‘Tis the season for holiday family fun!
The third annual “Klamath Falls Singing Christmas Tree” moves to its new home at the Ross Ragland Theater for performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, according to a news release.
The holiday community production features a 50-person “Singing Christmas Tree” of the Basin’s finest singers accompanied by an orchestra of accomplished musicians from throughout the area. Together with well-loved guest performers, actors, aerialists, dancers, an adorable children’s chorus and Klamath County’s largest Living Nativity, they offer a bevy of holiday tunes sure to touch your hearts and bring a smile to your face.
This year’s production — “A New Old-fashioned Christmas” — follows a modern family as they travel through history in discovery of the perfect Christmas gift. Guest stars include talented married singers Eric and Kari Christensen. The performance will be directed by Oregon’s own Miss America 2002 Katie Harman Ebner and choreographed by former Radio City Music Spectacular Dancer Christopher Dean and brought to you in partnership by Triad School Performing Arts and the Ross Ragland Theater.
“We are especially excited for this production” said Terra Russo, director of development and marketing at the Ross Ragland. “Katie and her team bring dynamic energy and professionalism to this show. It is such a treat to have the Klamath Falls “Singing Christmas Tree” as a part of our season this year,” said Russo.
Guest star Eric Christensen hails from Wilsonville, Ore., and is a 2003 graduate of Oregon State University, and a proud Beaver. He is the owner of Fisher Construction, a commercial construction general contractor in Albany. Eric is an accomplished quartet singer, competing several times at the international level in the Barbershop Harmony Society. His stage debut was at the age of 9 years old, in a quartet that featured his father, older brother and a family friend. This past summer he was honored to sing in the Westminster Chorus as they sang their way to Gold, winning the 2019 International Barbershop Chorus Competition. He is proud to be married to Kari (Virding) Christensen, Miss Oregon 2007 and is most excited with being a father to their two children Ellie, 3, and Parker, 1.
Guest star Kari (Virding) Christensen was honored to have traveled the state as Miss Oregon 2007. At Miss America, she received the non-finalist talent award for her vocal rendition of “The Girl in 14G.” Her involvement with the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program continues as she hosts the state (and many local pageants) each year. An avid performer, Kari has performed in musicals throughout Portland and Los Angeles where she graduated with a degree in communication studies from Azusa Pacific University. She serves as co-president of the Northwest Children’s Theatre Alumni Association. Kari also enjoys her role as a parent-teacher and social director at her daughter’s preschool. And finds great joy as a Volunteer Wish Granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon.
Choreographer Christopher Dean received his introduction to the professional dance world when Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber tapped him as a member of Norwegian Cruise Line’s original cast for “The Dawn.” After, Christopher moved to New York City, where he performed in Broadway and regional productions including “West Side Story,” “Grease!,” “The Music Man,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Carousel” (starring Oscar-winner Shirley Jones). He accepted a position as an ensemble singer/dancer in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the world Famous Rockettes and was associate producer for their summer programs. Christopher won a national award for “Choreography” which was performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He appeared in New York Fashion Week’s Heatherette and Marc Jacobs shows, OK! Magazine, and the CNBC Cruise Ship Documentary “Cruise Inc.” He was a featured actor in Gavin DeGraw’s music video “Follow Through,” and appeared in “The Extra Man” starring Katie Holmes and Kevin Kline. Christopher joined Desiree on a group date as the Mister America coach for the ABC show “The Bachelorette” in season 17. Christopher is the production choreographer for United States of America’s Miss Oregon. He is also proud to be resident choreographer for the Historic Elsinore Theatre’s In-house productions.
Director Katie Harman Ebner was crowned Miss America 2002, and parlayed her historic reign into a burgeoning performance career. Equally at home with opera, classic musical theater and appearing with symphony orchestras. In 2018, Katie was honored as a Top 10 finalist in the prestigious National Opera Association Artist Awards, and in 2016, Katie was hand-selected to participate in Master Classes with legendary Sopranos Renée Fleming and Deborah Voight. Critically acclaimed roles have included Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (Prague Summer Nights), Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun (Elsinore Theatre), Emma Carew in Jekyll & Hyde (Stumptown Stages), Sandman/Dew Fairy in Hansel & Gretel (Brava Opera Theatre), Yum Yum in The Mikado (Obsidian Opera), Kathie in The Student Prince (Gold Coast Opera), Marion Paroo in The Music Man (The Ross Ragland Theater), Lily in The Secret Garden (Staged! Musical Theater Company), and Lucy in The Telephone (Portland Opera SummerFest). She has headlined with prestigious organizations such as the Boston Pops Orchestra, Denver Philharmonic, Tuscaloosa Symphony, Utah Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Newport Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Astoria Music Festival and Sunriver Music Festival.
Mentored by beloved conductor Norman Leyden (arranger for Glen Miller), Katie regularly produces her own shows featuring a unique mix of torch songs, glittering operatic favorites and classic musical theatre fare. She can also be found alongside Thomas Lauderdale and Pink Martini as a guest artist at their lively symphony shows. Katie is a graduate of Portland State University and received her master’s in music performance from Southern Oregon University. She resides in Klamath Falls with her husband and their two children, where she owns and operates a successful music studio, and is an active advocate for women’s issues.
Tickets for the “Singing Christmas Tree” are $12 for ages 12 and up, and $5 for children. There are discounts available for students, seniors and military. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit rrtheater.org, or call 541-884-5483.