Vail musicians Pat Hamilton, Peter Vavra release a new CD, prepare for annual Christmas concert
If You Go ...
What: 26th annual Christmas concert featuring Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra, a benefit for the local Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family program.
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22.
Where: Beaver Creek Chapel, 33 Elk Track Road, Beaver Creek.
Cost: $25 donation.
More information: Call the Salvation Army at 970-748-0704.
Pat Hamilton and Peter Vavra’s new Christmas album hits Christmas right where it lives — in your heart.
Their new album, “Through Angels’ Eyes,” is available as they prepare for their 26th annual Christmas concert, a benefit for the Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family program. The album features some Christmas classics, along with a couple of songs Hamilton wrote, including the title track, “Through Angels’ Eyes,” and “A Winter’s Day.”
“We do them at the Christmas concert and everyone seems to love them, so we decided to try to capture them,” Hamilton said.
“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.
Sally Peterson’s vocals are on the album, along with Jeff Layman on drums, Joe Bianchi on bass, Suzanne Porter on violin and Frank Gordon on saxophone. They recorded it live in the Beaver Creek Chapel, and then Bianchi and Jeff Armistead worked some studio magic. They own and operate Mintown Studios, a recording studio in Minturn.
“It’s different from our other CDs. There are some toe-tappers and some that will bring a tear to your eye,” Hamilton said.
You can buy “Through Angels’ Eyes” locally at Kitchen Collage, The Bookworm of Edwards in The Riverwalk or Eagle Valley Music in Minturn. Vavra plays at Splendido and has them on hand. Hamilton plays at the Left Bank, and you can buy them from her, too.
26th Christmas concert
Has it really been 26 years that Hamilton and Vavra have been ushering in the Christmas season? Yes, youngsters, it has.
“It’s amazing. The concert is older than we are!” Hamilton said, joking.
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.
“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 sang it every year. That’s not a duet you’ll hear again this side of Heaven. Gladys died a few weeks ago. She was 94.
Hamilton’s and Vavra’s original concert was based on their Vail Christmas CD. The concert has grown into a Christmas tradition. Galen Jacobs returns for the concert, and 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 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.
When he’s not doing this or performing at Splendido, Vavra teaches 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.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.