventura.

It’s definitely a time to celebrate with music,” says Artistic Director, Dr. KuanFen Liu. “We have waited for almost 2 years to be able to safely return to live, in-person concerts, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring to the community this glorious and uplifting program.” This program was intentionally selected to reflect the joy it is to sing choral music once again in a more traditional way. For three seasons, CICA has been hosting an all-virtual program. “We had great success and fun creating our virtual programs for our members and audiences. These virtual programs allowed us to explore the underrepresented music of women and Black choral composers. And, now that we have been given more of a green light to resume in-person singing, we want to celebrate with you music that has resonated with mankind for centuries and still inspires us today.”

CICA President, Dean Butler tells us some of the ways that CICA and the CSU University Chorus are able to safely return to what he is calling their “bridge back.” “All our members are now required to show proof of vaccination. In addition, we have combined both virtual rehearsals with in-person, outdoor rehearsals on Saturdays. Our members are learning how to sing all masked and socially distanced, but this doesn’t seem to bother any of them as the joy of singing in-person is greater than any of the inconveniences.”

Concert-goers ages 12 and older attending the performances will need to show proof of vaccination. Face coverings will be required to be worn by everyone. Dr. Liu states, “Our audiences will be able to enjoy the performances in a very traditional way – the orchestra will be on the main platform with the choir distanced in the balconies of both concert venues. This will give our audience a beautiful sense of choral singing that for centuries was the custom while keeping everyone as safe as possible.”

Tickets are a suggested $20 donation to CICA and are only available at the door. All seats are first-come, first-serve. For more information, visit the CICA website at or the CHICO website at

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