You’ve seen them: Solano County homes already festooned with holiday lights. And Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa celebrations and observances are still some weeks away, well past the traditional launch of holiday season, Thanksgiving.

Be that as it may, it also means holiday music, from carols to pop songs to Handel’s “Messiah,” will soon be in our ears bent toward a radio, a TV, a laptop or singers and musicians in a church.

It is the latter where the Alive Music Orchestra will usher in the season with its 32nd annual Christmas show, this year dubbed “Christmas Time is Here,” at the Valley Church in Vacaville.

A Vaca Jazz Society production, the music, with its emphasis on swing — the basic rhythm of jazz — begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 in the 5063 Maple Road house of worship. Admission is free, but “love offerings” will be accepted, Keith Stout, a show organizer, said in a press statement.

As it has in years past, the concert will include traditional sing-along carols and popular Christmas songs made famous by myriad celebrity singers, the classic crooners Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, among others. The tunes will be familiar: “Little Drummer Boy,” “White Christmas,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and so many more.

Melded together, the songs are “meant to remind people that the holidays are a season of peace, family and, most importantly, the miraculous birth of Christ,” Stout, a trumpeter and AMO’s founder, said in the prepared statement.

Among the featured singers will be Big Band vocalist Frank Salamone, pastor emeritus of Dixon Cornerstone Church, with daughter vocalist Leah Walker, vocalist Lee Reyes, all whom impressed at the Veterans Day commemoration concert Nov. 11 at the Downtown Theatre in Fairfield.

Talented singers are among the many performers and musicians who will perform at the 28th annual Alive Music Orchestra Christmas Show Dec. 13 at the Valley Church, 5063 Maple Road, in Vacaville.Courtesy Photo, Alive Music Orchestra
Vocalist Frank Salamone and other singers are among the many performers and musicians who will perform at the 32nd annual Alive Music Orchestra Christmas Show Dec. 8 at the Valley Church, 5063 Maple Road, in Vacaville.(Courtesy photo/Alive Music Orchestra)

For Stout, the annual show is something of a family affair. It includes Terrie and Brette, mother and daughter, Julie and Art. Brother Ken Stout, a saxophonist, is the new AMO director and president of the Jazz Society Inc.

No AMO Christmas show comes and goes without what Keith Stout calls “an American tradition” started by the late comedian and entertainer Bob Hope and his USO Christmas tours overseas, during which he honored U.S. troops.

“We always include a special dedication to our troops and their families, praying for a safe return home,” said Stout, an Air Force “brat” whose father and father in-law both served in Vietnam. His grandfather and uncle served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

“That’s something our Stout family feels strongly about, especially during the
Christmas season,” he added.

Stout, on behalf of The Vaca Jazz Society, thanked the “dedicated members, sponsors, military and civilian volunteers for the previous 24 years,” who pitched in to support the “Unify in Music” citywide festival and youth music camps. Primary support comes from the Solano County Library-Vacaville Town Square, City of Vacaville and the USAF Band of the Golden West musicians from Travis Air Force Base.

Next year the Society’s 23rd annual free Vacaville Jazz Festival will be Sept. 20 to 22, he noted. The event incorporates the military tribute called “Freedom’s Gate,” which concludes the jazz festival each year.

AMO will accept love offering donations at the end of program, with proceeds going toward the Vaca Jazz Society’s youth music camps directed by Mike Williams, a retired Air Force senior master sergeant.

The Jazz Society “is passionate that the gift of music enriches our children’s lives, keeping them out of harms way,” said Stout.

For more information, visit www.VacaJazz.com, www.VacaJazzSociety.org or the orchestra’s Facebook page.

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