By Alesandra Dubin Posted December 13, 2011, 1:33 PM EST
LOS ANGELES In a city well known for mild winters and a diverse culture that necessitates nondenominational celebrations, at least one benefit manages a distinctly Christmas-y feel each year. The University of Southern California Thornton School of Music's Charles Dickens Dinner, which this year celebrated its 25th installment, took to the Millennium Biltmore hotel’s Crystal Room on Friday. The event, honoring singer-songwriter Richard Carpenter and the Grammy Foundation, gathered 350 guests for a presentation of the Charles Dickens story of A Christmas Carol, conducted by Patrice Rushen, Jo-Michael Scheibe, and Ben McMunn. Narrated by U.S.C. alum and baritone Rod Gilfry, the show combined the Christmas classic with musical interludes from the school's chamber singers, opera, and chamber instrumentalist.