“Christmas … the only time you can get the whole world to focus, for a brief moment, on the fact that Jesus came to earth.” – Gerald Wolfe
Gerald Wolfe was our host for the morning showcase, Christmas at NQC, and he wanted to start this off with the world’s greatest musician, Stan Whitmire, who played a piano solo. Gerald told the audience, “I have both of Stan’s Christmas Cds. I start listening to them in July, when it’s 100 degrees outside. When I asked Stan to do this, I asked him to play my favorite – Winter Wonderland.” This rendition started off with a jazzy feel, then jumped to classical and on to traditional – which really set the mood for the morning!
After Stan, Gerald began the singing by saying, “This is one of my favorite Christmas songs,” and Greater Vision sang God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman. Gerald asked Stan to stay out and play for them – it was a perfect song to start off the show with!
“Thank you. Thank you very much! That’s hard to do at eight-thirty in the morning!” Gerald explained, “Especially Chris, who hit that high C at the end. Mornings are usually bad for us and it can turn tenors into baritones, and baritones in to bass singers! But Chris is really good – he can hit those notes any time of the day.”
Next up on stage was a group called Sisters, and they sang two songs. Glad Tidings Of Great Joy was the first. The track began to play for the second, and they stopped the track, stating, “We changed our mind at the last minute … and asked Tim Parton to come play for us.” They introduced the second song choice by saying that sometimes we get so busy in the season, we forget why we celebrate Christmas. When we do that, we become weary – and when that happens we need to stop and just ask for His presence in the season. Then they sang Lord, I Want Your Presence For Christmas.
Before Tim walked off stage, Gerald stopped him and said, “It’s been a while since these folks have seen you.” Turning to the audience he said, “Ya’ll remember Tim Parton? He has a pure voice and his heart comes through when he sings. He doesn’t have to do any fancy things with his voice.” Gerald had Tim sing A Little Peace On Earth. Scott Fowler and Gus Gaches came out and accompanied him with their vocals. As Tim left the stage, Gerald told the audience, “I used to love him. Now I just like him.”
Legacy Five came out and sang Christmas With A Capital C. At the first chorus, the audience clapped and shouted with approval! L5 was well received and the audience let them know they appreciated them. When the clapping died down, Scott said, “I’m tired of the political correctness. When my boys wake up on December 25th, I do not say to them, ‘Good morning boys, happy holidays!’ I say, ‘Good morning boys, Merry Christmas!!!’ Jesus is the reason for the season!!!” Scott had his Bible in hand and continued on by saying, “I am desperately trying to find Luke,” as he paged through his Bible. Howie chimed in some helpful direction by saying, “It’s in the L’s.” Scott read Luke 2 with a purposeful animation that stirred the soul, as he ended, our ears were met by the piano notes of O Holy Night, played by Trey Ivey. As the guys sang the last verse and chorus with power, they were bursting with such joy and excitement – to watch their faces as they sang was priceless. No surprise, the audience responded with a hearty standing ovation!
Gerald came back to the stage with that mischievous grin of his, he quickly told the audience what he was up to. Karen Peck and New River had been working hard in the studio on their first ever Christmas Cd, which will be released in November. When Gerald found out about this, he asked them to sing in this showcase. He said that the first thing Karen mentioned was the time of the showcase – eight-thirty in the morning! She wasn’t sure if she could sing that early! So when Gerald introduced them, he exclaimed, “I want you to help me wake ‘em up! Here’s Karen Peck and New River!” KP&NR came out and sang White Christmas, then Karen told everyone of how last year God blessed them with an abundance of snow on Christmas Day! She went on to explain that down in Georgia where they live, snow is a rare treat! The next song was written by John Rowsey, Karen and Rebecca, it will be the title of their project, called Georgia Mountain Christmas.
Gerald told a little about the next group and how he came about acquiring the Christmas project they just released. “This Cd has not come out of my truck since it was given to me,” said Gerald, “and anyone who rides with me in my truck has to listen to it!” The artists that he was speaking of were none other than the Crist Family. They came out and sang a powerful arrangement of What Child Is This, and the four ladies captured the first verse with a harmony that sent chills down my spine. Rich Crist quoted Isaiah 9:6, and they finished their time on stage with a medley of Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride, and White Christmas.
Greater Vision performed the last song of the morning, and in introduction to that ballad, he said, “Before we move on to the next segment, I want you to hear what this day is about!” Their closing song, Hope Has Hands, did just that. Greater Vision received a standing ovation for their performance, and Gerald finished up with this thought….
“That is what Christmas is about, grace and all of those things you read about – the characteristics of God that were manifested in Jesus!” – Gerald Wolfe