Appalachian Christmas Concert 2000
Ascension Lutheran Church, Wichita KS
December 22, 2000

pictures by Danl Blackwood

click here to jump to pics below from the
Woodlawn UMC Wichita concert on 12/21/2000

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  The guys were back in Wichita for their 4th year of Christmas concerts - the 3rd year at Ascension. This year, after massive popular demand, they came with CDs in hand for sale. The PAC was packed! The crowd keeps doubling every year. Michael Aukofer on marimba (and tons of other instruments), still at the helm of this wonderful Christmas tradition.  
  Brad Layher, on hammered dulcimer, also covers several instruments. Jack A. Lope, the "fourth member of the quartet" in the foreground, mostly covers stage security on the tour. :-) As last year, Brad takes a break from touring with Mitch McVicker for the Christmas tour. Read Suzan's interview with Brad here. David Dibbern, here on upright bass, is one of the original members of the quartet, along with Michael. Stay tuned for a scrapbook of more pictures from the very first season in 1997. Rob Farmer, second from right, is a former Friends classmate and played percussion with the guys for most of this 2000 season. That's yours truly, Danl Blackwood, on guitar standing on the left, joining in on "Go Tell It On The Mountain."  
  Jeanne Anne Schroeder, in her second year performing with the quartet, covered flute and (as always) beautiful vocals. Pandemonium was all about during the excerpts of "Handel's Messiah." They started by making a (tongue-in-cheek) dedication to Pete Townsend, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Jenner. (Michael had just finished running completely around the crowd and jumping back on stage. Funny stuff. (see pictures at the bottom for more.)  
  The group played many of the songs from past years, and a couple new ones - also the same plethora of instruments and percussion (with a couple new additions). Michael informed me that by next year "we will have a new instrument we are having designed especially for us. All I can say is it will be like nothing you've ever seen." Who is that on the drums?
Is that little Jackie Lope Jr?
  There were some additions to the arsenal of BoomWhackers in the form of bass tubes. Before beginning, the audience was invited to come up closer to see, and they took advantage - the kids loved it. Of course they ended the segment with the traditional BoomWhacker Amen.  
    The evening ended with a some traditional Carol sing along. It was awesome. Our family went to see Mannheim Steamroller in Omaha after Christmas. While there I had the opportunity to visit with Chip Davis' daughter. I told her to tell her dad that they have some serious competition in the Christmas music department.      
  Don't forget, click on pictures to see larger image
  pictures below taken at
Woodlawn United Methodist Church
December 21, 2000

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  The quartet played here at Woodlawn United Methodist Church in Derby, KS two nights in a row previous to the evening at Ascension above. Here's some more of the appalachian rock 'n' roll.  
  Jack says, "Can't wait to see you next year!"      
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