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12 days of Christmas Spirit

Washington High to hold performance

By Xiomara Levsen | Dec 10, 2013
Katie Streeby (left) looks over sheet music with high school band director Don Hughes in the high school band room Monday morning. Streeby is aa student teacher who conducted last year’s holiday concert.

The 10th annual Washington High School (WHS) band’s Children’s Christmas Concert will be held on Thursday, Dec. 12, and Friday, Dec. 13.
Both performances are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Washington Community Center, said WHS band director Don Hughes. They will last about an hour each.
Hughes is excited for the upcoming performances.
“It’s just a good time,” Hughes said. “It’s great music and a lot of fun. The concert is set up for kids, but there are a lot of adults in the community that look forward to this.”
This concert is different from the other concerts because Hughes gets to have more interaction with the audience, and the students are performing, not just playing their instruments, Hughes said.
“We have lighting, costumes, and skits,” he said. “We’ll have some of our old favorites back like the ballerina and gorilla, but there will be a new twist on that.”
Hughes said his favorite thing about the upcoming performances by the band is it’s a show and not a regular concert.
“It just kind of has a flow to it,” he said. “I get to interact with the audience a lot more than I usually do in a concert setting. I get to read “The Night Before Christmas,” sort of, when the elves let me.”
Sixty-two band students will perform, Hughes said. A violinist will also join the band to perform.
“There is one student who plays the violin and she’ll be joining us for a couple of tunes; but otherwise it’s all of the band—running the lights, running the sound, running everything,” Hughes said.
There will be returning pieces played, such as “Little Drummer Boy” as a percussion feature and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,”     Hughes said. However, the band tries to put a new twist on things every year to make things interesting for the audience.
“We’ve made three to four changes to try to keep the old things fresh,” Hughes said.
One of the changes includes a new piece.
“This year we have ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas Medley,’ ” Hughes said. “That’s a new one for us.”
The Stewart Holiday Singers, a volunteer group from Stewart Elementary, will perform on Thursday, Dec. 12, during the children’s concert.
“This year we have 70 second-graders performing,” said Stewart Elementary music teacher Linda Soukup. “The kids, they look forward to it every year.”
They will perform “Snowman Choir” by David and Anne Ellsworth, “Polar Puppy” and “Blitzen’s Boogie” by Teresa Jennings, Soukup said.
“This concert is nice because it’s geared toward children,” Soukup said. “We don’t have time to do a full-blown Christmas concert, and the children will get a chance to sing holiday music. It just gets everybody into the Christmas spirit.”
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. School activity passes are accepted for entry into the concert. People can start buying tickets at 6 p.m. both nights, Hughes said. Seating will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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