Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Many of the students wore Santa hats, some wore antlers, and some dressed up, or at least wore fancier than normal school attire.
The Nederland Middle Senior High School presented their annual choir concert last Wednesday night, December 13, 2017, and the school auditorium was filled with families wanting to hear their children and siblings perform.
Every year, director Liz Evans chooses songs that will tug at your heartstrings or make you laugh at the brilliant antics taking place on stage. No one can plan or predict the facial expressions of a middle schooler as they try their best to hit the right notes and remember the right lyrics.
But every moment is good.
All of the choirs, the sixth, seventh, eighth, Festival and Loquations crowded onto the stage and blended their voices in a powerful performance of The Storm is Passing Over. To unite that many students, that many changing voices, into a dramatic, pulsing, harmonious piece of work is awesome, and the audience let them know they appreciated the work.
Middle level students added some holiday spice with Christmas Day and the seventh and eighth graders, took folks back to the 50s with Sixteen Tons, a finger snapping tune.
Sasha Godsil, a long-time member of the Loquations, sang Pretty Funny, a wrenching plea for love. Not only does Godsil have a pure voice, her acting ability lent itself to the agony in the song. When the applause began, she turned on her brilliant smile and thanked the audience.
Hayley Turner, also a long-time Loquation, had her moment in the spotlight singing She Used to Be Mine. She and Godsil have had lead roles in the musicals for the past four or more years, which was apparent in their ease and energy on the stage.
Before the evening was over, the Loquations did a stylized version of Jingle Bells and Ding! Dong! Merrily on High and the Festival Choir sang, appropriately, Winter Sky. They also brought in Good King Kong Looked Out accompanied by each of them playing a kazoo. It actually worked.
Tradition being tradition and the season being the season, all the singers put their voices together and for the finale they sang the annual rousing version of Carol of the Bells, a melody which will stay in the subconscious minds of everyone in the audience for the next couple of months. Who would have it any other way?
With the lights and the music bringing in the holiday feelings these weeks, this month, the darkest, shortest month of the year, zips past and we are at the beginning of another year, another brighter path.
Thanks to the NMSHS administration and music directors for sharing these talented students with the community.
(Originally published in the December 21, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)