Column: 'Tis the season for music at Prairie Elementary
WORTHINGTON -- The classic Christmas song states, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go" and that has never been truer than in the music department at Prairie Elementary. Students and music staff have been busy preparing for upcoming holiday events. Groups preparing to entertain and ring in the season include the fourth-grade orchestra, Celebration Chorus and kindergarten.
The kindergarteners will be presenting their holiday program, "The Holly Jolly Christmas Follies," on Dec. 17 and 18. All eleven classes under the direction of Linda Van Westen, Jeanne Mammen, and Katie Stafford, the program will be presented in groups of two or three combined classes. The program is a variety show featuring various holiday characters such as the Five Little Snowmen, The Little Angels, the Little Drummer Boys, the Sugar Plum Fairies, the Hip Hoppin' Elves and the Pixie Bells. The show is hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus (played by kindergarteners). The program will be performed in the Kindergarten Commons Area at Prairie Elementary. If you would like to attend one of the performances of The Holly Jolly Christmas Follies, please check our website or call the school office for class times.
The fourth-grade Prairie Elementary Orchestra, under the direction of Katie Stafford, is very excited to perform their debut concerts on Dec. 12. The 50 violinists, 16 violists and 15 cellists that comprise the 81-member beginning orchestra receive one hour of orchestra instruction every week in small and large-group settings. The rest of the hard work takes place at home with daily practice time. Students who started lessons over the summer will be performing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "Jingle Bells" and "Dreidel." The remaining students started lessons in the fall after the start of school, and they will be performing "Mary Had a Little Lamb," "Good King Wenceslas," and "Lightly Row." The young musicians will perform all of their songs twice: once plucking, or pizzicato, and once with their bows, or arco. The past several weeks have been dedicated to honing the very difficult undertaking of producing beautiful sound with bows, and students are excited to show off all of their hard work at their first concerts.
Celebration Chorus, sponsored by District 518 Community Education and the Gifted and Talented Education committee for our school, is a group of 27 fourth- and fifth-grade students who gather on Tuesday afterschool at Prairie Elementary. Under the direction of Jeanne Mammen and accompanist Debra Moe, they have been preparing a group of Christmas songs from all over the world, including Germany, Australia, Africa and Mexico. The chorus performed Thursday at the Pioneer Village Christmas Festival, and at the First State Bank Southwest holiday open house and The Meadows on Friday. They will also sing at South Shore Care Center at 3:45 p.m. Dec. 18. Celebration Chorus will also be part of the Prairie Elementary Holiday 3-in-1 Concert on Dec. 12, as they sing in three concerts at 8:45 a.m., 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the Prairie students. The public is welcome to attend any of these concerts and celebrate the season with the students of Prairie Elementary.
Debra Moe teaches music at Prairie Elementary.