Both W.G. Murdoch School and Crossfield Elementary School are gearing up for a series of student showcases and holiday concerts to be performed both in-person and streamed virtually for attendees next week.
Crossfield Elementary School is preparing for a virtual Christmas concert featuring class dances, songs and activities, while W.G. Murdoch is hosting its student dance showcase and winter band concert.
According to Katie Howse, high school English and dance teacher at W.G. Murdoch, the school will be hosting a dance production and student showcase on Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., comprised of Grade 10 to 12 students.
“It’s a showcase of all the work they’ve done over the semester,” she said. “It’s not holiday-themed, but it’s a showcase of different styles, talents, and choreography.”
Following that, on Dec. 8, the school will host a winter band concert presenting winter songs and Christmas carols that Grade 6 to 12 students have been practicing this year.
Howse said both performances are closed to the public, as the school is limited in how many audience members can attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the concerts are reserved for family members of the performers.
The winter band concert will be live streamed via Zoom starting at 6:30 p.m., while the student dance showcase will be recorded and then provided to the students and their families for viewing.
Howse added the students are especially eager to perform this holiday season, as they were unable to do so last year.
“We’re a little nervous because we haven’t had a show in [two years], but we got costumes on for dance yesterday, and the band sounded great this morning,” she said on Dec. 2. “So, it looks like they’re excited – nervous and excited.”
She added the performances are valuable to students who have been longing for a semblance of normality over the past two years.
“It’s so valuable to have real-life experiences for kids to practice performing and really just give them ownership over their learning when it comes to performing arts and being able to showcase it,” she said.
“It’s a great way to celebrate everything they have done over the semester.”
Similarly, Shannon Booth, music education and leadership instructor at RVS, said W.G. Murdoch's band students are excited for their second in-person concert of the year following a fall performance in October.
"This is our winter fest concert," she said. "It's winter and holiday-themed [with] pieces put on by the Grade 6 band, the junior band, the senior band, and our jazz band will also be joining us for this performance, which is super exciting."
The band concert will include fan favourites such as Good King Wenceslas and Jolly Old St. Nicholas, played by the junior band. The senior band will play Appalachian Snow Fall and a condensed version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, while the junior band will play Little Drummer Boy and Holiday Fan Fare.
Booth said the school teamed up with Crossfield businesses, including The Donut Man and Stacked Bistro, to offer goodies and prizes for audience members.
—With files from Scott Strasser/Rocky View Weekly
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