Piano Recital

By Students of Rachel Siegrist ~ Sunday Afternoon, April 6, 2014

1We enjoyed a delightful recital in the chapel at Pleasant View Retirement Community.

I wanted to include each student in one entry, so used more photos than I usually do.

DSC_7240Prelude by Renee – granddaughter of Rachel.

1a (1)Rachel – a friend of ours – is the student’s teacher, including our grandchildren Jana and Jared. In this photo she is welcoming the audience.

1a (2)Anya ~ Carol of the Bells ~ Leontovich

1a (3)Quinn ~ Flying Fingers ~ Vandoll

1a (4)Heather ~ Hoe-Down ~ Rollin

1a (5)Carrie ~ Canon in D ~ Pachelbel

1a (6)Carlie ~ Will You Be There ~ Jackson

1a (7)Crissa ~ We Three Kings/Fur Elise ~ Hopkins/Beethoven

1a (8)Alicia ~ Breathe ~ Barnett

1a (9)Renee ~ Prelude in C# Minor Op. 3 #2 ~ Rachmaninoff

1a (10)Makayla ~ River Flows in You ~ Yiruma

1a (11)Colleen ~ Waterfall ~ Schmidt

1a (12)Alexis ~ Ballade ~ Burgmuller

1a (13)Carson ~ Hungarian Dance #5 ~ Brahms

1a (14)Anya played a prelude following a break – inviting us to take our seats.

1a (15)Claryn ~ LeRetour – Burgmuller

1a (16)Jana ~ In Schubert’s Day ~ Krentzlin

1a (17)Georgie ~ Beautiful One ~ Hughs

1a (18)Tianna ~ The Entertainer ~ Joplin

1a (19)Kevin ~ Shout to the Lord ~ Zschech

1a (20)Jenna ~ River Flows in You ~ Yiruma

1a (21)Kristy ~ Tarantella in G Minor ~ Austin

1a (22)Heather ~ The Black Hawk Waltz ~ Walsh

1a (23)Rachelle ~ Breathe ~ Barnett

1a (24)Jared ~ The Chariot Race ~ Unknown

1a (25)Gretchen ~ Rise and Shine ~ American Folk Song

1a (26)Brooke ~ Tiger Lilies ~ Gerlach

1a (27)The grand finale was a duet by siblings ~ Makayla and Quinn.


I could listen to these recitals more than once a year.

Oh, What a Salvation This ~ That Christ Liveth in Me

I woke up with this song in my head and on my heart.

I love when that happens, and expect it is because we sang it in church last night. (We are having revival services ~ with Dwane Schildt as evangelist.)



The song was written by Daniel W. Whittle (1840-1901)…


…and put to music by James McGranahan (1840-1907)


It was inspired by Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (New King James Version)

A Fabulous Last Day in Branson

Sunrise outside one of our four hotel windows – we have a corner room.0Notice the moon on the large building. That is the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.

1We decided to fill our last day with music. After a delicious brunch at Grand Country Buffet, we walked to the other end of the building to enjoy the 10:00 a.m. show at Grand Country Music Hall. The guy on the left and the lady are husband and wife. I understand their children also perform on some days.

1aWe enjoyed his personality. Can you tell that we had good seats? We were in the third row – center.

1bThe Master of Ceremonies and lead singer has a great voice.

1cHow he looked without his hat during the gospel songs.

1d (1)We enjoy this comedian – we had seen him in a different show in this building on Monday. Here he was pretending to cry over a misunderstanding with his wife.

1d (2)

1d (3)In this skit he and his “Siamese twin” were singing a song. The man on the left was also a delightful musician.

1d (4)This is the comedian in street dress. Who would guess that he is a comedian.

This was a delightful old country, Christmas, and gospel music show.

2Our next stop was to see The Duttons. Cerwin wanted me to get a picture of their truck/bus.

2bFive of the seven siblings were in town for the 2:00 p.m. show You may remember them as a top ten finalist for America’s Got Talent in 2007.

Their parents are usually involved in the show, but were in Phoenix (where the family performs their winter shows) for some medical attention the father needed.

2c (1)They are classically trained – and play classical songs – but they also do amazing bluegrass.

2c (2)Amy has been voted Branson’s Best Violinist for the last six years in a row.

2c (3)Ben is the family comedian and Jonathan is his straight man. Here they are playing Dueling Banjos with horns and a banjo. Ben played the horns by using his legs, arms, and hands.

2c (4)Many of the grandchildren are included in the show and demonstrate that the Duttons will continue for many years.

