The Legion audience were enthralled by this Christmas’ celebration of song which they expressed by singing along.
The 11th annual Elgin Christmas Concert was a great success if the rounds of applause and final standing ovation were anything to go by.
The Elgin Singers put on a 45 minute show entitled ‘Sounds like Christmas.’ The show was a montage of Christmas carols that were put together by Sara Strong.
“We only practiced twice,” Strong said.
The montage contained many familiar numbers, such as, Jingle bells,’ ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ ‘Winter Wonderland,’ ‘Jingle bell rock,’ ‘Rocking around the Christmas tree,’ ‘I’ll be home for Christmas and ‘There’s no place like home for the holidays,’ among others. The montage was cleverly woven together and arranged with partial rounds and gentle harmonies that featured the dulcet tones of the twenty strong Elgin Singers that both mesmerized and uplifted the audience into a festive rapture.
Causing much hilarity and excitement was Mark Harberts’ Elvis impression of the star’s rendition of ‘Wonderful Christmas,’ which was accompanied by a tape recorder. Harberts went through the audience and frolicked removing layer after layer of scarves before returning to the stage for a brief Elvis hip jiggle.
Another number that went down exceedingly well with the audience was a Hawaiian Christmas song because it involved audience participation by adorning leis, which were handed out by the singing ensemble. The song was led by Gayle Moore who led the audience in Simon says fashion, to sway and wave their arms, Hawaiian style, much to the audiences enjoyment.
The audience’s ages ranged from teenagers to senior citizens.
Among the performers who brought down the house were Dirk Torkelson, with his well received comic impersonation of a stereotypical Norwegian character.
Throughout the montage there were several solos from around the globe, one of which was ‘Mary’s little boy child,’ from the West Indies, performed by Don Thomas. Narration was done by interim minister of the Methodist church, Arleon Kelly.
Arleon Kelly thanked the community for donations and charitable works as well as requesting that those who had fought for their country in days gone by stand up and be recognized for their efforts. He also had Miss Elgin, Karen Shaffer, who was present, stand up for all to see, thanking her for her contribution to the community.
The piano accompaniment was done by Marilana Sutter. The piano was a recent donation that was tuned charitably by Arden Greener of the Betterment Club.
Sara Strong accompanied on the keyboard, while Pastor Jerome Godson played the guitar and Richard Palucci played the flute during the finale of Silent Night, before erupting into a crescendo ‘Have a holiday jolly day Christmas,’ allowing them to end on a high note.
“We appreciate people coming to the show, we try to give them a nice Christmas party, some of these people don’t have it otherwise, so we try to make it festive and fun,” said Strong. “We appreciate the people who come to sing, we can’t do it without them,” she added.
Prior to the performance, dinner was served and prepared by Shirley Kuehl, manager of Keystone restaurant in Elkader.
Kuehl served marinated chicken breast and party potatoes with green beans and cherry delight salad. For dessert she served brownies with mint ice-cream; full fat.
“I used to have the Apple Valley Café,” Kuehl said.
The first ever Elgin City Christmas Concert was held at the Apple Valley Café.