Golden Apple: J.W. Smith Elementary Celebrates Season With Christmas Concert
4th and 5th graders at J.W. Elementary School in Bemidji decked out some holiday cheer just in time for Christmas. There was bowing, a few high notes, and even some theatrics for their annual holiday concert.
“What they do is they come in one day a week during recess to practice. We start at the beginning of the school year and we practice a few songs together, and then we do a winter concert with the rest of the school,” says J.W. Smith choir teacher Jeff Sands.
The orchestra opened the show with 3 songs, including two renditions of “Hot Cross Buns.” Then, the choir brought it home. The gym was packed with other students, teachers and, of course, parents. The journey getting to this point has been one of pure determination.
“We start with learning some warm-ups, and then generally once November rolls around, we’ll start working on some Christmas songs and practicing those,” says Sands.
And if you ask the kids, they all say they’re pretty proud of themselves.
“You feel nervous at the beginning of it, but once you get on stage you feel good and then you get all happy and want to do it again,” says J.W. Smith student Jennifer.
Another student, Lida, adds, “It was scary at first but then it got very and it’s hard to remember all the word to the songs.”
More than 50 kids were in J.W Smith’s choir today, and 10 were in their orchestra. The choir sang songs like “Noel” and “Run, Run Rudolph.” At the end of the concert, the lights went out and classic Christmas carols were sung. The words to the songs were projected on the wall so the crowd could sing along.
“I think music is really important. It’s a great outlet for kids that really don’t have a lot of other opportunities. It gets them to release some creative energy and just be apart of something or another organization where they can learn teamwork and work ethic,” says Sands.
The J.W. Smith orchestra and choir will now begin prepping for the spring concert. It’s scheduled for March.