The Leo Choir lived up to its “world-renowned” billing with 10 performances in the month of December, highlighted by the annual Christmas Concert that doubled as the official grand opening of the thoroughly renovated Leo Auditorium on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

A capacity crowd marveled at how a new floor, a new ceiling, new matching chairs and a fresh paint job combined with LED lighting and a state of the art sound system to transform a dingy  old room into a classy venue worthy of Mrs. Hill and her singers’ abundant talent. Concert-goers agreed that the Choir never sounded better.  

Two nights earlier, the Choir had given a sneak preview of its Christmas show by performing at the Chicago Bears’ annual holiday party for needy families from the Auburn Gresham community. For the last five years, Leo has teamed up with neighborhood grammar schools to identify families who might be looking at a rather bleak Christmas for their children. Leo provides the families and the venue and Bears Care, the charitable arm of Chicago’s storied, 100-year-old NFL franchise, takes it from there, putting on a sumptuous holiday meal and providing the children with gift baskets, and well as a visit from Santa Claus, face painters, balloon sculptors and other treats.

Bears Chairman George McCaskey and his wife Barbara were among this year’s hosts, along with Pro Bowl defensive back Kyle Fuller and retired defensive tackle Anthony Adams. Together, the Bears and Leo made Christmas a little more special for more than 60 Auburn Gresham families.