Pat Hamilton, Peter Vavra to perform 25th annual Christmas concert in Beaver Creek Monday | VailDaily.com

Pat Hamilton, Peter Vavra to perform 25th annual Christmas concert in Beaver Creek Monday

Pat Hamilton always brings kids to the stage during the annual Christmas concert with Peter Vavra. Monday is their 25th annual concert. It's a benefit for the local Salvation Army.
Special to the Daily |

If You Go

What: 25th annual Christmas concert featuring Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra

Why: Benefit for the local Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family program.

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Beaver Creek Chapel.

Cost: $25 donation

Information: Call 748-0704.

as it really been a quarter century that Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra have been ushering in the Christmas season?

Yes, youngsters, it has.

They do it for the local Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program. They’ve raised around $250,000 over those two and a half decades, according to the Salvation Army’s Tsu Wolin-Brown.

“To me the wonderful thing about the concert is it’s always had a lot of heart in it,” Hamilton said. “People come year after year, and we’ve always enjoyed bringing the Christmas spirit to them.”

And they do it because it’s fun.

“It’s a lot of rehearsals, but I say when we begin the concert, ‘Let’s have fun,’ and we do,” Vavra said.

Hamilton was wandering around Vail Village when a man stopped her to say he no longer thinks of Bing Crosby when he hears “White Christmas.” He thinks of Hamilton and her mother, Gladys, who sing it every year.

Gladys will be back again this year, Hamilton said.

“What makes the concert so special now is the high caliber of musicians we have working with us. They make it better and better every year,” she said.

Galen Jacobs joins the group this year. He’s part of another performance, “The Sacred Sounds of Christmas,” in the Vail Interfaith Chapel. You’ll have to send Jacobs an email to tell him how much you enjoyed that show, because as soon as the last bow is taken he’ll be hot-footing to the Beaver Creek Chapel to do a few numbers with Hamilton and Vavra.

In addition to Hamilton, Vavra and Jacobs, they’re joined by Sally Peterson, vocals; Nancy Wright, flute; Jeff Layman, drums; Joe Bianchi, bass; and Brent Gordon, vocals and sax.

25 years young

The original concert was based on a Vail Christmas CD by Hamilton and Vavra, with Nancy Wright on flute and Elizabeth Wilt on vocals.

Through the years — and another album of Christmas songs, many written by Hamilton — the concert has grown into a Christmas tradition.

You’ll hear music you love, centering around songs from Vavra’s and Hamilton’s two albums, “Christmas in Vail” and “You Are My Christmas.” “Blue Bells in the Snow” is on the set list. So is “Cherry Tree Carol.”

Sally Peterson traditionally sings an up tempo version of “Winter Wonderland.”

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

They’ll perform Hamilton’s original music, some time-honored classics, and Vavra performs a solo medley of Christmas music combining holiday standards like “O Holy Night,” “Away in a Manger,” “Silver Bells,” and more.

When he’s not doing this, Vavra performs at Splendido and teaches students to love music as much as he does.

Another tradition is the Salvation Army’s holiday help.

“The Salvation Army does so much in the valley,” Hamilton said. “We’re proud that we’ve been able to help them through the 25 years.”

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 they donate to local families who are struggling.

Plan to arrive early. There is no reserve seating.

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