Musicians drum up funds for Casa de Amparo

CARLSBAD — Although it’s safe to say it won’t be a white Christmas in North County this year, that didn’t stop local residents from dreaming — and singing — about one.
Local musicians and vocalists invited the community to the first An Old-Fashioned Christmas benefit concert to collect donations for Oceanside-based charity Casa De Amparo. Holiday classics were sung, ornaments were hung and the spirit of giving surrounded the crowd at the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad, 3320 Monroe Street, on Dec. 18.
“This is really a gathering of neighbors,” said singer and guitarist Bill Ims. “We’re all here for this wonderful Christmas season.”
Pianist Joni Harris accompanied talented singers Eliane Weidauer, Carolyn Mickelson, Vicki Hamilton, Dmitriy Demidov and Ims as they sang their favorite holiday classics. Having never sung as a group before, the talented residents came together with a desire to sing and collect donations for a charity near and dear to the community, Weidauer said.
The singers performed holiday classics like “Deck the Halls,” and “Hanukkah Song.” To make things a little livelier, they sang the lyrics to “Silent Night” in four different languages, including Spanish and French.
Although native Russian speaker Demidov sang “Mary’s Boy Child” in English, he joked that the composer had “meant that song to be sung with a little bit of a foreign accent.”
Before performing each song, a tidbit of information was shared about the tune or the song’s subject. Mickelson detailed the Hanukkah traditions mentioned in the “Hanukkah Song” and Demidov noted that “Holy Night” was the first song broadcasted in 1906.
“The talent is excellent,” said Carlsbad resident Snoka Thorsdarson, who attended the event with friend Louisa Nelson. “I was pleasantly surprised.”
While the performers were the stars of the show, the audience had an opportunity to show off their vocal talents in a sing-a-long of other holiday songs, including “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman.”
To raise additional money for the charity, tickets were sold to an opportunity drawing and the audience had a chance to win prizes, including gift cards to area businesses and a pearl necklace. All of the proceeds from the drawing were donated to Casa de Amparo to assist in their efforts to fight child abuse and neglect.
For more information on the services offered by Casa de Amparo, visit www.casadeamparo.org.

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