Culture

The Local Girls’ 22nd Annual Christmas Concert

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Brenda Catania, Gay Dalzell and Mimi Hart have been performing music together as The Local Girls since 1988.

In those 23 years, they have played all sorts of venues, from the White House for Hillary Clinton's 50th birthday celebration to New York City's Town Hall for A Prairie Home Companion.

However, the show that they always look forward to performing, and one that they have done for the past 21 years, is their Annual Christmas Concert in Athens, Ohio, their hometown.

Each December, the Local Girls offer holiday standards, sacred and secular, as well as new classics, culminating with caroling by all–and a stage full of community children singing "Frosty the Snowman" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

A Local Girls performance always has plenty of material from the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s, with standards by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Harold Arlen and harmonies inspired by the Boswell Sisters and The Rhythm Boys.

However, their songlist reads like the history of 20th century music, including blues, bebop, cowpoke yodeling, and songs by Randy Newman, T Bone Burnett, Ike Turner and Carole King.

The group's holiday repertoire is as diverse as their concert songlist, with songs from the Jazz Age as well as "Jingle Bell Rock," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and David Seville's "Chipmunk Song."

The Local Girls' 22nd Annual Christmas Concert will take place at ARTS/West at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18. For more information about the group, visit www.thelocalgirls.com.