It"s Christmas week in Chester and the Chester High School Music Department performed its annual holiday concert on Monday at Colbert Gym.
The annual event featured the Chester High School Concert Choir, Concert Band and Swing Choir "Sound Affect" in an hour-long celebration of the Christmas season.
The first group to perform was the CHS Concert Choir. The approximately 50-person group sang four songs to kick off the festive concert including the popular rock and roll favorite, "Holiday Read."
The final three songs were accompanied live by Vicky Beers on piano. "Believe" from the well-known and liked movie "Polar Express" was next as arranged by Mark Hayes.
Another popular song, "Happy Xmas," or "War is Over," featured soloists Katy Liefer and Mallary Vasquez.
Everyone in the audience seemed to be familiar with this tune which was arranged by Mark Brymer.
To end the Concert Choir portion of the concert, the group sang, "Mary Did You Know?" with arrangement by Tom Fettke.
As the Concert Choir moved from the risers back into their seats in the bleachers, Claire Junger and Logan Colvis, both CHS seniors, presented Band and Choral Director Steve Colonel with a Christmas gift purchased by band and choir members.
The annual ritual of gift-giving from the musicians and vocalists to Colonel is a show of appreciation for all that he does for the students throughout the year.
This year, the students gave Colonel a blow-up Christmas yard decoration, as well as several lottery tickets and a box of coffee packets to replace those that somehow disappear during the first semester each year from Colonel"s office supply.
Colonel, who is a well-known Christmas yard decoration fanatic, noted that he would have the new blow-up ornament in his yard by tomorrow afternoon.
The CHS Concert Band performed three songs for the crowd including, "Do You Hear What I Hear," "Christmas Vacation" and "Sparkling Lights" which was a fanfare on, "O Christmas Tree" by Matt Conway.
Sound Affect took center stage to close out the show. This year"s performance was actually a series of six songs worked into a medley titled, "Christmas Time is Here, A Choral Medley."
The 30-person group sang and danced the night away much to the pleasure of a crowd at CHS Colbert Gym.
The opening tune in this six-song medley was "Christmas Time is Here" and featured soloists Cassie Everding and Zach Zappa.
That was followed by "Everyone"s A Child At Christmas." This crowd-pleaser featured seven soloists - Montana Rose, Mitchell Colonel, Cassie Everding, Ronin Doiron, Faye Hathaway, Lance Bohnert, and Kylie Liefer.
"Home For Christmas" featured soloists Hailey Asbury, Kylie Liefer, Kayla Simcock, Trent Doiron and Justin Stehl.
From moody to funny, the next song had everyone laughing as Garret Welker, Mitchell Colonel and Avry Sebastian rocked the gym in singing and dancing to the tune"North Pole Live."
"Christmas Children" was a nice song to bring the audience back into the warm mood again. To end the evening, Colonel and company took a bow and performed the well-known Christmas favorite "Christmas Time is Here."
Before Colonel released the audience, several members of the band and choirs passed buckets around the packed house to collect donations for the annual Chester Music Department Toy Drive.
This effort is conducted in conjunction with the Randolph County Human Service Center in effort to fill a need to provide Christmas gifts for children and families in Randolph County.
The CHS Music Department effort collected a total of $615.57 as a result of the generous giving of concert attendees.