Christmas could come early this year for the new Falcon High School auditorium. Wade and Treesje Wallin, along with their seven children, will donate ticket sales from their annual family Christmas concert to purchase a new grand piano for the school.
Two of the Wallins daughters participate in choir and the instrumental music programs at FHS. "We knew the conditions of the (current) pianos at the school and the need is great," Treesje Wallin said. "We felt we could use our concert to benefit the school and the community."
"A Soulful Christmas," held Nov. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m., will feature the Wallin family performing jazz, American spirituals and original compositions by Wade Wallin. A full rhythm section will accompany the Wallins, including a guitar, saxophone, bass, drums and piano.
A Christmas tradition that began in 1999 as an opportunity to sing and perform Wade Wallin's original Christmas music, the concert has grown into a full-scale production. "The first year we invited friends, neighbors and my piano students," Treesje Wallin said. "After that, more and more people wanted to attend. For the last two years we've had over 550 people in attendance."
In choosing music for the performance, Wallin said they try to combine the old and the new, the secular and the religious. "About half the concert features Wade's music, the rest we pull from all over the place," she said.
The family practices in earnest over the summer and begins preparing for the concert in January. Wallin said her husband is usually the one in the spotlight, but as the children have aged, they have played musical instruments and participated in group numbers. This year, for the first time, their youngest child, 3-year-old Zhenja, will join the family on stage.
Kaia Wallin, a sophomore at FHS, said she enjoys getting ready for the show. "It's fun to learn all the music. We have to practice a lot and we get lots of family time," she said. "This year is more fun because we have all the other musicians with us."
She said through pre-sale of the tickets, they hope to purchase the piano prior to the concert and debut the instrument at the performances. "If we raise $18,000 for the piano," Treesje Wallin said. "Mountain View Electric has pledged a $5,000 donation if we meet our goal."
James Divine, instrumental music teacher at FHS, said the music program at FHS includes a marching band in its second year and a new orchestra program. The school also offers three concert bands and a jazz band. "Funding is always hard, but not for lack of desire," Divine said.
He said the piano will be a great asset to the school. "Our program has really grown a lot in the last three to four years," Divine said. "The choirs and the jazz band will get the most benefit from the piano."
Tickets are available by sending the admission price and a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Falcon High School
Attn: James Divine
10255 Lambert Road
Peyton, CO 80831
Tickets are $10 each. Make checks payable to Falcon High School Fundraiser.
For more information, contact Treesje Wallin at 719-494-1623.
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Wade and Treesje Wallin with their children, Natasha, Anisija, Kaia, Aleks, Nikolai, Izakand and Zhenja. Photo by Rebecca Photography.