Latham holiday concert moves and impresses staff

Reflecting on last week’s holiday concert on campus, Director of National Outreach Katrina Fryklund said she was astounded by the talented students and staff. She shares her thoughts here, and promised “more to follow” about the wonderful grant-funded instruments.

“This was my fifth holiday concert at Latham Centers. The concert has always been one of my favorite days – students are excited, parents are engaged, and staff are curious to see all that had occurred in performing arts class. This year, Sarah Jane Mason, our Instructor of Performing Arts, guided the students flawlessly. It was the best concert yet.

Thanks to local grant funding, Sarah Jane and the students were able to sing alongside a variety of new instruments. The chorus opened with Jingle Bell Rock. Next, seven students strummed ukuleles as they sang Oh, Hanukkah. The third song was an exciting mash-up of Winter Wonderland and Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Following Sarah Jane’s beautiful rendition of O, Holy Night, each classroom presented their version of Twelve Days of Christmas. The silly renditions created much laughter around the room, and each song took on the personality of the students in the classroom. Next, Chloe sang a beautiful rendition of Silent Night, with Sarah Jane alongside playing the brand new autoharp. Our Bell Choir included six students led by Assistant Student Conductor Homer in a beautiful (and spot-on, thanks to our new Music in Motion instruments) rendition of Ode to Joy. Students took the stage with Deck the Halls and S-A-N-T-A, and beat on brand new drums. The girls from our North Wing were next, singing Where are you Christmas alongside Sarah Jane, playing the piano. Finally, the students ended with Jingle Bells, where they beat on Boomwhackers, a favorite instrument amongst the students. To finish off the concert, Sarah Jane and the students invited the entire group to participate in Feliz Navidad – it wasn’t long before staff and parents were grooving with the students.

While I have enjoyed every past holiday concert at Latham, this year was especially moving, with parents, staff, and students involved from beginning to end. It was a wonderful experience, and I am already looking forward to next year.”

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