Story and Photos by James Preminger, CCSD Public Relations
The songs and lights of the Christmas season can be a magical time for both children and adults, filling us with memories of Christmas past and with new memories.
Schools throughout the Central Consolidated School District held holiday music programs for two weeks in December at the District’s Phil Thomas Performing Arts Center in Shiprock, the Brooks/Isham Performing Arts Center in Kirtland, and at the schools themselves.
Tse’ Bit Ai’ Middle School featured its Jazz Band students, Intermediate Band, and Advanced Band in a Dec. 5, 2016 Winter Concert at the Phil Thomas Performing Arts Center. It followed up with its Beginning Band students performing Dec. 8 in the same location.
“What I liked best about the performance was all of us being together to show the community what we could do, where our talents are in school, and how music is important to education,” said Jacob Harvey, an 8th grader in the Advanced Band at Tse’ Bit Ai’ Middle School in Shiprock.
“My favorite piece of music was Feliz Navidad because it was mostly trumpets,” added Harvey, who played the trumpet.
The Advanced Band also played Bells, Bells, Bells and Christmas Overture. The Intermediate Band played Saxes We Have Heard on High, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, and Santa’s Angry Elves.
The Jazz Band played Deckin’ the Hall, Hooked on Holidays, Kings of Swing, White Christmas, and A Marshmallow World.
“I thought my students did very well at their concerts,” said David Bridgewater, the TBA music and band teacher.
“I’m very proud of the time and hard work they put in. They’re not only expected to be prepared for class, but to also practice their music outside of class as well. I think that’s what makes all of the ensembles successful. We prepare for these concerts.”
The venue at the Phil Thomas Performing Arts Center was nothing less than spectacular. A Christmas tree greeted you in the lobby, with its two-story high ceiling.
Once inside the 799 seat theater, Christmas lights covered the base of the stage. There were Christmas trees to the left and right of the stage as well as cutouts of snowflakes projected onto the wall next to the audience.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Mr. Manfred Duncan (the performing arts center technical manager), who is responsible for setting up the stage and all of the holiday decorations to make it feel very welcoming to all of the people who attended the concerts,” Bridgewater said.
The first-class venue did not go unnoticed by the students.
“It was really fun to go out there and give the performance to the audience,” said TBA Advanced Band student Luke Venturina, who played the French Horn.