By TEDDYE SNELL
Area student performers will take to stages throughout Cherokee County this holiday season, as many schools have programs in the works.
Tahlequah High School and Middle School will kick off its performances with the Orange Express Christmas Concert, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 11, in the THS Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature holiday-themed tunes from band students in sixth through 12th grades. Students will also be sporting new apparel this year: The boys will all be wearing tuxedos, and girls will don matching black formal, floor-length dresses.
“We’ll be doing pieces from ‘The Nutracker,’ along with some compositions by Mannheim Steamroller,” said THS trumpet player Anna Linebarger.
Next up is the THS/TMS choir concert, Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m., also in the THS PAC, featuring vocal stylings from the THS Show and Concert Choirs, as well as the TMS Choir.
“The Show Choir girls will be performing several pieces, including ‘Oh, Holy Night,’” said senior Show Choir member Timothy Bradshaw. “The Concert Choir will be doing a processional piece, along with ‘Sing We Now of Christmas,’ ‘Carol of the Bells,’ and ‘Ding, Dong, Merry On High.’ I’m very excited about the concert; we’re really sounding good.”
THS will round out its holiday performance season with Tiger Theatre’s Winter Showcase “Let It Show, Let It Show, Let It Show!” Monday, Dec. 17, in the PAC. Seating begins at 6:30, and the show begins at 7. The event will showcase the stage talents of the introductory and advanced acting classes, and Look! A Distraction! – the school’s improvisational troupe, which will spin performances from the premise “ugly Christmas sweaters.”
“We started the showcase idea as an opportunity for the students to demonstrate what we’ve been working on in class,” said drama teacher Michael Peters. “The students are responsible for picking and developing their pieces with one another, working out rehearsal times and production needs, and how to meet those needs. It’s the ultimate exercise in creativity and adaptability.”
Tahlequah elementary schools will also have fourth-grade holiday programs. Two performances are slated: one during the day for students, and an evening program for parents and community members.
Heading up the fourth-grade programs is Greenwood Elementary, Thursday, Dec. 6. The student show is at 9 a.m.; the show for parents, 6 p.m.
Heritage Elementary will host its program Thursday, Dec. 13, with the student performance at 2 p.m., and the show for parents, 6 p.m.
Cherokee Elementary teacher Amy Wright is coordinating the fourth-grade program, titled “Jingle Bell Juke Box,” Thursday, Dec. 13 at 2 and 6 p.m. for students and parents respectively.
“Prior to the evening performance, we’ll have a silent auction of baked goods,” said Wright. “The proceeds will be used for the fourth-grade trip in the spring. The show will have some singing and dancing, and has a retro rock ‘n roll theme. They’ll be doing ‘Frosty Hand Jive,’ songs from ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,’ and a Santa medley.”
Tenkiller Superintendent Randy Rountree said his school will host an all-school program Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the old gym.
“Our Christmas program features all grades, pre-kindergarten through eighth,” said Rountree.
“The upper grades - middle-school kids - have a choir and will be singing. The lower grades will have a play. We encourage all our parents and community members to attend. Santa will also make an appearance and will hand out treats to the kids. We usually have a packed house, and I’m sure this year will be no different.”