Elementary Christmas Program

When I was at St. Gabriel’s for ele­men­tary school we would always put on a Christ­mas pro­gram right before Christ­mas break. This was a big to-do; weeks and weeks were spent in prepa­ra­tion for it. Each class had its own set of songs to sing, arranged by our music teacher.

In between acts, when a younger grade was being replaced by an old­er grade, indi­vid­u­als would play stuff on the piano or [in my case, some­times] the sax­o­phone. The boys and girls would some­times har­mo­nize [if we were in old­er grades] and no mat­ter what the grade, there were always solos. I remem­ber once that I sang “He is Born”* in an angel­ic des­cant. At least it felt that way.

*

16. He is born the Divine Christ Child
This tune dates back to 13th cen­tu­ry Poland where it was often sung by boys as they made their way toward church for mid­night mass. In their pro­ces­sion­al to the church they would sing this song as they reen­act­ed the arrival of the Maji.

When I say that this was a big deal, I mean that it was for us, the stu­dents. I’m sure the par­ents just played along for the most part; but for me every time was like open­ing night must be on Broad­way, anx­i­ety mixed with antic­i­pa­tion. Part of what led to this feel­ing was the build-up, the con­stant prac­tices, and the chal­lenges of our music teacher.

Being on that stage, which is burned into my being since it is always the stage in my dreams was amaz­ing as well. As old and dilap­i­dat­ed as it was, it was obvi­ous that at one point it had been great. It had the old-style exposed lights old oak­en floors and a huge main cur­tain with sev­er­al oth­er cur­tains hauled up in that place where all the curtains/sets get hauled up to. Old ropes, sand­bags, you name it, this old thing had it. Any­way, the point is, all of that tak­en togeth­er made it an extra spe­cial evening. Plus we all got to be up late since show­time was at 7:30 and it ran for a few hours. The place was always packed. After­ward we always went to Dairy Queen and my Grand­pa would treat. Still makes me smile.

3 Replies

  • That is a cute sto­ry.

    As a child, I always played a sug­ar plum fairy. Even­tu­al­ly I grad­u­at­ed to the cov­et­ted role of the angel Gabriel (sp?). I attribute it more to my long blonde hair (back before it was unspoiled by scis­sors and dye), than any actu­al tal­ent. But at the time I felt like the most beau­ti­ful girl in ele­men­tary school.

    To this day I am still dis­tract­ed by engel iconog­ra­phy.

  • ? Coin­ci­dence ? that you should write about that expe­ri­ence?
    St. Gabriel’s Christ­mas Pro­gram is tonight!

    THIS PARENT antic­i­pat­ed the event almost as much as the chil­dren. I only had eyes and ears for the most pre­cious child on the stage. The pro­gram was the offi­cial begin­ning of the Christ­mas sea­son for me.….….and affir­ma­tion that my son is/was tru­ly tal­ent­ed.

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