There is something magical about this night. It was a really special night when I talked to the person that ran the historic Fairmont Opera House in Fairmont, Minnesota. He was an absolute go-getter. He is trying to bring live music back to Fairmont, Minnesota and to keep a piece of the town’s history preserved. It was a beautiful venue that had an amazing chandelier hanging from the ceiling and the acoustics in the several hundred seat opera house was something to behold. Frenchtown’s own The Wizards Of Winter brought the magic of the holiday season to the mostly packed venue.
The Wizards Of Winter are composed of Scott Kelly as musical director, Sharon Kelly flute/vocals, Tommy Ference on drums, Greg Smith on bass, Fred Gorhau on lead guitar, Guy LeMonnier on lead vocals, Mary McIntyre on keyboards/vocals, Shawna Marie on vocals, T.W. Durfy on lead guitar, Tony Gaynor as narrator, Ellie Krasner on violin/vocals, and Dave Bizigotti on bass. They certainly brought the magic of the Christmas season to Fairmont.
The show as a whole was captivating. The musicianship was some of the tightest musicianship I have ever seen, and if you’re a fan of Trans-Siberian Orchestra or Mannheim Steamroller, then The Wizards Of Winter could be your new annual Christmas tradition. There were two hour long sets with a ten minute intermission in between the sets. The performance led by Scott Kelly as musical director immediately left me awestruck, he made sure that the audience was clapping, singing along, and having a good time at the show. The audience was a diverse array from children to my generation to the elderly, and they all were moved and captivated by the performance.
Each member brought something different to the table. The vocals were impeccable, especially when Sharon Kelly and Guy LeMonnier took command of the stage. Sharon had a powerful, yet a serene voice and Guy was one of those classically trained vocalists that was legit another instrument in the music. As narrator, Tony Gaynor did a tremendous job of holding the audience’s attention as they went through the story of the Christmas season with the audience.
The night started off with “Flight Of The Snow Angels”. The arrangements and an ode to “Little Drummer Boy” in the beginning got the audience on the edge of their seat and it immediately set the mood that the night was going to be a special night to celebrate the Christmas season. Guy took over the vocals, and the arrangements between Ellie Krasner and the guitars led by Fred Gorhau were really intertwined like a finely woven tapestry. The vocals were absolutely powerful, yet really conveyed the joy behind this night.
Fans were also treated to an amazing instrumental entitled “A Christmas Dream” and “It’s Gonna Snow” which were beautiful songs to listen to and reflect. Fans were also treated to a cover of”Nutrocker” by ELP. “A Night Of Reflection” and “Sing Alleluia/3 Ships” medley got the audience into a combination of rocking out and reflecting upon the true meaning of the Christmas season. “Special Feeling” was a beautiful ballad sung by Guy as well.
If The Wizards Of Winter are in the area, you are in for an unforgettable night of music that really stirs the emotions of the Christmas season. Songs that make you clap with joy, songs that tell beautiful stories, arrangements that are astounding, and a narrator that really makes the performance into a story. 10 out of 10 performance in the sense that I want this to be an annual Christmas tradition.
There are a few dates left to see The Wizards Of Winter, check them out if they’re in your area:
Thursday, December 21st- City Opera House in Traverse City, Michigan
Friday, December 22nd- The Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan
Saturday, December 23rd- Canton Palace Theatre in Canton, Ohio
For tickets and further information for any of the shows listed above, click here!
Find The Wizards Of Winter at the following locations: