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CHS musicians wow the crowd

  • The CHS Concert Choir, under the direction of Steve Colonel, performs at the 2021 CHS Christmas Concert Dec. 13.

    The CHS Concert Choir, under the direction of Steve Colonel, performs at the 2021 CHS Christmas Concert Dec. 13.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • Ace Smith sings a solo in the CHS Swing Choir performance of "The Little Drummer Boy."

    Ace Smith sings a solo in the CHS Swing Choir performance of "The Little Drummer Boy."
    Jim Beers Photo

  • The CHS Concert Choir's medley of "White Christmas" featured four soloists, including Cesar Marquez.

    The CHS Concert Choir's medley of "White Christmas" featured four soloists, including Cesar Marquez.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • The CHS Swing Choir Sound Affect performs "Mary Did You Know?" at the 2021 CHS Christmas Concert. The select group also performed "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Joy to the World," which included dancing and choreography.

    The CHS Swing Choir Sound Affect performs "Mary Did You Know?" at the 2021 CHS Christmas Concert. The select group also performed "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Joy to the World," which included dancing and choreography.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • CHS senior Alex Hennrich sings a solo in the choral medley of "White Christmas."

    CHS senior Alex Hennrich sings a solo in the choral medley of "White Christmas."
    Jim Beers Photo

  • CHS Drum Majors Lily Lochhead, left, and Cayla Sibley present Steve Colonel with a framed canvas print of the CHS Marching YellowJacket Band at the first "live" performance at a Chester football game after being shut down for almost two years by the COVID pandemic.

    CHS Drum Majors Lily Lochhead, left, and Cayla Sibley present Steve Colonel with a framed canvas print of the CHS Marching YellowJacket Band at the first "live" performance at a Chester football game after being shut down for almost two years by the COVID pandemic.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • CHS Music Director Steve Colonel welcomes everyone to the 2021 CHS "Sounds of the Season" holiday concert Dec. 13 at Colbert Gym.

    CHS Music Director Steve Colonel welcomes everyone to the 2021 CHS "Sounds of the Season" holiday concert Dec. 13 at Colbert Gym.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • CHS sophomore Mirra Krieg sings a solo with the concert choir.

    CHS sophomore Mirra Krieg sings a solo with the concert choir.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • William Smith was one of four soloists in "White Christmas Choral Medley."

    William Smith was one of four soloists in "White Christmas Choral Medley."
    Jim Beers Photo

 
BY JIM BEERS
Contributing Writer
updated: 1/12/2022 9:47 AM

The Chester High School Music Department wrapped up the District 139 holiday performance season with its annual "Sounds of the Season" concert Dec. 13 at Colbert Gymnasium.

Under the direction of Steve Colonel, the show featured the concert choir, swing choir Sound Affect and the concert band. Vicky Beers served as accompanist.

The CHS Concert Choir opened the evening with arrangements of "Mele Kalkimaka" and "Somewhere in My Memory." The choir closed with "White Christmas (Choral Medley)" featuring soloists William Smith, Alexandra Hennrich, Cesar Marquez and Mirra Krieg.

This medley was a wonderful way to close the Concert Choir portion of the concert. Both the choir and soloists did an outstanding job of opening the event.

Next up was swing choir Sound Affect with three selections, two with choreography and dancing.

The first was the very moving Christmas song "Mary Did You Know," followed by a very popular performance of "The Little Drummer Boy" with a solo by Ace Smith, who did a great job.

The final song by Sound Affect was "Joy to the World," a very lively and entertaining number that brought the large crowd to excitement and a great round of applause. This performance featured soloists Oddessy Flores, Abby Bollmann and Kaleb Rehmer. All three did an amazing job.

Following the swing choir performance, Marching YellowJacket Drum Majors Cayla Sibley and Lily Lochhead took center stage to present Colonel with a Christmas present.

"It is customary each year at this time for all of the band and choral students to chip in and give Mr. Colonel a Christmas present. This year we thought long and hard about this gift and decided to give Mr. Colonel a canvas print of our first football performance since having to go virtual last year due to COVID restrictions," Sibley said.

"We had a big canvas print of our first field show performance this fall created and had it framed and signed by all of the students. This canvas print for Mr. Colonel commemorated our return to the football field for the first time in two years."

Sibley and Lochhead made the presentation as the entire audience in Colbert Gymnasium gave a huge round of applause in appreciation for the return to live performances at home football games.

Colonel thanked the students for their kind and thoughtful gift before introducing the annual collection for the Chester Area Christian Food Pantry, which raised $718. When added to amounts collected at the other District 139 concerts and the Colonel family light display, a total of $2,232.55 was donated to CACFP.

The concert wrapped up with the concert band's instrumental portion of the concert.

The band performed three very popular and heartwarming selections, "Silent Night," "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" and "Sleigh Ride."

All three selections were played to perfection and enjoyed by the packed house at Colbert Gymnasium.

At the conclusion of the concert, Colonel thanked everyone for attending.

"Your continued support over the years has helped the Music Department at Chester High School to become not only one of the best in Southern Illinois, but one of the best in programs in a school of our size in the entire state," Colonel said.

This spring the Music Department will once again chase after a state trophy, returning to Class B in the 2022 IHSA Music Sweepstakes Competition.

Important dates for the CHS music program include: Saturday, March 5, IHSA Solo and Ensemble Contest; Friday, April 8, IHSA Organizational Contest; Tuesday, May 10, CHS Spring Concert; and June 1-8, Florida trip.