Christmas Concert Raises $4,000 for Laurin

For the second consecutive year, the proceeds of the annual Christmas concert by Brett Marshall and Friends have been given to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. The total raised this year was $4,000, up from last year’s $3,000 gift.

The concert theme is different each year. This time, audiences entering Chapel by the Sea at South Padre Island for the concert were greeted by a stage decked out in cowboy-style décor. Sawhorses bearing Western saddles, a large cactus, a bale of hay and a couple of large, wagon-wheel barstools gave the place a let’s-do-a-show-in-the-barn atmosphere, minus the barn-like odors. As the show opened, the vocalists made their high-energy entrance in full Western regalia, complete with riding boots, jeans, cowboy hats and plenty of robust “yee-haw”s.

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The song selections were a festive mix of favorite familiar Christmas tunes and some exciting newer ones. Many were freshened up musically with a light-hearted country feel to fit the cowboy theme.

Both performances of the show were sold out. This may have been partly due to the gracious guest appearance of popular local singer Leslie Blasing, who performed three songs and headlined the event. She blessed all in attendance with a rousing, hilarious rendition of the Hippopotamus Song, followed by Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. Later in the evening, her velvety, alto voice was perfect for Merry Christmas, Darling. Leslie-Blasing_headshot

Popular local musician Brett Marshall, known all over the Valley for his diverse piano stylings and smooth baritone vocals, served as music director of the event. He led an assortment of talented vocalists from South Padre Island, Port Isabel and Laguna Vista who rounded out the cast of this festive, annual event. Along with Marshall, the core vocalists consisted of soprano Carolyn Porter, alto/mezzo Lisa Kinsolving, mezzo-soprano Sara Steele, tenor Paul Cardile, tenor Ron Fuqua, baritone Dale Ziegler and tenor Harold Clark. “I think it’s becoming a favorite tradition now, especially among Winter Texans,” said Kinsolving. “People start asking me about it way ahead of time, so I know they look forward to it.”

Bringing a playful cameo to the event was guitarist/vocalist Gary Mancuso. His performance of Randolph The Shiny-Gun Cowboy followed by an audience sing-along of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, brought many smiles and giggles.

Another highlight of the evening was provided by Dave Boughter. His highly expressive drum work on the congas and bongos gave heightened drama to Marshall’s stirring rendition of The Little Drummer Boy. Boughter also added much to Do You Hear What I Hear? (with lead vocalist Kinsolving) by his expert touch on the snare drum.

The male vocalists added many laughs to the event with a new, Christmas re-write of the country classic Elvira. In it, they lamented the one drawback of living at South Padre Island: “We’re too far south for Santa!”

The concert was well-received by audiences. Participants are already looking forward to next year’s event, with ideas flowing for yet another fun theme.

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Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” (this is for gift checks outside of the ad program described under Laurin’s Angels; ad program checks should be payable to “Melba’s”) and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours.

If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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