Singing Into the Holiday Season

The combined choirs of Orchard Lake Middle School presented their Holiday Concert “December in Our Town” on December 17, 2014 and December 18, 2014

Singing Into the Holiday Season

On December 17th and 18th, the three choirs of Orchard Lake Middle School (OLMS) – The JV Choir (6th Grade), Varsity Singers (7th Grade), and Viking Voices (8th Grade) – under the direction of Mrs. April Tini, presented their annual holiday concert “December In Our Town”. This concert was a musical and multicultural celebration of the holiday season and features songs and narrations celebrating religious and cultural holidays in December. Some of these holidays included Christmas (Christian), Hanukkah (Jewish), Kwanzaa (African), Divali (Hindu), and Eid (Muslim). This concert wass performed on the evening of December 17th, particularly for the families of the students, and the morning of December 18th for the students and faculty of OLMS.

Seventh Grade Choir and Eighth Grade Narrator
Seventh Grade Choir and Eighth Grade Narrator

 

Scott Long, Vice Principal at OLMS, stated, “the entire winter choir concert was fantastic.  If I had to narrow it down to a few of my favorite parts, I would say that listening to Joey Lauerman on the piano was right up there.  His talent and focus amazes me, and we are lucky to have him at our school.  I also liked the seventh grade choir’s rendition of ‘Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride Together.’  I thought it was cool to see their use of reigns and jingle bells, which made it look like they were in a sleigh.” He also added, “the best part of the winter choir concert is the incorporation of holiday music and music from various cultures and religions.  It is such a great way to wrap up the year.  I always get a great vibe at the winter concert, and I always leave with a huge smile on my face.”

Sixth grade soloist
Sixth grade soloist
Eighth grade choir
Eighth grade choir

The thirty sixth grade members of the JV Choir sang four songs at these concerts. These songs included “December In Our Town”, by Roger Emerson, “Kwanzaa Celebration”, by Roger Emerson, a medley from The Polar Express, by Alan Sylvestri and arranged by April Tini, and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Johnny Marks. The forty-one seventh grade members of the Varsity Singers sang five songs at these concerts. These songs included “Nes Gadol Haya Sham/Light the Candles” by J. Jacobson and R. Emerson, “All is Merry and All is Bright, A Holiday Madrigal”, by Jerry Estes, “Light The Kinara for Kwanzaa”, by Sarry Albrecht, “Happy Christmas”, by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and arranged by April Tini, and “Sleigh Ride”, by M. Parish and L. Anderson, arranged by Mark Brymer. The thirty-three eigth grade members of the Viking Voices sang five songs at these concerts. These songs included “This Christmas”  by D. Hathaway and N. McKinnor and arranged by Mark Brymer, “Lamp Burning in the Night” by Eugene Butler, “Carol of the Bells”, the traditional Ukranian carol arranged by Peter Wilhousky, “Believe”, from The Polar Express by G. Ballard and A. Silvestri and arranged by Mac Huff, and the Temptation’s version of “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer” by Johnny Marks and arranged by April Tini.

Seventh grade soloist
Seventh grade soloist

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In addition to these selections, each concert featured many eigth grade soloists. These soloists learned a song on their own and auditioned that song for Tini in order to earn a spot in the concert. It is most common for the solos to be sung, but piano solos are included in the concerts. Along with these solos, choir members from all choirs gave narration pieces talking about the holidays and/or traditions of their different religions. And finally, the combined choirs performed their annual finale “The Season of Hope” arranged by Roger Emerson, where they invite OLMS Choir Alumni to join in the evening concert (December 17).

Eighth grade piano soloist
Eighth grade piano soloist
8th grade soloist
8th grade soloist

The combined choirs of OLMS, along with their director, Tini, put on a great concert to lead the West Bloomfield community into the holiday season. Their great work will continue as they prepare for their upcoming concerts. As Long says, “GOOOOOOOO VIKINGS!!!!!!”