Performing arts department brings the holiday spirit

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Senior Haley Herman (left) as Ariel and senior Jun Ito (right) as Prince Eric act out scenes from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” as the band plays the melodies during their dress rehearsal.

As the calendar year comes to an end and holiday spirits run high throughout the community, the choir, band, orchestra and theater programs come together to perform the annual “Holiday Spectacular.” From the drama department acting out scenes from the beloved “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to the orchestra, choir and band programs harmonizing for a thunderous rendition of “Russian Christmas,” “Holiday Spectacular” is a production that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. This year, the show was held on Dec. 12 and 13, with the shortened children’s show “Tiny Tots” held on Dec. 11 during school. 

“‘Holiday Spec’ is special because it’s the only time that all the different performing arts groups get to work together to put on a huge show,” senior and orchestra student Justin Brady said. “Because all of it is holiday-themed, everyone can really get into the spirit of the performances, which makes it more fun for the audience as well.”

In the weeks leading up to the show, the students worked hard to prepare the best possible performance for the audience. 

“We’ve spent all of our classes for the past three weeks preparing for this show, and we get to decide how we transform the story into something that we want it to be,” sophomore and drama student Julien DaSilva, who played Frosty the Snowman, said. “We run through it and fix any timing issues and add our own creative element as we go through it.”

Each performing arts program had a busy schedule, rehearsing their musical pieces to create harmonies and enhance the holiday spirit by playing classic holiday songs. 

“About a month before, we start rehearsing our music. For the week of ‘Holiday Spec,’ we have after-school rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday,” senior and orchestra student Ariel Chien said.

While each music program has its own stand-alone songs throughout the show, bringing the three programs together after hours of individual rehearsing can be challenging. The groups are perfecting the dynamic and timing, and the show will feature a final song, “Russian Christmas,” that brings the programs together for the grand finale. 

“Getting to perform together with the orchestra, band and chorus in ‘Russian Christmas’ makes the music a lot more interesting than if just one group had played it,” Brady said. “The performance is really exciting and shows off the best parts of every performing arts group, and everything is prepared really well.”

The week of the big show, the students’ lives can become hectic, having to stay after school for many hours to put the finishing touches on their performance.

“During the week of, it’s constant rehearsing,” junior and band student Jake Li said. “We stay at school sometimes until 7 p.m. just going through the show and perfecting our music.”

Despite the long hours of rehearsals and the stress of juggling school in addition to the show, the performers receive support and love from friends and family, and the audience applauds the effort and time put into the show. 

“My favorite part of ‘Holiday Spec’ is ‘Tiny Tots’ because it’s really fun to see all the really small kids looking at you with just absolute astonishment of what you’re playing for them,” Brady said. “Seeing all their smiles is definitely the best part of the week.”

From dazzling theater skits to melodic musical pieces, “Holiday Spectacular” embodies the spirit of the holidays. Bringing the performing arts groups together for a final hurrah of the year, it’s a show like no other.