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WMS holiday concert is at 7 p.m. Monday

Worthington Middle School sixth-, seventh - and eighth-grade band students rehearse Friday for Monday evening's concert. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — In a holly jolly mood?

Then don’t miss Monday night’s holiday concert, featuring roughly 400 Worthington Middle School (WMS) musicians. They’ll perform at 7 p.m. in the Worthington High School gymnasium, and with the seasonal tunes they’ve perfected, a festive attitude is bound to prevail.

Led by WMS band directors Mike Andersen and Jeanette Jenson, along with orchestra instructor Zac Paulsen and choral director Cindy Anderson, the students are eager to share their musical spirit.

“The combined seventh- and eighth-grade band is playing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s arrangement of ‘Carol of the Bells,’ which is a non-traditional setting of an otherwise very traditional Ukrainian carol,” said Andersen.

“The kids like its rock-band groove.”

Andersen’s sixth-grade band has a medley called “Christmas Proclamation” on tap, arranged by Robert W. Smith. Highlights of the medley are classic carols like “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

“All sections of the band get a chance to be highlighted in that selection,” mentioned Andersen.

The fifth-grade band is down for two tunes: Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” in a skill-appropriate arrangement by Andersen, and the ever-popular “Feliz Navidad.”

“It was written in 1970, and this dance-like song, with its simple Spanish chorus, has become a classic holiday pop song known worldwide,” said Jenson.

She says her fifth-graders have gained musical skill and poise since their appearance at the fall concert in early November.

“They’re loving their music, and they’ve improved quite a bit,” she endorsed.

Under Paulsen’s baton, the combined seventh- and eighth-grade orchestras will perform two works: “A La Media Noche,” a Puerto Rican carol arranged by Bob Lipton, and “Trepak” from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” arranged by Carrie Lane Gruselle.

“The sixth-graders will play a piece titled ‘Wenceslas,’ and the fifth-graders are doing two pieces — one called ‘Holiday Strings’ and ‘Hanukkah Song’ arranged by Lloyd Conley,” Paulsen noted.

Anderson’s sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade choristers will share a mix of seasonal choral favorites.

“All of the groups sound fantastic and will surely put people in the holiday spirit,” assured Jenson.

The Worthington Middle School music department’s holiday concert is at 7 p.m. Monday at Worthington High School, 1211 Clary St., Worthington. The concert is free and open to the public.

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