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Christmas echoes at the Unity Carol Festival

The spirit of Christmas came to life during the Unity's Carol Festival on Dec. 17.

On Dec. 17, a large crowd filled the UCHS gym and was treated to a wonderful concert, with musicians of many stripes performing solos, duets, trios, quartets, choir pieces and instrumentals!

For many years the Music Festival Association, with the help of a host of volunteers, has mounted this carol festival for the enjoyment of the community. This year Dan Wilgenbusch was the master of ceremonies while Briar Wells and Sadie Risling warmed up the crowd with their preludes.

The association’s president Morag Riddell brought Christmas greetings and welcomed the crowd and thanked the many volunteers.

Hats off to all the accompanists, notably Chrystal Fawell, Kathy Jones and Melissa Acton, and the choir directors, and all the backstage crew, and of course Greg Bick, our faithful sound tech.

There were 25 performances, every variety of Christmas music from the sacred to the silly, all brought with energy and passion and great talent. Regrettably Madison Gilbert, a perennial favorite, was unable to perform this year but some newcomers to the scene, including Verda Wildeman nee Savostianik who has moved back to the community. Arlene Orth was also a new addition, who thrilled us with her piano/vocal solo.

Chrystal Fawell brought her Twilight Singers, and it was clear they had done their homework well as their performance was delightful. Will Ballantyne performed solo and with Ron & Mateo Rutley. Many spectators were asking themselves why Will doesn’t sing more often as he is more than just an instrumentalist.

The youngsters in the St. Peter’s School Choir and the Gather & Grow Youth Choir filled the stage with good energy and the Reiche kids were very entertaining. Outstanding Music Festival Performers Molly Orobko and Avyne McLean brought the afternoon to a close with beautiful offerings, piano and vocal respectively. 

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon and the performers and organizers are to should be congratulated on their very fine work, and many thanks to you for giving the community the gift of music.