I never wrote about the Newtown tragedy as I couldn't find the words, but unfortunately because it happened right when we were finishing up with school here, I just realized I never wrote about my daughters' Holiday Sing. Their school is big enough that they have to divide up the grades in order to accommodate all the doting parents, grandparents and other family members, so Little Man, my inlaws and I went to 2 different performances. Luckily most of the songs performed were different.
Both Little Reader and Little Hugger played piano during the prelude portion of the program (any kid taking private music lessons is allowed to play a song on their instrument). There were lots of piano players, a few violins, horns, and even one girl who played the harp.
Little Reader played O Christmas Tree on the piano and at this point has performed before strangers probably 10 times so wasn't nervous and knew her piece from memory and played well. Since this was Little Hugger's first time performing her piano teacher offered to join her and play a duet of the song she had chosen - Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. While it was a very kind offer and I didn't stop her from doing it, it was a strange arrangement and I thought made the song sound a little strange. I think she would have done better with just a solo performance.
Still at least our kids played holiday songs as was the purpose of the concert. Some kids played other songs - most were classical pieces so that was fine but there were some unusual choices including one who played the theme song to Batman. Of course Little Man loved that.
After the prelude three different grades each sang two songs and then for the finale the three grades all filed in and sang a song together. I'm not the kind of person who usually gets emotional at these things but the finale song always gets me. Grade school kids may not be the best singers in the world, but when they are singing from every corner of the room and you are surrounded by music it really does sound pretty. I usually get a little choked up during this song but even more so this year in wake of the tragedy. The song they sang was called "When the Lights All Shine" I had never heard the song before this performance but it's all about people all over the world lighting candles in the name of peace. It's a really sweet song and they changed the lyrics using cities representing the nationalities of the kids at the school.
I don't know if it was because the song was about lighting candles, or a call for peace, or just the sweet sounds of those kids singing for their families and knowing that that is something that those little Newtown kids will never get to do again, this year I did shed a couple of tears and I wasn't the only one. I even get a teary eyed as I write about it now almost two weeks later.