2c (5)

2c (7)

2c (6)Judith and Tim (wife and husband) singing Baby It’s Cold Outside.

2c (8)Clogging

2c (9)Jonathan’s wife, Bella, is from the Islands of Samoa. Their family did a song portraying an island Christmas.

2c (10)In their finale they did a fabulous job of singing and playing Boil the Cabbage Down. I took this picture just before they began playing each other’s instruments – and the brothers on the end did it by reaching above their other siblings.

2c (11)This was the real finale – when this little one did a back bend while playing fiddle.

If I could go back to see only one show from this trip – it would be the Duttons!

2d (1)Our next appointment was at Dixie Stampede where horses are a highlight of this dinner theatre.

2d (2)  I missed our granddaughters Abby and Gloria here because of their love for horses.

2d (3)We walked by the stables to get to the arena.

2d (4)This guy did some amazing performances during the preshow act.

2d (5)


We could not take photos during the Stampede, so I got a few off the internet to show you what we saw. We did not see the above show – ours was the Christmas show – but this shows exactly where we sat – front row, right seats in the section on the left.


This was our delicious meal – top center, clockwise: soup, iced tea or Pepsi, Cornish hen, smoked pork, corn on the cob, dinner roll, baked potato, and apple turnover.

3b (1)

We did see this performance. However, she was in wintery/Christmas finery.

3b (2)

The loggers competition was fun to watch.

The Christmas story was beautiful with real camels and sheep – along with a nativity scene and angels coming down from the ceiling.


Then we went to our last show of this trip – and believe me it was fabulous – as only these guys can do.

3cAfter getting to Branson, we heard that the Oakridge Boys were in town on Wednesday night, I called about getting tickets, thinking it may already be sold out, but they had a cancellation of two tickets in row 13 on the left. That sounded good to us – in a stadium that seats 2,150 people.

4 (1)Of course no one sings Elvira like they do. 🙂

4 (3)But for me, the best song of this entire trip was their last song.

Glorious Impossible

See the Virgin is delivered In a cold and crowded stall Mirror of the Father’s glory
Lies beside her in the straw

He is Mercy’s incarnation
Marvel at this miracle!
For the Virgin gently holds
The Glorious Impossible

Love has come to walk on water
Turn the water into wine
Touch the leper, bless the children
Love both human and divine

Praise the wisdom of the Father
Who has spoken through His Son
Speaking still, He calls us to

Glorious Impossible

He was bruised for our transgressions
And He bears eternal scars
He was raised for our salvation
And His righteousness is ours

Praise, oh praise Him, praise the glory
Of this lavish grace so full
Lift your souls now and receive the
Glorious Impossible!

Glorious Impossible

Glorious Impossible
Glorious Impossible

Praise, oh praise Him, praise the glory
Of this lavish grace so full
Lift your souls now and receive
The Glorious Impossible

Glory, Hallelujah
Glory, Hallelujah
Glory, Hallelujah
Glory, Hallelujah
Glory, Hallelujah
Glory, Hallelujah


Oh, my! What a way to close our time in Branson! The words and tune to Glorious Impossible are still running through my head.

Now we are on our way to Osage Beach, Missouri, where Cerwin will go hunting, and I will relax.

Meeting A Blog Friend In Branson

Delightful is one of my favorite words, and it is how I felt about meeting my blog friend Janet (for the first time) yesterday!

0She came to our hotel and asked if it was okay to go to College of the Ozarks for lunch.


1This college is known as “Hard Work U” because the students work to pay their tuition.

2The motel, gift shop, restaurant, and conference area is beautifully constructed.

3 (1)During the time we waited for our lunch “buzzer” to let us know a table was open, Janet gave us a short tour of the center. At one point a “light” went off in my head and I realized that this was the college that our daughter Diane and her husband, Mark, had checked into when looking for a college for Hezekiah.

3 (2)It is also under consideration for Lydia. I called Diane to check on that, and she said, “Yes, it was one they have checked into.” She was surprised when I told her that we were here.

3 (3)Janet and I talked nonstop as we ate a delicious lunch – and tried to include Cerwin now and then. 🙂 It did not suit Janet’s husband to come because of their busy work with the cattle.

3 (5)It is a beautiful campus.

She dropped us off at our hotel about an hour before the afternoon show at Pierce Arrow – where we had been the night before. There aren’t many afternoon shows, and most start at 2 p.m. Plus we could get in there at half price because of being there the night before.

