CONESTOGA – Conestoga students showcased their Christmas spirit with scales, songs and holiday sounds Thursday night.
Students in grades 7-12 performed instrumental and vocal songs during Conestoga’s winter concert. A large crowd gathered in the CHS gym to listen to the musical presentations. Audience members filled many rows of chairs on the gym floor and one full side of bleachers.
Cassi Vallis led all of the band, choir and guitar groups during the evening. Elaine Starkjohn accompanied choir members on piano for many of their songs.
The guitar ensemble opened the evening with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Last Christmas” for the crowd. Guitar students have spent the first semester learning notes and working on various song arrangements.
Sebastian Fritz, Dawson Hardesty, Hannah Lewien, Reagan McPeek, Kyle Nickels, Danie Parriott, Koby Vogler, Lindee Watson, Abby Woodard, Haven Zimmerman, Trace Widler, Mati Steckler, Braden Ruffner, Jasmine Rainey, Tobias Nolting, Grant Nickels, Morgan McAndrew, Madison Mann, Levi Bell and Addi Andersen are members of the guitar ensemble.
The junior high band performed “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Santa at the Symphony” for the crowd, and senior high band musicians presented “March of the Toys” and “Christmas ‘a la’ Big Band.”
The evening continued with several vocal selections. The junior high chorus presented “One Candle Lights the Way” and “Christmas on the Beach at Waikiki.” The senior high chorus performed “Carol of the Bells” and “White Winter Hymnal.” The high school students then took part in “Twelve Days of Christmas” complete with dancing motions.
Members of every Conestoga group came together for the final song of the evening. More than 150 students performed “Silent Night, O Holy Night” in front of the audience. The arrangement combined verses of the two famous Christmas carols.
Vallis said she was proud of the progress all Conestoga groups had made during the first semester. She spoke about each ensemble during the evening and highlighted achievements of students in their classes.
“I love coming to work every day because I get to work with these students,” Vallis said. “There are so many good kids here at school.”
Students and parents moved from the gym into the commons for a bake sale fund-raiser after the concert. The Conestoga music department will use proceeds from the fund-raiser to purchase supplies and pay contest admission fees for students.
Conestoga will host two more all-ensembles concerts during the school year. The spring concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 16. The year-end concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 5.