GORE BAY—The Gore Bay Old Fashioned Christmas concert filled the community centre to standing room only and presented a full evening of exceptional talent from Western Manitoulin.
Following deputy mayor Lou Addison’s welcome, master of ceremonies Annette Clarke introduced the evening with a performance from Wyatt Dearing, Rory Dearing, Malia Leighton, Mason Leighton, Dream McLaughlin, Macy Pearson, Abby Smith and Madison Swihart, who performed ‘It’s Christmas and I Know It,’ their well-written seasonal version of a well-known pop song. Rebecca Bailey followed by singing beautiful a cappella renditions of ‘Blue Christmas,’ ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ and ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).’
The Alinta Youth Group gathered to sing ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain’ and ‘Silent Night.’ Singers included Annie Blodgett, Hannah Gordon, Will Gordon, Alexis Lewis, Amelia Lewis, Rachael Orford, Cassy Temple, April Torkopoulos, Abby Witty and Tyannah Witty. April Torkopoulos returned to the stage to perform ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Let It Snow’ on the piano.
The audience got their feet tapping with guitar and vocal duo Family Tradition, consisting of Christie Best and Art Hayden, performing ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’ and ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas.’ This was followed by pianist Sophie Hietkamp playing ‘Etude in D minor,’ ‘Study in F,’ ‘Inter City Stomp’ and Rick Bobbette on his twelve-string guitar singing ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,’ ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and ‘O Holy Night.’
The Lyons Memorial United Church Youth Choir, led by Maureen Armstrong, performed ‘Sleep Little Jesus’ and ‘Little Donkey.’ It was evident that choristers Colton Chevrette, Larissa Chevrette, Jazmin Colwell, Abbie Harper, Sophie Hietkamp, Lily Hore, Mary Hore, Shawn Jewell, Ayrielle Nodecker, Abby Smith, Amy Smith, Madison Swihart, Cassy Temple, Nathan Temple, April Torkopoulos and Tyannah Witty had been practising hard for this performance.
Greg Wilkins then played his guitar and sang ‘Away in a Manger,’ ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Holly Jolly Christmas,’ followed by Annie Blodgett and April Torkopoulos performing a very amusing rendition of ‘The Reindeer Rap.’ Susan Garlock, accompanied by Paul Best on guitar, did a lovely job singing ‘My Grownup Christmas List’ and ‘The Coventry Carol.’
Kayla Greenman, Mikayla Noble, Karly Newton and Delaney Madore sang ‘The Cup Song,’ which involved tapping and moving plastic cups in a rhythm that creates the beat of the song. Kayla Greenman and Delaney Madore stayed on stage to sing an a cappella version of ‘Mistletoe.’
The skit ‘The Magic Of Christmas’ was the final act of the night. Actors Wyatt Dearing, Rory Dearing, Malia Leighton, Mason Leighton, Macy Pearson, Dream McLaughlin, Abby Smith and Madison Swihart turned to the streets of Gore Bay to find out what Christmas meant to passersby as a heartwarming conclusion to the evening.
After the show, Santa Claus himself stopped by to say hello to the many children in attendance. A display of tasty treats, coffee, and hot chocolate was available for attendees to enjoy before heading home. Many organizers, volunteers, and performers can be credited for presenting an evening filled with entertainment and Christmas cheer.