– By Cary K. & Victoria Conover –

Take colorful bows and hearty handshakes, shimmering red blouses and neighborly waves, lighted trees and Christmas hugs. Then add stompin’ boots and shiny belt buckles, leather vests and three beautiful smiles, and you get the world-renowned Texas Tenors performing at Holstein’s Rosemary Clausen Center for Performing Arts. Billboard’s #1 recording artists presented their “Deep in the Heart of Christmas” concert to a sold out audience that couldn’t have been happier to be there.

Fresh from their recent performance at the White House, these 2009 “America’s Got Talent” winners wowed the theater-goers with a wide array of Christmas treats. Opening with “O Come All Ye Faithful,” they continued throughout the matinee with crowd favorites like, “Mary Did You Know,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Let it Snow,” “Silver Bells” and many more of our forever favorites. A highlight for this writer was their thrilling, “O Holy Night.” From those intricate harmonic vocal blends to the hauntingly beautiful “Amazing Grace,” they were themselves amazing. Their rendition of the patriotic “God Bless the U.S.A.” brought the audience members to their feet and gave us goose bumps and more than a few tears. That and their national hit “BootDaddy” meant the sedentary audience was hardly sedentary.

The Texas Tenors provided a blend of many different genres of music. We were treated to a John Denver medley, the classic “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” and a fabulous operatic Latin work, “Ave Maria, Dolce Maria.” The charismatic trio paid tribute to the Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley with his smash hit, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” To accompany the auditory performance, the audience was provided a mesmerizing video feed featuring a much younger Bill Medley singing along with his current number one fans. The video backdrop also included snow-capped churches, flickering candles, sun light through stained glass and hundreds of other visual images. Talk about sensory overload!

Trio member Marcus Collins wowed us with his heartwarming interaction with audience members: restyling a person’s hair, doing a little slow dance, complementing a broach and providing some spur-of-the-moment humor to an audience that really didn’t need another reason to love him! Another member, John Hagan, a native of Waverly, Iowa and a U.N.I. alum, had this to say: “Coming to Holstein has been a great joy . . . where everyone has been so hospitable . . . a charming city with beautiful homes . . . and playing a very nice venue like this where you really get to interact with the audience and feel like you’re with them, gives you a very good feeling.” I guess we’ll have to love him too!

Throughout the entire performance, the audience was treated to The Texas Tenors’ brand of amazing vocal blends, soaring high notes and deep resonate underpinnings as they seamlessly shared their gifts and talents with a very appreciative Clausen Center audience – a group who couldn’t get enough – enough Christmas music or enough of The Texas Tenors.