Hamilton, Vavra’s classic Christmas concert returns to Beaver Creek, Dec. 22 | VailDaily.com

Hamilton, Vavra’s classic Christmas concert returns to Beaver Creek, Dec. 22

There was some disagreement about whether today's Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra classic Christmas concert is their 27th annual.

Two things are true.

1. They released their first Christmas CD in 1990.

2. They're the ones on stage doing this, so they should know.

And about being on stage, there's nowhere they'd rather be, Hamilton said.

"It's getting more fun for everyone. Everyone in it is an excellent musician," Hamilton said.

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About those 27 years, it's a little like being a parent. You look around and wonder where the time went.

"It's a lot of rehearsals. When we begin the concert, I say, 'Let's have fun,' and we do," Vavra said.

Along with Hamilton's original music and some time-honored classics, Vavra performs a solo medley of Christmas music combining holiday standards such as "O Holy Night," "Away in a Manger," "Silver Bells" and more.

Hamilton and Vavra are masters at unique arrangements. Their good material doesn't change, plus they're adding a couple of surprises to this year's show, including a new guest performer.

The best part, though, is the more than $250,000 they've raised for the Salvation Army.

They've even released three Christmas albums themed around the concert.

Their Christmas albums hit Christmas right where it lives — in your heart.

The first one was "Christmas in Vail," released 27 years ago. Hamilton and Vavra had made this outstanding album and decided to do a concert around it. They selected the Salvation Army as their charity, and that was that.

The second album, "You Are My Christmas," was packed with original songs.

The third album, "Through Angels' Eyes," was released in 2015 in conjunction with their 25th Christmas concert. It's upbeat, and Hamilton considers the title track one of the best songs she has ever written, and she has written some amazing music.

"Through Angels' Eyes" is based on a poem Hamilton's daughter wrote when she was 8 years old.

"It's about seeing the world through angels' eyes. If we could, broken wings would mend themselves. People hear it at the Christmas concerts and just love it," Hamilton said.

All three of the albums are for sale at The Bookworm of Edwards and Kitchen Collage, both in The Riverwalk at Edwards. They're great stocking stuffers.

You can download the albums, which is great, but it doesn't leave you anything to wrap and put under your tree.

There's always a reception at Splendido afterward, which has become something of an annual Christmas party.

When Vavra is not doing this or performing at Splendido, he teaches his piano students to love music as much as he does.

Your $25 donation to the Salvation Army assists the local branch with its food pantry, Adopt-a-Family program and the hundreds of food baskets it donates to local families who are struggling. Plan to arrive early. There is no reserved seating.

Special sponsors this year include The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Beaver Creek Religious Foundation, Mount of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Vail Daily and EPS Printing.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If You Go …

What: Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra’s 27th annual Christmas concert.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22.

Where: Beaver Creek Chapel, 33 Elk Track Road, Beaver Creek.

Cost: $25 donation at the door.

More information: The annual concert is a benefit for the Salvation Army. Along with Hamilton and Vavra, it features Brent Gordon, sax and vocals; Galen Jacobs and Sally Peterson, vocals; Nancy Wright, flute; Suzanne Porter, violin; Jeff Layman, drums and Joe Bianchi, bass.