Aly Saito (left), Mikki Hatton, Kaleb McNeil and Carmen Wilson perform at the PSO concert on Dec. 12. Max Winkelman photo.

South Cariboo schools hold Christmas concerts

Students’ holiday singing spruced up with bells, bands and plays

Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO)

PSO band and choir teacher Jasmine Kreschuk says she is “very pleased” with the performances of all the students at their evening concert on Dec. 12.

“It was very well attended – the gym was packed. The students all played very well and it was very well received.”

Plenty of parents, grandparents, staff and community members were there as well as lots of children, she explains.

“There was something for everyone. We had four different groups that played, and they all played one Christmas-themed song … and two traditional concert-band pieces.”

Kreschuk says the PSO vice-principal Sean Meville was dressed up as an Elf and used his woodwork/electronics shop tools to play musical sounds and rhythms on a saw, drill and other unique music-makers to mix into songs.

“The Senior Band played Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, which is a very difficult piece and pulled it off.

“The Grade 8s, who have only been playing together at the high school level for a few months – they played extremely well.”

The other two of the four PSO bands that all took part in the concert were the Grade 9 Band and the Tour Band (Grades 8-12), and all of them played tremendously well, she explains.

100 Mile Elementary

Principal Donna Rodger says the students’ Christmas Concert on Dec. 14, held in the Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School gymnasium, and the dress rehearsal on Dec. 13 in their own school gym were both “fantastic.”

The evening event at PSO has upwards of 700 people attend and was a great concert, she adds.

Rodger says the students were “fine” with playing in front of such a large crowd.

“I think our kids are natural performers.”

Rodger says an estimated 150-200 people attended the daytime dress rehearsal on Dec.13, including lots of grandparents and a bus-load of seniors from a local residential care facility.

This marks the third year for 100 Mile Elementary students to hold their concert at PSO. Rodger says it began bringing out “way too many” parents and family members for their own gym, as well as all the students.

“It was very kind of PSO to let us because it involves them giving up some gym time too, for their students.”

Lac la Hache Elementary

Principal Kristy Davis says the fundraiser dinner and Christmas concert event on Dec. 15 was “fantastic.”

About 100 people attended the spaghetti dinner, and then the student concert followed afterwards. There was also a mid-day dress rehearsal performance on Dec. 14.

The primary students sang The Boogie Woogie Grinch, and then read a poem called You’ve Been Socked, before handing out little socks with a gift inside each one, she explains.

The principal adds the song performed by the Intermediate classes was When I Believe, and then all the students from K-7 sang together.

The event raised $2,000 towards a Barkerville field trip for the whole school in June.

Forest Grove Elementary

The Christmas Concert was to be held Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. (after press time), with a dress rehearsal at 12:15 p.m. for folks unable to attend the evening performance.

There was a short intermission planned with light snacks and refreshments, to allow for the added performances created by a larger school population. A fundraising raffle and a 50/50 draw were organized as well as donations at the door, with proceeds going to the Loaves and Fishes Outreach food bank.

The school’s December newsletter notes that its students and staff put “a great deal of effort” into this concert.

Mile 108 Elementary

This year’s two concerts are today, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend, and the school asks that everyone brings a non-perishable food item for the 100 Mile Food Bank.

An original play, Charlie Brown’s It was the Night before Christmas, written by Grade 2/3 teacher Tammie Ozanne, will be performed by Grade 7 students.

The band will play first, and then all the students will participate in singing, with the staff to wrap up the concert with a song of their own.

Horse Lake Elementary

The school concert will be held in the gym today (Dec. 21), with the dress rehearsal at 12:30 p.m. and the evening performance at 6:30 p.m.

The school encourages as many family members as possible to attend the rehearsal concert, to reduce congestion at the evening concert in their small gym. The Lone Butte Fire Department will be coordinating the parking.

Music will include songs, as well as handbells and Boomwhackers (tuned percussion tubes). There will also be a Christmas basket raffle organized by the Parent Advisory Council with funds raised to benefit each classroom.

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