Mariposa Life

Debbie Croft: Holiday concerts in Mariposa

Debbie Croft

When Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was first performed on Dec. 22, 1808, the concert was disastrous. With only one rehearsal, the orchestra didn't play well, the theater was un-heated, and the performance lasted more than four hours, as his Sixth Symphony was also played that evening.

Yet, a year later when the Fifth Symphony was performed a second time, it was a great success, and remains so to this day.

Da, da, da, dummmmmm...

"That four-note motif is just the beginning of a truly brilliant and revolutionary work of music," says Les Marsden, director and conductor of the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra. "It is inarguably, the most famous, recognizable and iconic piece of music ever written. And, on Dec. 20, at 7 p.m., the MSO will be performing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in C minor, for the very first time, live in Mariposa."

Da, da, da, dummmmmm...

Tickets may be purchased at the Mariposa County Arts Council at 5009 Fifth St. in Mariposa (phone number: (209)966-3155) or at the Mariposa County Visitors Center at the intersection of Highways 140 and 49 (phone number: (209)966-7081).

Prices are $6 for adults and $4 for students. The concert will be held in the Fiester Auditorium at the Mariposa County High School, located at Eighth Street and Old Highway.

The MSO Guild is always looking for interested persons who can help with setting up before the concerts, with ushering and in the ticket booth. Please contact Marilyn Saunders at (209) 742-5134.

Another concert this month will be presented by the Mariposa Community Chorus in conjunction with Merced College, and the Mariposa County High School and Middle School Vocal Music Departments. Featuring patriotic, secular and sacred choral music, these choirs will perform music of Alan Menken, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Irving Berlin, plus many others, and will also include an Argentine Christmas cantata titled "Navidad Nuestra" by Felix Luna and Ariel Ramirez.

The performance date is set for Monday at 7 p.m. in the Fiester Auditorium on the MCHS campus. Tickets are $5 each, and may be purchased at the Mariposa County Visitors Center, from choir members, or at the door.

Rod Fiester, the director, says, "This will be the first time for the middle school to perform with us, and there'll be a lot of variety in this concert. It'll be a lot of fun." The evening will end with a Christmas carol singalong for all the choirs and audience to join in.

May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She may be reached at