Temecula Valley Symphony welcomes special guests for ‘Joyous’

Jonathan Hawkins created the all-male quartet, VOCI, which will perform with the Temecula Valley Symphony during the ‘Joyous Celebration’ concert on Saturday, Dec. 14. Courtesy Photos/Voci

Jeff Pack
Staff Writer

Jonathan Hawkins is a regular with the Temecula Valley Symphony, often called upon to bolster the music with vocals, taking the songs to new heights. 

As a tenor, he is also called to several other projects throughout the year, and recently, he apologized for his lack of availability due to a performance at Buckingham Palace with Bravo Amici.

“It’s been a little bit crazy,” Hawkins said.

Upon his return, he promised, he would bring with him to Temecula a new project that has finally come to fruition. 

Hawkins is part of the all-male vocal quartet VOCI, which will perform selections from Il Divo such as “Rejoice!” and renditions of treasured holiday classics along with the symphony at “Joyous Celebration” on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Temecula Valley High School’s Golden Bears Theater.

“VOCI has been in the works for several years,” Hawkins said. “To me, it was about finding the right mix of talent. I wanted to create a group of voices that on their own were sensational, yet when together, created a sound that was uniquely powerful and transcendent. I finally found that in these three other voices, and I’m thrilled for everyone at the upcoming Temecula Valley Symphony holiday concert to get to experience it.”

Though they are new, individually have a wealth of experience. 

“Each member of VOCI has performed with major symphony orchestras around the world as soloists,” Hawkins said. “But this will be the first time that the four of us will come together, to create something uniquely special for the Temecula Valley Symphony.”

He is confident the audience will find the group — which consists of Hawkins, Alec Houston Bell, Loren Smith and Matt Bloyd — appealing. 

“VOCI’s sole purpose is to bring a new sound to something familiar,” Hawkins said. “The male quartet is not a new concept. But what VOCI does, is bring a fresh sound, perspective, and style to classic repertoire.”

The concert will be filled with holiday spirit and the majestic sounds of Christmas as the symphony performs holiday favorites including “Joy to the World,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Carol Symphony,” “Christmas Overture,” and Prokofiev’s “Troika” from the “Lieutenant Kiji Suite.” 

Hawkins is excited to perform with the symphony again doing songs he loves. 

“I absolutely love holiday music and the joy that it brings,” he said. “You cant help but be moved by the familiar tunes, lush orchestrations, and the sounds of the season.”

He thinks the audience will love it as well. 

“I think each and every person who comes to this concert will be magically ushered into the holiday season,” Hawkins said. “This symphony embodies this very community, and there is no greater way to ring in the holiday season than with this gorgeous music.”

“Joyous Celebration” featuring VOCI will be performed at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Temecula Valley High School’s Golden Bears Theater, 31555 Rancho Vista Road in Temecula.

Tickets range in price from $15-30 and can be purchased at temeculavalleysymphony.org.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com