Return to Headlines

12-17-15 — Student Performances Put Everyone in Holiday Mood

Dec. 17, 2015 ~ 'Tis the season for spontaneous holiday sing-alongs in grocery stores, nursing homes, school district buildings, and possibly even in area restaurants. When an elementary school chorus shows up wearing Santa hats and other holiday-themed attire, it can be difficult not to at least hum along with them.

During the first half of December, hundreds of elementary students entertained staff in the district's Education Center on their way to or from other festive performances.

The Celebration Choir from Clearwater Creek Elementary

Number of members: 105

Tour destinations on the day they visited the Education Center: five

Songs performed: “Joyous Hanukkah,” “Sing We Now of Christmas,” “Please Let it Snow,” “Steppin’ Out with Santa,” “Ugly Sweater,” “Don’t Eat a Poinsettia,” “Peace, Peace”

Accompaniment: CD and piano accompaniment played on CD

Music teacher Candace Moore’s thoughts: The students work very hard to prepare for our concert. We typically practice three days a week, but the week of the actual concert we practice daily. They have to memorize the words, the actions to the songs (if applicable) and, most of all, remember to watch me. What the students like best about the choir tour day is getting to sing for many of the people in the district who do so much for us behind the scenes. We always say thank you to our Olathe district workers and try to let them know that we appreciate all that they do for us. This year, I believe their favorite place to sing was Hy-Vee. There were some Olathe firefighters doing some grocery shopping and they stopped to listen and they joined in with the choir by singing and dancing along. This was truly a moment choir students will remember for years to come.

Bentwood Elementary Blue Jay Singers

Number of members: 65

Tour destinations on the day they visited the Education Center: three

Songs performed: “Let Freedom Ring,” “In Flanders Fields,” “Hot Chocolate,” “Candles in the Window,” “We Wish You a Swingin’ Holiday”

Accompaniment: CD

Music teacher Carrie DeVries’ thoughts: We spend a lot of time in the fall getting music prepared for our Veterans Day assembly and are able to add our holiday selections when our patriotic music has been performed. This year we visited a nursing home that had a large impact on our singers. When we left, they commented on how much the residents appreciated us being there but felt a heaviness about the residents who couldn't communicate either verbally or with any kind of body language. They were concerned about them and wondered how they could help them in the future. It was an amazing teachable moment about how their kindness matters a great deal to the world. After we stopped for lunch at the mall they were especially generous at the red bucket out the door. They look forward to this day every year and I think this year was especially memorable for them and for me.

Walnut Grove Elementary AstroNOTES

Number of members: 110

Tour destinations on the day they visited the Education Center: five

Songs performed: “First Day of Winter,” “Ding Dong Merrily on High,” “Wish You a Swingin’ Holiday,” “O Come Little Children,” “Green and White”

Accompaniment: CD and soloists

Music teacher Lauren Richards’ thoughts: The children love this day. We talk about spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear. They enjoy going to Lakeview Village because those people are always smiling, a student said. Every kid loves Pizza Street lunch the best! And they loved Union Station. I made a scavenger hunt for them at Union Station to do with their parent chaperone until it was time to sing. They enjoyed walking around looking at all the holiday decorations.

Manchester Park Timbernote Singers

Number of members: 106 fourth- and fifth-graders

Tour destinations on the day they visited the Education Center: four

Songs performed: “Deck the Hall,” “Jamaican Noel,” “Let it Snow!,” “Mr. Grinch,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Hot Chocolate!”

Accompaniment: CD

Music teacher Jaylene Scott’s thoughts: Students love seeing the residents at the nursing homes. Their faces light up, and they enjoy singing along to the songs they know.

Woodland Elementary Singing Wolfpack

Number of members: 60

Tour destinations on the day they visited the Education Center: four

Songs performed: “Carol of the Elves,” “When Sweet Winter Comes Again,” “We Wish You a Swingin’ Holiday,” “Snow Day,” “Papa’s on the Housetop”

Accompaniment: CD

Music teacher Denice Trawicki’s thoughts: We have weekly practices and begin our tour music in October. The kids love being out and about in the community and make some great memories performing, riding the bus, and eating lunch at Pizza Street!

Tomahawk Special Chorus

Number of members: 131

Tour destinations on the day they visited the Education Center: five

Songs performed: “December Nights, December Lights,” “Bring on the Snow,” “Frosty Hand Jive,” “The Christmas Tree Feud,” “Peace, Peace”

Accompaniment: CD

Music teacher Sarah Gesling’s thoughts: The students love to sing in downtown Kansas City. Being in a building like Union Station or the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts makes them feel very “professional and important” (some of the students have said). The acoustics in those grand buildings give the choir the ability to hear themselves singing which is very neat for them. They also love singing for their feeder schools (Frontier Trail and Olathe South) so they can meet the choir directors over there!