Harmonies and melodies will blend throughout school auditoriums, gymnasiums and cafeterias in the area as schools host Christmas concerts, plays and pageants.

On Wednesday, students pre-k through sixth grade at Sharon-Mutual Elementary will present Christmas music, a play and a living nativity at the school at 7 p.m. According to music teacher Sherry Braud, a theme integrated into students’ curriculum this past semester has been the solar system. In keeping with the theme, Braud and her students decided to present “A Martian Christmas,” a play about Martians landing on Earth and the earthlings befriending them. Braud said it’s the classic concept of do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Dispersed throughout the play will be musical performances by students pre-k through second grade. Third and fourth graders will also be performing musical selections on the recorder. At the end of the program, a living nativity will be presented and Luke 2 read from the Bible.

Highland Park Elementary in Woodward will be presenting Christmas concert by first and second grade students on Thursday. First grade students will perform at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. while second grade students will perform at 1 p.m. Highland Park music teacher Golda Duncan said the students have a diverse program in store for family friends consisting of both traditional and contemporary Christmas songs.

Highland Park’s third graders will also be performing Christmas at the OK Corral Friday at 9 a.m. “A Rootin’, Tootin’ Western Christmas musical,” Christmas at the OK Corral features the Candy Cane Kid who comes to save the day when Bubble Gum Bart tries to spoil Christmas at Snowy Gulch by threatening to cover the town with bubble gum goo.

The school’s fourth graders will also be presenting “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” Friday at 1:30 p.m. The school’s musical, based on the Clement Moore poem, will be a recitation of the poem interspersed with songs and dancing.

Horace Mann Elementary will be presenting a unique Christmas program with music teacher LaDawn Hicks Dec. 19th. Performances will be held inside the school at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Horace Mann’s theme for this year’s program is Christmas Around the World. Hicks said fourth grade teachers and students have been learning about the songs, stories and traditions inherent in cultures throughout the world this holiday season.

“We try to do a little bit of cultural with each grade level and learn a little bit about maybe the way they would celebrate other places,” said Hicks.

Hicks said the roughly 60 students in each class will be performing at least one Hanukkah song. Fourth graders will also be performing “Christmas in Any Language,” a song where students will say Merry Christmas in 15 different languages.

“We have some that are traditional and some that are new. We just do a variety. We try to touch on several different types of music,” said Hicks.

In addition to the school’s Christmas programs, fourth graders will also be performing several songs for Family Literacy Night Tuesday at 6 p.m., and will be performing for residents of Grace Living Center Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

Cedar Heights Elementary students will be performing Christmas concerts for family and friends Dec. 20 with first grade students performing at 8:30 a.m., third at 9:30 a.m., fourth at 10:30 a.m. and second at 1:10 p.m. Students will be singing a variety of holiday songs including at least one peace song.

“I think I chose a peace song for each grade because this is the time of year you would like to think about peace around the world,” said Cedar Heights music teacher Rhonda Smith. Besides having fun performing holiday music for teachers, students, family and friends, musical elements performed in the program also serve to nurture students musical abilities and education. Smith said some sort of musical instrument will be used in all grade levels’ performances such as hand bells and triangles. Third and fourth grade students will also be presenting several “rounds” selections featuring melody and harmony components.

Besides showcasing students musical talents and abilities, Christmas performances this year will also reinforce PASS objectives as mandated by the state.

“It’s important for them to know how to behave during a performance and to know how to perform when it’s their time. That is one of our major goals of the year is for them to know how to behave during a performance,” said Hicks. “We do many things to work towards those goals.”

“They get to see a finished product and there’s that sense of accomplishment to hear that applause,” said Duncan. “”Every time we get in front of a crowd or an audience, we build confidence. It helps us not to be so shy the next time.”

“I think it helps them gain self-confidence. It’s important that they be good audiences and learn good audience behavior also. That is one of our PASS objectives,” Smith said.

Westwood Early Childhood Center’s kindergarten students will hold programs throughout the day on Friday.

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