The largest audience yet observed at this concert filled the auditorium at Ed Stafford Theatre Monday evening

The largest audience yet observed at this concert filled the auditorium at Ed Stafford Theatre Monday evening

Monday night's Christmas concert by the OJC College and Community Choir, directed by Dean Rees with piano accompaniment by Sally Kappel, was outstanding. The choir's performance in four-part harmony was balanced and artistic, and projected warmth and joy to the audience. Those feelings were also sent out by the bell ringers from La Junta United Methodist Church. The Incredi-Bells, directed by Lindy Nelson, joined the choir in its opening number, “I Saw Three Ships,” and also played lush arrangements of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Joy to the World.” The first included piano accompaniment; the second featured interesting trilling and damping in addition to traditional ringing.

Director Rees chose a wide variety of music for this concert. The performance began with an exciting fanfare by James Lind on trumpet and Rees playing organ. The choir's rendition of “Silent Night” included an invitation to the audience to sing along. The three-year-old Morgenson triplets and their little sister were little reindeer in reindeer shirts and (sometimes) antlers, dancing on stage to the choir's “Rock 'n' Roll Reindeer.” There was a cantata by Chilcott, carols new and old, rock, energetic gospel, praise of “Good Ale,” a Broadway medley, and lyrics from Shakespeare's “As You Like It.” The last, “Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind,” was probably the most beautiful of the less-familiar songs in this concert. The most familiar, besides “Silent Night,” were songs from the Christmas on Broadway medley, including “It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Toyland,” and “My Favorite Things.” The concert ended with a touching “God Bless Us Everyone,” concluding with a powerful crescendo. The choir includes some beautiful voices that were featured in short solos and duets within the songs. They included Terry Miller, Janell Lorenzo, Katie Lagergren, Dawn Pollmiller, Amanda Rusher, Donna Cannon, Mike Shima, and Merindy Morgenson. Al Guadagnoli on bass guitar and Jordan Borrego on drums added depth to the voices. An appreciative audience filled the Ed Stafford Theatre, and gave the performers a standing ovation.