July 22, 2018 was a warm, sunny afternoon for a Christmas in July concert. It was a fun, festive day at the Iowa Western Community College Art Center. Approximately 235 guests enjoyed a near two-hour concert, the first half showcased Christmas compositions, both secular and sacred pieces. I opened the concert with a simple piano solo, Snow Valley, to set the Christmas season mood. The family choir, consisting of sisters, Faye, Kathy, Karen, niece, Katie, and me, followed with secular collections from my Christmas by Candace Sutter book. We were accompanied by sister, Lilah, on piano. Titles from the book included MIsty Moonlight, A Merry Christmas, Christmas Magic, and The Christmas Elves. Nearly 20 local children participated either as Santa’s elves or reindeer, with Santa being played by brother-in-law, Jeff. This piece featured a narrator soloist, friend Kendra.

After having a little “fun” at Christmas, my concert choir performed Advent and Christmas pieces to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, our Savior. Treble and full SATB voices created song with a variety of musical styles. Modern, baroque, renaissance, and gospel styles gave fun twists to the afternoon entertainment. A harpsichord was brought in for the baroque piece, which was written in Italian, incorporating some verses of the beautiful, traditional Coventry Carol. This piece also featured a soloist, sung by friend, Kendra. After favorite, GO TEll!, the choir ended with the gospel piece, accompanied by my student, Drew, on the djembe and sung a capella. This ended a fun half of Christmas music!

At intermission, guests browsed and purchased music from my sales display. Fresh-off-the-press compositions lined the display tables and featured selections from my piano solo series, At the Keys and also various Christmas choir pieces. Also featured were my Christmas by Candace Sutter and Jesus is the Light contemporary Christian book.

The second half of the concert featured my contemporary Christian band team, Wesley, Jackie, Leigh-Ann, Nathanael, Mari, Shari, Sue, Marcy, and me, singing the selections from my Jesus is the Light book. Titles from the book include, Here Am I, Open for us the Gates of Heaven, Holding, I am the Light, (WIth God’s Love) She Taught Him How to Pray, What Kind of Child, It is the Power, Let the Mountains Sing, and New Jerusalem, Our Eternal Home. The concert concluded with Go in Peace, sung first by me, then my band team, and followed with the concert choir a capella.

It was a beautiful day. A most enjoyable standing ovation continued with a response of an unprepared encore. A blessed day was had, and I hope you enjoy the attached pictures from the day.