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High school choir at Sunday Night Unplugged

This Sunday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will present Sunday Night Unplugged, featuring Pagosa Springs High School Choir. The choir, under the direction of Dan Burch, will sing a selection of Advent, Christmas and Hanukkah songs interspersed with special readings.

The Pagosa Springs High School music program has become a source of great pride for our community, with singers and instrumentalists receiving the highest possible awards in interscholastic competitions and individual judged events. In the past few years, the choir program has grown from only a handful of students to over fifty strong. Last year, the choir received the first place award at Music in the Parks in Denver, a judged competition between choirs and bands from across the state. Additionally, numerous choir members have auditioned for and won spots in the Adams State and the Western Slope Honor Choirs. For the second year in a row, PSHS will be sending two of its singers to be members of the Colorado All State Choir, the highest possible award for individual singers. These choirs allow the students to study with highly credentialed clinicians, who teach the students the additional skills they need to become fine singers. The honor choirs also allow students to mix their voices with the voices of other students from across the state in a completely unique choral experience.

Much of the program’s success is due to the unfaltering commitment of their director and his equally talented wife, Venita, who serves as the choir’s piano accompanist. Dan directs both the choir and the band programs at the high school, and prepares and takes both groups to numerous competitions every year. Dan and Venita are devoted to providing the highest quality music education to the young people they serve. They, along with the commitment and support offered to them by the school board, parents, and the community, have allowed the program to blossom and grow. The obvious beneficiaries are the students themselves and the many that enjoy their talents.

St. Patrick’s is happy to feature this talented group of singers this Sunday evening as guest artists of their monthly Sunday Night Unplugged service.

“I have no doubt that those who attend will be very impressed and inspired by the talent of these young people,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “Certainly, this will provide a meaningful opportunity to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth,” he said.

Sunday Night Unplugged is a monthly service of music and meditation offered by St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. It provides its participants the opportunity to enjoy lovely music, the inspiration of readings of scripture and other poignant literature, offer prayers, and simply sit quietly and absorb the beauty of holiness.

“What better place than Pagosa Springs to recognize the holiness of the beauty that surrounds us and give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy,” says Fr. Doug. The church’s massive transept windows allow a spectacular view of the San Juan Mountains and its surrounding trees, providing the perfect indoor setting for meditation and devotion.

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., next to the hospital. Sunday Night Unplugged is free and open to the public.