The 2016 Chapel of the Cross Summer Concert Series ended on a high note Sunday.
The first ever "Open Mic Night" scheduled by the Chapel Music Committee brought out 10 performers who took their turns at the mic to provide a full evening of music and fun. The evening evolved into a celebration and concluded with a rousing sing-along with the performers and audience in happy harmony together.
The special performance was conceived and organized by music committee member Beth Williams. Accompaniment for the evening was provided by Sharon Clark and Vernette Mackley.
The evening began with Doug Hamby and Linda Scheele, who also perform together as Class Act and with Route 66. Hamby played keyboard and provided backup vocals as Scheele sang "Why Don't You Believe Me." The number, along with their elegant evening attire and engaging stage presence, set the tone for the evening and evoked a breezy feeling of the classy music styles from the Big Band Era.
Next up on the Chapel stage was George Layton, a native Californian who married a girl from Olathe, where they have come to retire. He played the autoharp and sang "God of the Mountain" for his audience.
Layton was followed by another singer who has performed with Route 66, Sherry Perrone. She performed a selection from her gospel CD, "Peace in the Valley."
Dan Hawkins of Redlands Mesa sang a favorite show tune from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" titled "Memories."
Al Smith of Cedaredge kept the entertainment moving as he performed an original song written to the music of "Miles and Miles of Texas." He titled his number "Cedaredge Before Me" and it could become candidate for a town's theme song.
Well known local entertainer Jean Tramp performed "Forever Blue," a song by Chris Issak. Tramp noted that the Open Mic Night was a first for the Chapel and she hoped it would be repeated next year.
Vern Davis, a 25-year resident of Rogers Mesa, is known to Chapel audiences. He sang a spiritual classic "He's Everything to Me."
Cedaredge's Bob Ware concluded the scheduled performances by singing a humorous number from 1942 about a man who was as wide as he was tall, "Mr. 5 by 5."
The performers then began a round of encore numbers that included some fun and uplifting songs and concluded with "This Little Light of Mine" as everyone in the building joined in.
It was a fitting celebratory performance for what has been a successful concert season that brought fine local entertainers to the Chapel. Emcee for the evening was music committee member Bob Ware. He announced that the 2016 concert series was a highly successful one with over 1,700 attendees at the summer's concerts.
"We are always looking for new talent to perform at the Chapel," he said.
He also announced that there will be three special musical programs presented during the Christmas season.