At the end of November, Dean
of Students DEl Beatty organized
an entertainment group to perform
on a CEU fl oat for the Helper Light
Parade. "I really wanted CEU to
participate so I threw around ideas
and not a lot of people were excited
about it so I said, 'Well, I'll just do
"I heard about the Helper Light
Parade and CEU hadn't participated
in it for 10 years or whatever ... So
I came up with a song that I had
done with Acclamation [an SUU
entertainment group] and still had
a copy of it so I decided to use it.
The costumes were costumes that I
had already borrowed from someone
else, minus the big wedding dresses,
of course. So I borrowed the green
jackets and we bought the wedding
dresses. I wanted to just see if we
could get a group together to perform
at the parade.
We were going to have auditions
for the group. Originally I was going
to have two or three girls, two
or three boys, but when we started,
I decided to have all girls, which I'm
glad we did now because it worked
out better and it was just for that
one event, he said.
He chose Amanda Watters, Amy
Guthrie, Amy Jensen, Emily McRae,
Emily Leishman, Jenna Jepson and
Jaimie Scoville to sing on the fl oat.
Th ey were paid almost the equivalent
of $10 per hour. Th ey were all there
for approximately an hour each of
the two nights.
"Santa's Babies" was a name that
they were thinking about calling
themselves throughout the process,
along with "DEl's Belles" and a few
"In the future – we're talking
about possibly putting together an
entertainment group that would be
a performance group that would
represent the institution," he said.
"Ideally, what I would have like
to have done is to have cordless
headset microphones, which is what
I used with my groups before. Th ey're
expensive and that's something that
we'll look for with the performance
group, that's what we would do," he
"We taught the music to everyone
and they actually sang live. Th ey
were singing to a vocal sweetening
recording of themselves just for the
sake of being loud in the parade.
"That's actually, I think, what
generated so much buzz and how our
entry was diff erent from everyone
else's. They might have had some
Christmas music playing with a
boom box, but you couldn't hear it,
so we had big speakers and amplifi ers
and if it wouldn't have been snowing
and cold, we would have actually
had microphones for them to use as
well, but it wasn't worth chancing
the equipment to do it, so ...
We were going to sing two songs
in rotation, "The Most Wonderful
Time of the Year" and "Santa Claus
is Comin' to Town," but then, after
we learned "Santa Claus is Comin'
to Town" and we just threw it together
so quickly that I decided to
just sing one song, which I'm glad
we did now.
"Oh my gosh, they loved us,"
Beatty exclaimed. In fact, so many
people talked about it and said,
"It was so good to have you at our
parade, we appreciate it so much!"
Th ey wrote about it in the newspaper
and we have our little plaque that
shows we won. They were just so glad
that CEU was participating and that's
what we need to do more of, involvement
in the community."
What makes the group diff erent
from a traditional choir such as the
chamber choir that's directed by Russell
Wilson, the vocal professor at College
of Eastern Utah, is "it was just for that
one event, for one thing and also, they
were singing a little bit more with front
placement so we weren't as classical and
it was more just to purely entertain and
not necessarily for the value of the aesthetics
of the choral music, he said.
That's why as we look to put together
a performance group in the future, it
will be more like a show choir. Th e
purpose of that is to entertain. A lot of
times, traditional choral music doesn't
have wide audience appeal. I mean, I
have a degree in music and appreciate
it, but wide audience appeal has to be