Holiday cheer filled the Highland High School auditorium at the annual Christmas Groove concert Dec. 7, benefiting Medina Creative Housing. The Christmas Groove band performed two concerts that evening – one at 5 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m. The concert consisted of various performances of Christmas hymns, traditional Christmas carols and pop and rock-and-roll style Christmas songs. Band members even performed a couple of comedy skits between songs. The band consisted of six singers, two drummers, a bass guitarist, two electric guitarists, one acoustic guitarist, two keyboardists, one percussionist, four horn players and eight additional musicians.

Percussionist Joni Colbrunn explained the concert originated at Polaris Christian Church in Brunswick and has been held annually since 2004, but it has served as a beneficial event for local organizations for the past three years.

During an intermission in the middle of the concert, emcee Scott Roark took the time to introduce this year’s beneficiary. Medina Creative Housing Executive Director Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty, with the help of WTAM 1100 morning show co-host Bill Wills, addressed the crowd about the services the organization offers and the importance of donations. Roark also held a door prize raffle during the intermission.

Medina Creative Housing promotes affordable housing and quality services for Medina County residents with disabilities. Among other projects this organization offers are Medicaid-certified supportive services, property maintenance and construction, horseback riding lessons and employment opportunities through Medina Creative Produce, Medina Creative Coffee and Medina Creative Pet Play.

After more performances, the concert concluded with a performance of “Little Drummer Boy,” which started with band members using big plastic buckets as makeshift drums, then continued with drummers from the Highland High School Drum Line proceeding on stage and ended with the band’s drummers joining in.

Approximately 1,450 people attended the two concerts, and more than $9,000 was raised for Medina Creative Housing. This was the first year the Christmas Groove concert was held at Highland High School.

Among the local businesses that sponsored the concert were Kirlough Family Dentistry, Merrill Lynch, Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center in Brunswick, Mid-West Poly Pak, Medina Laser Car Wash, Ken Ganley Nissan, Animal and Avian Medical Center, Hyland Software, Valley Mitsubishi, the Goddard School of Medina and Hope Church.

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