Wilson Hall Celebrates Christmas

WEB CHRISTMAS

Rhayne Owens & AlliReagan Fidler

From dozens of red-bowed wreaths adorning the doors to young voices singing “Silent Night” filling the hallway, the sights and sounds of the Christmas season are evident at Wilson Hall. Christmas trees, such as the one in the chemistry lab decorated with beakers and the one in the lower school hallway decked with student created ornaments, can be seen throughout the campus. Adding to the festive environment are hundreds of pieces of student work, ranging from Christmas related creative writing to holiday themed art, lining the halls and classroom walls.

Barons participated in a wide variety of activities to celebrate the Christmas season beginning with A Christmas Concert produced by the Music Department. Featuring the middle school and high school choirs directed by Dr. Laura Ballard, the Afternoon Chorus directed by Mrs. Frankie Eldridge, and the instrumental ensemble directed by Mr. Scott Warren, the program was enjoyed by a standing-room-only crowd at Wise Drive Baptist Church. Music included contemporary numbers such as Weston’s “Christmas in About Three Minutes,” standards such as Rodgers’ “My Favorite Things,” and traditional hymns like “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” In true celebration of the holiday, the Christmas story was read from the Book of Luke during the Lessons & Carols, the Advent wreath was lit while students sang Mayo’s “Be a Candle of Hope,” and the audience joined with the students in singing “Silent Night” by candlelight.

In a program entitled Merry Christmas!, students in 1st-5th grades dressed in their best holiday attire sang 13 Christmas songs ranging from Jacobson’s “Glee under the Tree” to Emerson’s “Santa’s Holiday Playlist.” Choreographed by Mrs. Jennifer Alford Reimer ‘00, students dressed in costumes such as snowflakes, snowmen and Christmas trees danced to Jennings’ “Holiday Parade,” and dancing girls with oversized candy canes performed a dance routine to Jacobson’s “Broadway Lights.” The annual program, directed by Mrs. Frankie Eldridge and Mrs. Jeanne Shaw, was attended by a crowd of nearly 400 in the Nash Student Center.

The holiday performances continued with two one-act comedies presented by the Drama Department, directed by Ms. Hannah Leirmoe, on the multipurpose room stage. The sixth grade drama class performed Peter Bloedel’s “A Seussified Christmas Carol,” a humorous take on the Dickens classic with a Dr. Seuss spin, and the ninth grade drama class presented Pat Cook’s  “The One and Only Santa Claus” that featured a series of hilarious and heart-warming sketches. Students in the set design class, also taught by Ms. Leirmoe, created the props for the plays.

The giving spirit of Christmas was demonstrated throughout the school. The Hand-in-Hand Club, a community service organization for students in grades one through five sponsored by the PTO and coordinated by Mrs. Mary Yarbrough, collected 3,518 cans, boxes and bags of non-perishable food items to donate to Christian Ministries and United Ministries of Sumter County. Lower school students also created homemade Christmas bags for the Shower Shaw with Cookies project, and the fourth grade students made Christmas cards to accompany the bags. The Student Council made a donation to Croswell Children’s Home, the Junior Beta Club collected money for United Ministries of Sumter County, and the first grade students presented a Christmas show to the residents of Covenant Place.

A decades old tradition, the lower school students mark the final day of the semester with the Singing in the Hall. For this event all students in grades 1-5 gather in the hallway to sing Christmas carols before being dismissed for Christmas break.

A Christmas Concert

WEB john ballard, gigi moore, laura-clare thevenet, jake reaves

John Ballard, Gigi Moore, Laura-Clare Thevenet & Jake Reaves

To a standing-room-only crowd, the Wilson Hall Music Department presented A Christmas Concert on the evening of December 8 at Wise Drive Baptist Church. Traditional hymns and contemporary Christmas music was performed by the middle and high school choruses directed by Dr. Laura Ballard, the lower school’s afternoon chorus directed by Mrs. Frankie Eldridge, and the instrumental ensemble directed by Mr. Scott Warren.

For the prelude, Catherine Kelley performed a medley of Christmas music on the piano before the welcome and opening prayer. The afternoon chorus, comprised of students from the fourth and fifth grades, sang “Ring the Bells of Christmas” by Jacobson & Higgins and “Jingle Bell Dash” by Lynn Shaw Bailey.

The middle school chorus sang a cappella “Fum, Fum, Fum” arranged by Herrington & Glick. Accompanied by Mrs. Pat Fidler on the piano, the group sang “Be a Candle of Hope” by Becky Mayo as Angelica Agno lit the Advent candles while Dylan Dean and Katherine Grace Singleton read about the symbolism of the candles. Maggie Ballard, Dylan Dean, Holly Poag and Katherine Grace Singleton were featured soloists.

With instruments ranging from a harp and guitars to a trumpet and saxophone, the ensemble performed “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Marks, Pola & Wyle and “My Favorite Things” by Rodgers; both pieces were arranged by Mr. Warren.

The 10th-12th grade chorus performed “Goin’ to Bethlehen” by Jay Althouse, “Love Came Down at Christmas” by Ruth Morris Gray, and “Christmas in About Three Minutes,” a medley of 26 songs arranged by Weston. John Ballard, Gigi Moore, Jake Reaves, Laura-Clare Thevenet and Kate Whaley were featured soloists, and Banks Burns and Mrs. Kay Rasmussen accompanied on the piano.

For the Lessons & Carols portion of the program, the 9th grade chorus joined the 10th-12th grade chorus for “O Holy Night” arranged by Keith Christopher and featuring Laura-Clare Thevenet, the traditional “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Peace, Peace” by Fred Bock. Gigi Moore read passages, including the Christmas story in the Book of Luke, before each song.

For the finale all of the students joined together, along with the audience, to sing the traditional “Silent Night” by candlelight before Gigi Moore offered the benediction.

Colonial Day

item 3 5 chanson bullard, ansleigh epps, lynn smith

Chanson Bullard, Ansleigh Epps, Ellie Spencer & Mrs. Lynn Smith.

As part of the “Why America is Free” curriculum used in their U.S. History class taught by Mrs. Frances James, the fifth grade students participated in Colonial Day held on campus Nov. 21. “Why America is Free” is a six-week program that offers a hands-on learning experience and covers the events, times and heroes of the American Revolution. Dressed in period costume, the students participated in a wide variety of activities including colonial cooking for the girls and a militia drill for the boys. Students also learned how to make candles, cornhusk dolls, hand-painted floor cloths, string toys and silhouettes. Boys attended the class “Education of Young Gentlemen” while the girls attended “Lady of Genteel Refinement.” Also dressed in period costume, parent volunteers and teachers led the ten different activities throughout the day. For Patriot Night, an evening reception held at the McLeod-Prescott Plantation on Nov. 20, students, faculty and parents also dressed in period costume.