St. James Ladies Society Annual Christmas Concert Set for Dec 10

LOS ANGELES–Members of the St. James Ladies Society are starting to "Deck the hall with boughs of holly" as they begin plans for their Annual Christmas Concert to be held on December 10 at 4 p.m. in the St. James Armenian Church sanctuary. For the fourteenth year, the Santa Barbara Choral Society and Orchestra, conducted by Jo Anne Gondjian Wasserman, will be performing George Frederick Handel’s Messiah and "The Christmas Story According to St. Luke." Co-Chairs of the event, Lucille Bogosian and Alice Gondjian, announced that noted television and motion picture actor Richard Grieco will narrate "The Christmas Story According to St. Luke." His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, will be an honored guest on this occasion. Archpriest Fr. Arshag Khatchadourian states that the Annual Christmas Concert has become a highlight of the Christmas Season and continues to attract large audiences year after year. He expressed his appreciation to Bogosian and Gondjian for continuing to spearhead this remarkable program, stating "It is due to their enthusiasm and boundless energy that we continue to enjoy the music of one of the world’s greatest composers. Under the baton of Conductor Jo Anne Wasserman, we are witnessing a powerful and eloquent piece performed by the accomplished voices of the Santa Barbara Choral Society." Wasserman has received accolades and honors as Music Director of the Santa Barbara Choral Society and conductor of the orchestra for the past fourteen years. She has studied with outstanding conductors, including John Alexander, Rodney Eichenberger, James Vail, Lawrence Christenson, and has participated in Master Classes with Paul Salamanovitch and the late Roger Wagner. She has earned a reputation as an accomplished choral conductor and teacher for over twenty-seven years. She has served on the faculty of California State University of Northridge as Assistant Director of Choral Activities and from 2000 to 2002 was Choral Master of Santa Barbara Grand Opera. Wasserman is presently on the faculty of the Music Department at Moorpark College, teaching choral music and conducting its choir. She is preparing a two-week tour of Italy next summer to conduct five concerts with the Santa Barbara Choir and Italian orchestras. Wasserman is the daughter of proud parents, Jimmy and Alice Gondjian, longtime. loyal and devoted members of St. James. The narrator, Richard Grieco, began his acting career in 1986 on television on the ABC daytime soap "One Life to Live" for two years. In 1987 he moved to Los Angeles and began working as a guest star on TV shows as "Who’s the Boss,"Rags to Riches,"Apple Blues,"The Bronx Zoo." and "Veronica Mars." He became e a series regular on "21 Jump Street," starring Johnny Depp. He got his own show, the spin-off "Booker" which ran until 1990. He made his movie debut in the James Bond spoof "If Looks Could Kill." Additional film roles have included "The Mobsters," and "Born to Run." In addition to his film and television talents, he has found success as a singer, a side career he launched in 1994. He released a CD with the German label Edel Records, "Waiting for the Sky to Fall," which has become a smash hit in Europe. Following the concert, a gala Holiday reception will be held in the John Gogian Hall. Guests will enjoy a sumptuous and lavish buffet featuring an assortment of Armenian delicacies prepared by the Ladies Society members.

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