Each year, since 1959, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors funds the production of a free holiday celebration at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on December 24. The show, which is curated and produced by The Music Center under the direction of its arts division, TMC Arts, features community and professional choirs, music ensembles and dance companies that represent the diverse cultures and holiday traditions of the County. The program is also broadcast live on local public television and rebroadcast on Christmas Day and also shown via livestream and on social channels. Thousands attend the program in person, and hundreds of thousands of Southern Californian households tune into the live broadcast.
This year, the 61st Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration will be held on Thursday, December 24, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The program will be televised live on local public television. Both the event and parking are free to the public.
Due to current COVID-19 conditions and the Safer-at-Home order, the Holiday Celebration may be produced in a different manner than in years past, which may affect the final production of the show. Nevertheless, we are confident that the program will continue to bring holiday cheer to all residents of L.A. County. More concrete information will be available as it is confirmed.
Who is eligible for the Holiday Celebration?
- Groups must be based in Los Angeles County and be able to provide proof if requested.
- Groups must fit one of the three appropriate performance categories: Vocal Ensemble, Music Ensemble and Dance.
- Performance must be suitable for an all-ages crowd.
- Group leader must be over the age of 18.
Groups will be reviewed and selected based on the following selection criteria:
- Artistic excellence
- Suitability for the Holiday Celebration
(Suitability to the programming of a multi-cultural, multi-denominational program; quality of performance scaled for a large-sized venue; and appropriateness for an all-ages crowd)
NOTE: Artist groups who have not performed in the past at the Holiday Celebration are strongly encouraged to apply. All applications are evaluated based on their merit and ability to achieve the two criteria.
You must complete all required fields to the best of your ability. Applicants will be reviewed and selected based only on the material provided. We encourage you to put your best foot forward. All applicants are required to submit supporting documentation with their application. Supporting material must be uploaded digitally. Hard copies of documents/photos, CDs or DVDs will not be accepted.
Work Sample – All applicants must submit one video-only work sample to be considered for the program. This sample must be:
- A maximum length of three minutes.
- Show a continuous performance; no edited pieces, montages or excerpts.
- A live performance.
- Recorded within the past 12-months of a past work.
You may submit a video performance of your proposed Holiday Celebration performance. If artists do not have a recording at this time, they can start the application and submit the video portion any time after the "Safer at Home" order is lifted and before the August 2, 2020 deadline. Please note: Recorded Zoom video calls (or similar program) would be accepted as performance video if existing material is not readily available before the deadline. We ultimately want to see video that demonstrates your group’s best work. All performance samples should be of the highest quality possible. This video submission is the most important part of the application.
- Group Photo – Please submit one photo of your group. This photo must be:
- Taken within the past 12 months.
- High resolution and in focus (300dpi)
- An original digital photo. Copies of printed images, still images from videos and screenshots are not acceptable.
Expectations if selected:
- If selected for the Holiday Celebration, groups will be:
- Assigned performance times ranging from 3-6 minutes in length.
- Must be able and willing to adapt their performance length to suit the time constraints of a live broadcast.
- Required to attend and participate in a one-hour rehearsal on 12/5/2020.
- Assigned a mandatory spacing rehearsal or soundcheck time. The spacing rehearsal will be on 12/22/2020 and the soundcheck will be on 12/23/2020 or the morning of the show. Specific time-slots will be assigned closer to the dates mentioned.
- If selected, group leaders are responsible for:
- Communicating with Music Center staff in a timely manner.
- Completing all required financial and production-related documents.
- (If a leader of a children’s group) Distributing parent tickets for performers who are under the age of sixteen; tickets will be provided by The Music Center
- Ensuring every member of the group signs a completed TV release.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following answers to commonly asked questions will help you complete your application.
I’m having trouble filling out my application; can I get help?
If you need technical assistance with your application, please contact SurveyMonkey Apply here. If you have questions regarding the application, please email email@example.com. The Music Center will host a webinar about the Holiday Celebration and the application in late April at holidaycelebration.org.
Can I drop off or mail my printed application?
No. We accept only completed online applications. Application and supporting materials that are printed and mailed or submitted by any means other than through the approved online process will not be considered for the Holiday Celebration.
Can I apply if my group is not based in Los Angeles County?
The L.A. County Holiday Celebration is a celebration of the artistic diversity of Los Angeles County. Given that geographical focus, groups that apply must be based in Los Angeles County.
How do I find out in which district of Los Angeles County my group is based?
Visit http://rrcc.lacounty.gov/OnlineDistrictmapApp/ to locate the district where your group is based. Enter the address in the format required to locate your district number. If you are unable to access the website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to enter a street address and not a P.O. Box. We are unable to verify the district of a group without a street address.
We also ask that you estimate the district in which the majority of your members reside and the district in which your group most often performs. If your group performs in more than one district of Los Angeles County, check mark each district in the application. Visit the link below for a County district map:
Are performing groups compensated for their participation in the Holiday Celebration?
Yes, all participating groups receive honorariums. Group honorariums will be determined upon selection and based upon the group’s scale, size and performance union affiliations (if any).
What if I am a member of a performance union?
We do accept AFM Local 47 Musicians and members of 4-A (AFTRA, SAG, AEA, AGVA). All union members are required to show proof of membership and complete financial documents that are separate from the group artist honorarium.
- Applicants with musician union members in their group may be required to contract with the Local 47 Musicians Union office to disperse artist payments and are required to collect and submit copies of current union cards for all Local 47 members who will perform upon acceptance of participation.
- 4-A (AFTRA, SAG, AEA, AGVA) choral/dance members that have been approved are paid 80% of the AFTRA scale rate under a waiver agreement with the union.
As this is a limited budget production, The Music Center approves only a limited number of union- affiliated members for this program. Please have a full understanding of how many union performers you might have for the performance when completing the application.
My act involves elaborate sets/props/costumes. Is that okay?
Possibly. Artists are required to furnish all necessary props pieces and costumes. Given the fast-moving nature of the Holiday Celebration, we cannot allow any major scenic elements. The Music Center reserves the right to require alterations to props and costumes.
I have more than one group I would like to submit, am I allowed to?
If you are the group leader for more than one artist group, you may submit up to 2 unique applications. However submitting multiple applications for the same group is not allowed.
I want to have a joint performance with another group, should we combine our application?
Yes, if you are proposing a collaboration with another artist group you would need to submit one joint application.
If my group is chosen to participate, can I bring my family and friends to the show?
Friends and family are encouraged to come early and enter through the general entrance line. Given the high demand for seating and the amount of performers that are a part of the program, we cannot guarantee seating for artists’ guests.
I am a parent of a child in the program; can I get guaranteed early entry?
Early Entrance Passes will be issued to parents of performers under the age of 18 only. Each pass will admit four family members and will be mailed to the group leader in advance to be distributed. These passes guarantee early entry only. Additional information about Early Entrance Passes will be communicated to the group leader closer to the date.
When will I hear back once my application is submitted?
Applications are due by August 2, 2020 at midnight. All applicant groups will be notified of the status of their application via email 6-8 weeks from the application deadline. Approved applicants will submit a follow-up Artist Production Form that will be due approximately two weeks after notification. Groups will be asked to provide more detailed information at that time, including specific repertoire, composer/publisher and costume information, lyric sheets, stage diagrams, soloist names and approved union artist contact information.