Christmas music and carols permeate the artwork lined auditorium. Instruments, choir platforms, red and green streamers, and paper snowflakes decorate the stage, as the warm ambient candlelight promotes an atmosphere of holiday joy. Parents, teachers, and students occupy the whole of the auditorium as it bursts at the seams with contagious energy, joyful laughter, and rhythmic sounds of the elementary students as they sing, act, dance, play, and sign their way through a two-hour long Christmas Concert.
Elementary students of all grades, performed their own songs with surprising talent. As expected, the performance itself was adorable and charming. However,the quality of the concert was higher than I had expected.
Not only did the students perform different songs, but there was also dance, Bible readings from student narrators, and even a nativity performance. I was extremely overjoyed at how the concert was able to tie in the elements of art, music, dance, and drama into one concert, creating an atmosphere that extended far beyond being just a simple concert. Instead, it felt like a mini-musical.
I also enjoyed the fact that every grade was involved in the performance, not having just one grade playing all the parts. I must admit, I enjoyed the first part of the performance, and couldn’t wait until the intermission was over for the second half of the night.
During the intermission, the elementary students had the opportunity to show their parents the artwork they had completed during school in Mrs. Susan Kim’s art classes. This helped reinforce the celebration of the performing and visual arts. Students proudly walked their parents to their artworks, who in return took photos and complimented their children on their masterpieces, which ranged from drawing, painting, collage, and digital art.
The second half of the concert was kicked up a notch when students demonstrated more-advanced performing art skills and techniques to the audience. Although I dislike the sound of the recorder, surprisingly, the third graders’ performance of ‘Gingerbread Jazz’ was extremely entertaining to watch.
I was actually looking forward for another skit, however there were no more. Instead, the second half had more songs and added a layer of complexity, since the students added instruments such as the violin, cello, flute, and djembe. I later realized, even without the skit, the performances were entertaining to watch.
It should be noted that the elementary students only had a short time of four weeks for preparation before their concert on the evening of December 2. Overall, the performance was extremely well conducted by music teacher Mrs. Nona Kilgore. To me, I didn’t know much about the theme, but the choice of music made it feel like an truly international Christmas. There were hints of traveling through music history, as it had jazz, 1920s style, and rock&roll. I was very impressed by the elementary students and truly astonished by the young talents GSIS has cultivated.