3 (6)We knew the afternoon show was different, and we thought it would be fun to see more of this comedian.

3 (7)He didn’t disappoint us.

3 (8)Pierce Arrow was just as good as the night before – doing a different program. Here they are singing “This Old House.”

3 (9)After a light supper (I had fried green tomatoes) we went to see the Presley’s – first enjoying the Gospel Sing-a-Long in the upper lounge.

3 (11)This family is one of the few things we knew about Branson before this visit, because we watch them on RFD TV many Saturday evenings – and these comedians – father, son and grandson were main attractions to us.

3 (12)Cerwin said this was his favorite show so far. It is still a toss-up for me – between them and Texas Tenors. The Presley’s have a large talented cast which is made up of many family members.

3 (13)

3 (14)One thing I didn’t pick up on TV was the gentleness of this man.

3 (15)Two people playing one instrument.

3 (16)They do a good job of training the next generation.

3 (18)This Presley plays an amazing harmonica.

3 (17)

3 (19)One of the fun things at the end was seeing the real Cecil. He is the one with the “high water” pants in the previous pictures.

Oh, I had so many more pictures from the day – but there is a limit to how many I should put in one blog entry – and we are about ready to leave for another adventurous, busy day in Branson.

Monday in Branson

How do I limit my many pictures of the day to a sensible amount for my blog?

1 (1)We found our way to the Showboat “Branson Belle” for our scheduled lunch cruise – a bit early.

1 (2)We have learned one thing – that people arrive really early for scheduled programs around here. When we think we are too early, there are already a lot of people there – and there are gift shops everywhere.

2Our entrance picture. I didn’t bring a scanner on the trip :), so just took a picture of a picture.

3 (1)We had fabulous seats – first row in the raised area on the first floor, which meant we did not have to look over or between anyone’s head. We were blessed by Christmas music from St. John Sanctuary Choir from Collinsville, Illinois, during the early part of our meal.

Cerwin is talking to the lady next to him. She is from Alaska and lives in a motor home – alone – traveling all over the country visiting family and places that interest her.

3 (3)Christopher was master of ceremonies and quite talented and funny.

3 (4)

3 (6)The Rockin’ Dockers played delightful country and Christmas instrumentals while we ate. They were also backup musicians during the entire cruise.

3 (5)Our DELICIOUS meal began with corn muffins and a salad – before the main entrée (chicken, beef, snow peas and mashed potatoes) was served.

3 (7)The cheesecake dessert was yummy.

3 (8)While Cerwin enjoyed coffee, I toured the ship. You can see him to the right of the flag decoration – in burgundy shirt with black vest. This photo was taken from the third level where meals were also served. When I got back, he went for a walk.

3 (9)

3 (10)The captain.

3aThe after-dinner show. We learned one thing about shows in Branson. It is not always good to be seated in the front of the auditorium or along an aisle. 🙂 The lady seated on stage was chosen from the audience to ring a bell as this group sang Silver Bells.

3b (1)The Branson Belle was blessed when they hired Janice Martin. She is a skilled violinist, singer, and pianist.

3b (3)

3b (4)She is also an acrobat – skillfully climbing and wrapping herself in these long pieces of cloth, to play violin. She learned to conquer her fear of heights when serving in the military.

3b (5)This was a beautiful rendition of God Bless America.

3b (6)It was a fabulous ending to the lunch cruise.

4 (1)There are only a few afternoon shows, so I checked the listing to see if we could make a 3:00 p.m. performance. We just made it to the Grand Country Music Hall in time and were able to purchase tickets to this funny, delightful afternoon.

The two men who are seated were chosen from the audience – to be this skit’s “dummies.” The comedians operated the men’s attached, large mouths. 🙂

4 (2)This show included a lot of humor.

4 (3)This is how a very skilled pianist plays “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

It was a fun way to spend the afternoon.

4a (1)When choosing our evening program, we decided on Pierce Arrow. We had never heard of them, but so many people told us that it was a great show.

I told Cerwin that the first few country-style songs sounded like the group could sing Southern Gospel. They had amazing harmony.

4a (2)…and before long that is what they were singing.

5Jarrett Dougherty is known as one of the funniest men in town – and he is. Here he is playing Brother Cecil.

DSC_9841Here he is a redneck hunter. It seems that he was always looking for a snake that was loose in the building.

DSC_9844The daughter of one of the band members singing a Christmas song.

DSC_9848Their second act was made up of delightful Christmas music.


