Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra’s 28th annual Christmas concert Dec. 22 at Beaver Creek Chapel |

Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra’s 28th annual Christmas concert Dec. 22 at Beaver Creek Chapel

Pat Hamilton’s and Peter Vavra’s 28th annual Christmas concert is 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22, in the Beaver Creek Chapel. The Christmas classic is a fundraiser for the local Salvation Army.
Special to the Daily |

If You Go ...

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

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

Where: Beaver Creek Chapel.

Cost: $25 donation at the door for the Salvation Army.

More information: There’s no reserved seating, so come early. All three of their Christmas CDs will be for sale.

Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra’s Christmas Concert hits you right where Christmas lives — in your heart.

The concert on Friday, Dec. 22, is their 28th annual. Arrive at the Beaver Creek Chapel early. There is no reserved seating.

They’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program. And they do it because it’s fun.

Still fresh

It’s still fresh. They change it every year. Hamilton and Vavra both keep writing more songs. Songs are a little like babies, only without the teenage angst.

“Every year we have a decision to make — whose baby doesn’t get played this year,” Vavra said.

Hamilton’s and Vavra’s original concert was based on their Vail Christmas CD. The concert has grown into a Christmas tradition.

All of the musicians give up other gigs to do this, Hamilton said.

“Everyone volunteers. No one is paid,” Hamilton said.

Sax player and vocalist Brent Gordon fronts the Harry Baxter Band. Galen Jacobs and Sally Petersen sing, Nancy Wright plays flute, Joe Bianchi returns on bass and is joined in the rhythm section by Jeff Layman on drums.

It’s like a group of old friends, which it is.

“You walk back into the room and pick it up with ‘Now, as I was saying,’” Hamilton said.

The only difference is that the conversation is holiday classics, and “Now, as I was saying,” is the downbeat as they pick up another tune.

In 28 years, Wright has missed one performance. She started when her daughter Brittany was 3 years old.

Wright’s daughter Courtney was 10 years old when she sat in on drums with the band, sort of a Vail Valley version of the little drummer girl.

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

Your $25 donation at the door goes to the local Salvation Army for its food pantry, and the hundreds of food baskets it donates to local families who are struggling.

In those 27 years until now, the concert has raised more than $500,000.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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