Staff Report

The Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale, known for lyrical and diverse choral and orchestral programs, continues to celebrate its 40th anniversary season with spring concerts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 12, at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall, 1745 Mission Drive in Solvang.

Under the direction of Dr. Michael Eglin, the 50-member chorale, with singers and musicians from other local groups and a 17-piece professional orchestra, will begin the celebration with Joseph Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass.”

Originally called the “Mass for Troubled Times,” it was nicknamed Lord Nelson Mass in 1798 when it was associated with Admiral Horatio Nelson’s victory over Napoleon in the Battle of the Nile. It is considered the composer’s greatest composition.

The second half of the concert celebrates with jazz standards, contemporary tunes and rock covers including Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate,” Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” and ABBA’s “Waterloo” and “Take a Chance On Me.”

 Special guests will include Song-In-My-Heart Guitar Studio, and the concert will close with Eric Idle’s rousing and comedic “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life.”

Chorale president Shannon Casey describes the concert as “our heartfelt anniversary present to the community. We selected music that we love to sing and believe our audience would love to hear. It’s powerful, uplifting, fun, and joyfully announces our commitment to making beautiful music for another 40 years.”

Tickets purchased in advance are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors (65 and over) and youth (18 and under). They may be purchased at The Book Loft, El Rancho Market, from chorale members and online by visiting Tickets at the door are $35 and $30.

The nonprofit chorale’s members come from throughout the county and range from novices to professional singers and from 8 to more than 80 years old.