Christmas concert honors Frigo
Leo Frigo Memorial Christmas
Concert of Baylander Barbershop
Chorus and The Chantelles
4 stars = Excellent; 3 stars = Good;
2 stars = Fair; 1 star = Poor;
By Warren Gerds
Green Bay Press-Gazette
Monday, December 10, 2001
ASHWAUBENON The Leo Frigo Memorial Christmas Concert was a big draw Sunday night. More than 1,100 people filled Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, with extra seating brought in as people kept arriving about 400 more listeners than last year.
The turnout was testimony to the dedicated work Frigo did for the needy locally. He founded Paul's Pantry and was revered in the community. He died in February.
For the past seven years, the male Baylander Barbershop Chorus and The Chantelles female chorus put on this concert to benefit Paul's Pantry. The price of admission: Food for the pantry.
The groups are "extremely proud" to rename the concert, emcee Jim Emmel told the crowd. Emmel thanked Fran Frigo, who was in attendance, for permitting the concert to be named after her husband.
She stood and acknowledged the applause.
To the audience, Emmel added, "We hope Leo is in your thoughts as we sing this concert."
As in the past, the two groups sang sacred and popular songs, introduced new selections, sparked some laughs, led sing-alongs and created an atmosphere of warmth.
It took a few songs for the men to hit their sound consistently. One nice section was a recounting of the nativity, with Emmel reading passages of the Christmas story from the Bible and then the chorus singing a matching song. Telling the story were, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," "Away in a Manger," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Silent Night" and "Joy to the World."
Among featured men's quartets, GQ4 was especially smooth. "Joy, Joy, Joy" glowed.
The Chantelles were bright all night. "Carol of the Bells" shimmered, and "Calypso Carol" and "Angels are Singing" brought fresh sounds to listeners.
At the end, the choruses combined for more songs. "Go Tell It on the Mountain" especially rang out in full-bodied ways.
Next year, the groups should consider shortening the concert. Good hearted as the concert is, an hour and 40 minutes of sitting on wooden pews wears on the audience.