New West Symphony Presents

Two-time GRAMMY® and Tony® Award-winning


in rare west coast appearance with
New West Symphony’s holiday concert
International Food Event/Fundraiser “Winterfest 2023”

December 2 & 3, 2023
Thousand Oaks, Camarillo

Eileen Roberts

November 14, 2023

Thousand Oaks, CA – New West Symphony presents a holiday extravaganza featuring Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday in a rare west coast appearance. Also appearing in the concert will be the accomplished Los Robles Children’s Choir, dancers from State Street Ballet, and New West Symphony performing seasonal symphonic classic plus a traditional Hanukkah medley, creating an inclusive concert for all generations. The concert is curated and conducted by Artistic and Music Director Michael Christie.

“We have worked diligently to present a concert we feel will bring joy, hope, love, and healing at a very difficult time in our world. We want our December concerts to envelope our audience like a warm blanket in a safe and uplifting environment. Jennifer Holliday’s luminous voice, anchored in her gospel music roots, is the perfect performer to convey this spirit. The purity of sound from the Los Robles Children’s Choir is angelic, and dancers from State Street Ballet will visually interpret the soaring melodies of our symphonic classics. These concerts couldn’t be a better way to immerse into the true meaning of the season,” says Music Director Michael Christie.”

Jennifer Holliday was literally discovered singing at her church in Houston Texas. Landing her first Broadway show at age 19, she was invited by renowned Broadway director and choreographer Michael Bennett (A Chorus Line) to create the lead role of “Effie” in the 1981 smash hit Dreamgirls. She received a Tony®Award for Best Actress in a Musical at only 21 years of age, and a GRAMMY® Award for her performance of the show-stopping torch ballad “And I am Telling You, I’m Not Going.” Her second album, “Say You Love Me,” won her a second GRAMMY® Award, and from 1985 to 1992 she had five Top 10 Singles on the R&B and Dance Charts. Ms. Holliday continued collaborations and appearances with other megastars: Barbra Streisand, Luther Vandross, David Foster, Paul Simon, Maurice White, and Foreigner to name a few. She has performed on several compilation albums for films including I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, The Five Heartbeats, Amazing Grace, and Why Did I Get Married. Ms. Holliday has also appeared in several television shows, including David E. Kelley’s Ally McBeal, Touched By An Angel, and American Idol. She returned to the theater starring alongside Cynthia Erivo in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple as sultry singer “Shug Avery,” followed by her performance as “Mama Morton” in Chicago. She recently made her film debut in the independent film The Road to Galena. Ms. Holliday continues to act and perform solo concerts across the country and around the world.

Ms. Holliday will be honored with a Certificate of Recognition from Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, a Proclamation from the City of West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shane, and a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Thousand Oaks Mayor Kevin McNamee.

Regional and audience favorite Los Robles Children’s Choir will return to perform with New West Symphony, conducted by Artistic Director Emma Roche. Ms. Roche was previously a member of Los Robles Children’s choir when she was younger, and holds a Master’s Degree from the USC Thornton School of Music. She spent several years as an opera singer traveling through the United States performing with companies including LA Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Charlottesville Opera, and San Diego Opera. Los Robles Children’s Choir will sing an Austrian and Romanian Carol, plus a special song from the film Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. Los Robles Children’s Choir is group of highly polished young singers known for their talent and musicianship.

The concert is presented in partnership with State Street Ballet. Dancers will perform to two symphonic pieces, specially choreographed for the program.

“Reeling from the success of our last concert Beethoven to Brubeck, we are so pleased to offer a diverse program featuring outstanding young artists from our community and one of the most legendary female performers in Broadway history, Jennifer Holliday, along with our incredible orchestra. The audience support and response we received featuring students playing with our professional musicians in November bolsters our commitment to create unique programming, and we are presenting a holiday concert like no other. Jennifer Holliday has never appeared in our area before and we are thrilled our audiences will have the privilege of experiencing her iconic talent live,” says CEO Natalia Staneva.

International Food Tasting Winterfest 2023 is a pre-concert fundraising event December 2nd in Thousand Oaks Bank of America Performing Arts Center (BAPAC). It will benefit New West Symphony and its education programs. Ticket holders to this separate event will enjoy international food tastings in the decorated lobbies of BAPAC’s Kavli Theater from Romania, Ukraine, Mexico and China, plus Hanukkah desserts, and Yule Logs. There will be international live entertainment, Victorian Carolers, and a visit from Santa Claus. Holiday gifts will be available for purchase via a silent auction. The Symphony will raffle off a cruise certificate from one of their generous sponsors, AmaWaterways, to the Danube River. The concert and Winterfest are sponsored in part by UCLA Health, Nancy O’Reilly and Daughters Family Foundation, and Logix Federal Credit Union. The concert will immediately follow in Kavli Theater.

For information regarding “Winterfest 2023,” please contact Patricia Jones:
805.435.2775 or 805.497.5800


Holidays with Jennifer Holliday Tickets & Information
Starting at $30


“Winterfest 2023” Tickets & Information
General Admission: $100

Dates & Venues

December 2, 2023, 7:00pm | Thousand Oaks
Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

December 3, 2023, 3:00pm | Camarillo
Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center
4235 Mar Vista Dr., Camarillo, CA 93010

 About the New West Symphony

Now in its 29th season, the New West Symphony draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional accomplished Southern California-area musicians. Performances are held at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks and Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo.

Highlights of the upcoming season include:

  • Holidays with Jennifer Holliday, featuring Tony and GRAMMY® Award-winning Jennifer Holliday on December 2 & 3, 2023.
  • The dazzling exploits of Cirque de la Symphonie, feats of human skill synchronized to live symphonic masterpieces.
  • The 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s timeless Rhapsody in Blue and Ottorino Respighi’s spectacular Pines of Rome.

Making their New West Symphony main stage debuts are pianists Daniel Vnukowski, playing Rhapsody in Blue, and Lara Downes playing Scott Joplin’s Four Rags for Piano and Orchestra.


About Michael Christie

Named Artistic and Music Director of the New West Symphony in December 2018, GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Michael Christie is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience entertaining, enlightening, and enriching. Deeply committed to bringing new works to life, he has championed commissions by leading and emerging composers alike. For further information, visit and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.