Rockin’ around the Imperial Theatre stage, again

The fifth annual Rock and Roll Christmas concert is set for Dec. 21 and 22 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia. The popular holiday show is staged each year by Sarnia musicians and performers.


Sarnia’s fifth annual Rock and Roll Christmas concert is set to hit the Imperial Theatre stage Dec. 21 and 22.

Both shows begin at 8 p.m.

“This year’s show is bigger and better than ever, filled with excitement, surprises and rock and roll music performed by some of the finest musicians this side of the North Pole,” said band spokesperson Doug Stewart.

Sarnia musician Dave Chaulk came up with the idea for the show many years ago and its first performance was in 2014 with a cast of musicians and performers from the community.

In the years since, it has become a collaboration of “friends, family and band mates, all contributing equally to what we call the Rock and Roll Christmas concert,” Stewart said.

He declined to give a list of this year’s musicians, saying the organizers didn’t want to risk leaving anyone out.

“It’s not about any one or two people,” Stewart said.

“It’s about this collaborative, beautiful effort.”

There are approximately 10 musicians in the band, along with more people helping out back stage.

The Imperial Theatre has taken on the show as part of its regular schedule, which removes some of the stress for the musicians, Stewart said.

“We can focus on being musical geeks like we all are,” he said.

The show follows “month and months” of preparing, writing and rehearsing, Stewart said.

“When we get there on that stage, all of that time spent in basement studios and dress rehearsals, just all comes together,” he said.

“It’s beautiful.”

Stewart said approximately 30 per cent of each year’s song lineup is new and the rest is numbers from previous shows.

The lineup includes some well-known rock and roll songs with lyrics re-written to include holiday references, Stewart said.

There are also “tender moments throughout that are just really special,” he said.

That includes Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah which was included two years ago as a tribute to the songwriter and has become a show favourite.

Steward said the musicians take into account songs audience members say they want to hear again while making up the song lists.

Audiences in past years have included young and old music fans who have typically filled the theatre, Stewart said.

“We have some people who have come every year,” he said.

“Those are really special stories when you hear somebody that has been been there four years in a row, and they’re looking forward to the fifth.”


What: Fifth Annual Rock and Roll Christmas concert.

Where: Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

When: Dec. 21 and 22, 8 p.m.

Details: Tickets, $35, are available from the theatre box office.

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