Need a break from holiday stress? Pianist Sheldon Pickering planning free concert
FARMINGTON — Between office parties, family gatherings and lots of shopping, the holiday season is anything but a peaceful, relaxing experience for many folks.
But Kirtland pianist Sheldon Pickering is hoping to give local residents a break from all that with a free Christmas concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22at the RiverStone Church, 808 N. Monterey Ave. in Farmington.
“It’s a simple concert to capture the spirit of Christmas,” said Pickering, whose instrumental piano recordings have been downloaded more than a million times from digital platforms and built him an international following.
Pickering is promising a minimalist approach to the concert, with just him on piano and perhaps a guest vocalist or other instrumentalist on a few of the songs. He is planning on performing a mix of iconic holiday music and original pieces.
Pickering said he used to make a habit of performing a holiday concert each year, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought that to a halt. After consulting with officials at the RiverStone Church, he decided to bring the event back this year for the first time since 2018, albeit on a smaller scale than before.
“We just want to bring peace to people who are looking for it,” he said.
One reason he is looking forward to the event is because the church has what Pickering described as a spectacular organ. He plans on taking advantage of it during a performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”
“It’s the best one in town,” Pickering said of the instrument.
Pickering said he also enjoys the atmosphere at RiverStone.
“It’s got a historic and beautiful sanctuary,” he said. “It’s a real treasure in our community.”
Admission to the event is free, but donations will be accepted for New Beginnings, a transitional home in Farmington for survivors and families of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Call 505-327-0363 for more information.