By Ann McCreary

Classic orchestral music along with popular holiday songs and a special rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” will be offered by local singers and musicians during Cascadia Music’s annual holiday concerts on Dec. 12 and 13.

The Cascadia Chorale and Pipestone Orchestra present two evenings of holiday music that showcase local musical talents. The performances begin at 7 p.m. at the Methow Valley Community Center.

The Cascadia Chorale is at an all-time high of 60 members, said Dana Stromberger, now in her sixth year of leading the group. “It’s wonderful that there are so many people. We have a lot of new singers this year. It’s all about people having fun making music.”

The performances will open with “upbeat, lighthearted” music, Stromberger said. The Chorale will sing an original piece of music based on a poem written by choir member Ryan Brennan and set to music by pianist and composer Lynette Westendorf.

“It’s called ‘Christmas Morning’ and is a bright piece calling to mind ringing bells and snow sparkling in the sunlight while families gather to celebrate,” Stromberger said.

Pipestone Orchestra will also present an original arrangement of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” arranged by conductor Matt Armbrust for Twisp resident Joe Marver, who will sing it in “Bing Crosby, big-band style,” Armbrust said.

The orchestra will play the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major by Johann Sebastian Bach, and the ensembles will perform seven movements of Handel’s Messiah, including the Hallelujah Chorus, with the audience invited to join in.

Admission to the concerts is by donation. Reserved seats in the first three rows are available at Brown Paper Tickets for $15 for adults and $5 for students. For information call 997-0222.