Holiday tunes with a twist

Concert tickets will help children in need

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comDecember 12, 2012 

— If you're looking for a way to create holiday memories while enjoying non-traditional renditions of your favorite Christmas songs, look no further than the Allan Spencer Mallet Choir.

Led by Tenaya Middle School band director Allan Spencer, 32, the five-person band plays a unique collection of mallet instruments -- including the xylophone, vibraphone and marimba.

They will apply this Caribbean-like sound to traditional holiday music in a concert Saturday.

"Usually when you hear these songs, it's sung by a group of people or your traditional instruments," Spencer said. "But now you'll be hearing these unusual exotic instruments that are a lot of fun. It's all your favorite Christmas music with a unique twist."

While tapping along to favorites like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night," attendees can make a significant difference to children in need.

All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in Merced.

In addition to partnering with CASA, attendees can bring additional items for underprivileged children. "We're encouraging everyone to bring a food item or an unwrapped toy," Spencer said.

About 200 tickets will be provided to underprivileged kids to see the concert, and Santa Claus will pay a special visit.

Spencer has played music for nearly 30 years and is currently pursuing his master's degree at California State University, Fresno. The Merced native has toured the nation with his choir and will be playing at Carnegie Hall in April.

The concert will be held at 7 p.m. at Christian Life Center in Merced.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, Gottschalks Music on Main Street, or by calling (209) 233-9805.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or

Allan Spencer Mallet Choir

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: Christian Life Center

Tickets: $10

Information: (209) 233-9805

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