DSC_9856Pierce Arrow includes a Guinness World Record holder (right: lowest base), an American Idol Semifinalist (Luke Menard – left), Oak Ridge Boys former backup (long hair), and a licensed minister (tallest).

DSC_9865The entire cast closed the show with a Christmas song.

It was a delightful, fun-filled day. We are learning that this town is filled with amazing musical talent.

Indianapolis to Branson

1It is always delightful to see the 198 foot tall cross when we travel through Effingham, Illinois.

DSC_9571Enjoying coffee, the scenery, and three hours of Gospel music on Sirius Radio (bluegrass channel) was heavenly.

2As we talked about the delightful, heavenly morning, we came upon highway that was quite bumpy.

I said to Cerwin, “This road reminds us that we are not yet on streets of gold.” 🙂

DSC_9534Someone is getting a large delivery of pipe fittings.


DSC_9572One of our first sightings of the St. Louis Arch.


DSC_9601There were many large sign advertisements – during the last half hour before arriving at Branson.

DSC_9602Missouri hills

DSC_9607Branson is definitely a city of food, music and entertainment.

DSC_9609Cerwin was into something smoked and made of beef, so we stopped at this restaurant near our motel.

DSC_9612We enjoyed the delightful music of this country music crooner while having our first real meal of the day – smoked brisket and a salad bar.

DSC_9613There was also a friendly man in the entrance area who helped us organize our three days in Branson – with information about the best concerts.

DSC_9615Our first tickets were to hear The Texas Tenors at Starlite Theatre. I took this picture in the diner/entrance area. This was about two hours after supper, so a dip of vanilla ice cream sounded good while we waited for the theatre doors to open.




DSC_9628Oh, my! What an incredibly, fabulous concert.

DSC_9636Some of you will remember them from “America’s Got Talent” in 2009 – when they became famous, even though they did not win the top spot.

DSC_9647The concert included gospel, patriotic (Veteran’s Day is a big deal here in Branson), classical, country, and familiar Christmas songs.

DSC_9649John Hagen reading the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke.

DSC_9655They enjoy having fun with their amazing talent.


DSC_9661If you go to Branson, don’t miss this concert.

Chuck Wagon Gang Concert

Presented by Manheim Community Farm Show

Saturday evening, October 5

Our original plan for the day was to take our friend Gerald along on a bus trip to Quecreek Mine and the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93, but the trip was cancelled due to the government shutdown, so we went with Plan B – supper at Kountry Kitchen and a Chuck Wagon Gang concert.

It turned out to be as good – in a different kind of way – as Plan A.

Picture1(photo of Gerald and Joanne in early June)

Gerald’s wife, Joanne, died at the end of July. The day of the bus trip – October 5 – would have been their 50th wedding anniversary. We wanted to make sure that he had something to do that day.

DSC_8301Luke Hess (Communication Management Co., Inc.) organized the event and served as master of ceremonies.

DSC_8305The concert, which was held at Salem United Methodist Church in Manheim, drew a crowd that filled the building. I think I heard that there were 600 people.

DSC_8307Those of us who are “older” can remember listening to the original Chuck Wagon Gang – and this group sings many of those old songs that we still love.

Shaye Smith (second from left) is the granddaughter of the Gang’s original alto, Anna Carter Gordon Davis and Howard Gordon, who was guitarist for the group for many years.  Shaye sings alto and is the group’s owner/manager.

DSC_8314The evening was a benefit for Manheim’s FFA (Future Farmers of America) – which includes our niece Chelsey (center) – who were honored and participated in the evening’s offering. We were too close to the front of the church for me to get a photo of the entire group.

DSC_8316During the second session, the Gang honored all the requests that were given during the break and sang several “songbook songs” to the delight of the audience.

DSC_8330The last few songs were done exactly as the first generation group sang.

[From their website]: The Chuck Wagon Gang has entered its 75th year of singing the old songs, and singing them the way ‘Dad Carter’ taught his kids.  A simple style, yet distinctive sound, is credited with helping preserve the legacy of the music so many love.  While time has brought much in the way progress and development in our time, the Chuck Wagon Gang has continued to strum and sing its way into the history books as being the oldest recording mixed quartet that has continuously recorded what has come to be known as ‘grass roots’ Gospel music.  Over the years, the group has managed to record well over 800 songs, and sell 40 million records worldwide.  Much of those songs and records were recorded with Columbia records, now Sony Music.  Many of the songs recorded in 1936, the group’s first year, are still being sung in concerts across America today.

It was a delightful evening!