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LES, MMS combine for holiday concert

Spreading spirit of season through song

POSTED: December 30, 2013 11:30 p.m.
Photo by Emily C. Harrison/

The Liberty Elementary School Honor Chorus, led by teacher Lisa Johnson, performs two weeks ago during its joint concert with Midway Middle School.

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Liberty Elementary and Midway Middle schools students joined together for a choral concert recently in the LES cafeteria. Fellow students and family members were invited. The performance included a mix of Christmas favorites and contemporary tunes.
The LES Honor Chorus, led by teacher Lisa Johnson, kicked off with an upbeat song titled “We will Jingle.” The 52-member choir then sang “Silent Night” as they signed the lyrics using American Sign Language. They ended with a classic, “The Holly and the Ivy,” which they sang in two-part harmony.
Johnson told the crowd that the students had been working hard on the harmonies.
Midway Middle’s Chorus, led by English teacher Anthony Johnson, took the stage next. Fifty-seven of the group’s 70 members performed. They started with “He Has Done Marvelous Things,” which earned thunderous applause, before moving onto “This Christmas” with standout vocalists, Kayla Farrell and Shasanay Mims. MMS finished with, “Do you see what I see?”
Following the concert, the LES Honor Chorus went through the school, caroling.
LES Principal Chris Anderson said the school is returning to traditions. The holiday concert used to be an annual event, but it has not been held in recent years. Anderson said he hopes to continue the tradition.
The LES Honor Chorus is an after-school club comprised of fourth- and fifth-graders who practice once a week, according to Anderson. He said the program recognizes that many students have talents outside of the classroom.
“(Honor chorus) gives a lot of students an additional outlet to express their strengths,” Anderson said. “Generally, we find that those who have musical talent and are involved in music programs do well in school.”
The concert marked the first time the elementary and middle schools have joined forces, Johnson said. The MMS chorus director called the concert a warm-up for the middle school’s chorus and band concert later in the week.
“Most of our chorus members went to LES and participated in chorus there, and many of the current LES chorus members will be attending Midway Middle one day,” he said. “This is one way that the students could give back. It was a treat for them to go back to LES to perform, and it gives the LES students a sense of what they can look forward to in middle school.”
Johnson, who has been involved with the MMS Chorus for three years, said he has been working with this year’s singers since early October. He said the choir has many talented voices, and he is glad to help students hone their skills.
“Chorus gives young people an outlet to showcase and display their talent outside of the classroom setting,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for the kids.”
According to Anderson and Johnson, both choruses will continue to rehearse for performances in the spring.

 

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