Opening night of Rockton Christmas Walk featured music for everyone, from rollicking piano duos to “Rocky Mountain High” folk songs


Dueling Pianos stars Katrina Nilson and Michael Sherman struck a positive note with the energetic crowd at the American Center during Christmas Walk, Friday evening, Dec. 3.

Friday evening was opening night of Christmas Walk in Rockton with featured musical entertainment at two locations: American Legion Center and Old Stone Church.

The audience at the American Legion Center was more than ready to have some fun. Dueling Pianos performed for a sold-out audience of fun-loving folks at the American Legion Center. Most dressed in their best, ugly Christmas sweater.

Pianists Katrina Nilson and Michael Sherman were the crowd-pleasing versatile piano duo. “Most of the time, we take requests and can play just about anything,” Katrina said.

“Yup, we are human jukeboxes,” Michael quipped.

As a part of the opportunity to show off their special sweaters, many in the crowd went on to the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl, following the concert.

Rockton Mayor John Peterson said Tricia Diduch, Nicole Hoey, and LaVonne Brown are responsible for bringing Dueling Pianos to town for Christmas Walk. Diduch is the Rockton Planning and Development Administrator who organized much of the logistics for the Rockton Christmas Walk.

Over at Old Stone Church, the audience was less boisterous. Bob Wang, First Congregational pastor took everyone back to the music of John Denver. Wang played guitar and sang several Christmas songs plus Denver’s iconic hits from the past. Charis Mitchell and Dave Snyder provided guitar accompaniment and vocal harmony.

On Friday evening, Rockton's Old Stone Church Pastor Bob Wang performed a concert featuring the music of John Denver. He was accompanied by Charis Mitchell and Dave Snyder. The concert was part of Rockton's annual Christmas Walk.

Wang opened the concert saying “We’re gonna get ‘high’ tonight," playing on the iconic “Rocky Mountain High,” one of Denver’s most popular songs.

Christmas-themed music such as “Christmas for Cowboys,” “What Child is This,” and “The Peace Carol,” mixed with ever-popular Denver folk songs including “Back Home Again,” “Country Roads,” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”

Before becoming a pastor, Wang was a music education teacher for several years. He has continued his love of music and has incorporated it into his work as a minister.

For those who missed the performance, Wang said he will be singing “Oh, Holy Night” at the church’s Christmas midnight service.

All that happened Friday. What's happening Saturday? We'll keep you informed. For local updates every day, subscribe to our free newsletter. To see videos of Dueling Pianos, visit the Rockton Christmas Walk Facebook page.

A group of ugly sweater-clad ladies gathered for a picture at the Dueling Pianos concert at the American Legion Center on Friday evening during Christmas Walk.

Heike Golter went all-out with her ugly Christmas sweater and matching Santa hat at the Dueling Pianos event held at the American Center on Friday evening, Dec. 3.

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