There is no doubt that Risen Savior’s 2017 Community Christmas Concert was another resounding success! The combined standing-room-only audiences of almost 1,100 assembled to enjoy the two audience-pleasing performances of what has become one of the area’s most popular celebrations of Christmas.
As in the past, the concerts were hosted by Master of Ceremonies, Rev. Ron Burcham (Risen Savior’s Senior Pastor), who ensured that everyone in attendance had a great time … from checking in on the weather “back home,” and relating the history of some of American’s favorite Christmas songs … to leading a heartwarming tribute to U.S. troops stationed away from home at Christmas.
Musical highlights of the concert included solo performances and duets by renowned trumpeter and international recording artist Tim Moke, together with well-known Sun Lakes trumpet soloist Chuck Deuth, a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Band. In addition, concert violinist Patricia Snyder, a brilliant first violinist with several metropolitan and state symphonies including the Florida Symphonic Orchestra, delivered moving performances of “O Holy Night” and “What Child Is This” that drew enthusiastic applause from both audiences.
Also performing during the concerts were the Risen Savior Concert Choir, under the direction of Bill Bade; the Bell Choir, led by Carla Robertson; and the Risen Savior Worship Band, conducted by Joel Endicott, Risen Savior’s Director of Worship. The choir and bell choir joined together to perform “Were You There on that Christmas Night?” In addition, the choir accompanied gifted Sun Lakes soprano Tenni Annen in her masterful delivery of “The Song of Mary.”
All of the performing musicians joined in accompanying the audiences in singing their favorite Christmas songs and carols throughout the concerts. Bill Bade, who is a master organist and highly-accomplished pianist, delivered lots of laughter with his piano performance of a humorous parody on “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Later in the program, Bade guided the audience in bringing back memories of Christmases past as he accompanied them in singing a medley of “White Christmas,” I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” If you have not attended a Risen Savior Community Christmas Concert, do yourself a big favor and join in the fun next year.
The concert ended with the musicians saluting the audiences with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The Risen Savior Community Concerts are charity events that benefit the Chandler Food Bank. Members of the audience each donate two cans of food as their admission fee. This year’s audiences donated a record 1,822 pounds of food.