Pasadena Chorale presents “The Light of Hope Returning”

Heavenly voices! Combining the winter solstice, Christmas and New Year’s themes, the Pasadena Chorale is proud to present the first concert of its 2022-2023 season, the L.A. premiere of Shawn Kirchner’s new conceptual musical work, The Light of Hope Returning.

This festive concert is set for a one-night-only performance on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Pasadena.

The Chorale will offer its December concert – along with the rest of the 22/23 concerts at no cost to its patrons – with its innovative “Listen First, Then Give” ticketing. While tickets are free, a ticket reservation is required to attend and donations are strongly encouraged.

“I am thrilled that the Pasadena Chorale is offering the Los Angeles premiere of this work that is so close to my heart,” said composer Shawn Kirchner. “The Light of Hope Returning celebrates the ‘turning of the year’ in a new folk oratorio combining the winter solstice, Christmas and New Year’s themes. We figuratively sit at the fireside of a wise Matriarch soloist as a tale unfolds of the ‘light of hope’ waiting on the other side of darkness. Good cheer abounds in the face of tyrant threats and troubled times.”

composer Shawn Kirchner.

In the new work by Shawn Kirchner, poetry is interspersed with carols old and new, decked in folk, bluegrass, or gospel fashion, all enticingly reimagined by Kirchner. The Pasadena Chorale will be joined by the Chorale’s Student Singers, a treble choir of two dozen students from the Octavia Butler Middle School and the Pasadena Waldorf School, and will be accompanied by a small band of instruments including piano, strings, flute, saxophone and dulcimer.

Based in Los Angeles, Shawn Kirchner is a composer/arranger/songwriter, singer, and pianist whose choral works are performed throughout the world. A member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) since 2001, Kirchner has enjoyed an enduring creative relationship with music director Grant Gershon, culminating in his tenure as the LAMC’s Swan Family Composer-in-Residence from 2012-2015. Kirchner has also collaborated with such leading ensembles as Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Lorelei Ensemble, San Diego Master Chorale, Los Robles Master Chorale, Coro Allegro, Atlanta Master Chorale, Tonality, and now the Pasadena Chorale.

For the safety of all in attendance, the Pasadena Chorale strongly encourages masking and full vaccination against COVID-19.

Ticket reservations and donations for Shawn Kirchner’s The Light of Hope Returning can be made here at


Founded by Jeffrey Bernstein in 2009, the Pasadena Chorale is an auditioned community chorus presenting affordable high-quality choral concerts and educational programs to the greater Pasadena Community.

During its dozen years of service to the community, the Chorale has presented over one hundred performances and enjoyed collaborations with the Pasadena Playhouse, MUSE/IQUE, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Gamble House. In 2017 the Pasadena Chorale was awarded second place in the American Prize in Choral Performance.

The Chorale also offers a robust education program at no cost to participating students. Each year, through its unique Listening To The Future project, the Chorale pairs local high school composers with a professional composer mentor for a year of study. At the end of the year the Chorale presents a concert of the music composed by these students.

The Pasadena Chorale is the proud recipient of support from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Pasadena Community Foundation and the City of Pasadena. All of the Pasadena Chorale’s regular concerts are offered on a “Listen First, Then Give” basis, ensuring that all are able to attend, and encouraging the generous support of those who are able.

The mission of the Pasadena Chorale is to create choral music that educates, uplifts and inspires as many people as possible.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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