The holiday season officially kicked off at the Julius E. Sprauve School on Thursday, December 20, at the school’s annual holiday program, where students showed off a wide range of talents including singing and reading poetry.
JESS students filed into the school’s cafeteria, and assistant principal Brenda Dalmida welcomed the children and their parents to the program.
“It’s definitely the season,” said Dalmida. “We want to show you what the holiday season means to us — it’s about friends, family and everything really important. We’re looking forward to showing you the talent we have here at Sprauve School.”
The JESS concert band, led by William Johnson, kicked off the program with performances of “African Noel” and “A Gift of Carols,” setting the mood for a fun and festive show. The talented student musicians performed Christmas carol medleys, featuring old favorites like “Good King Wenceslas,” “Jingle Bells” and “Up on the Rooftop.”
Followed by a moving performance of “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by the JESS chorus, led by James Belle, the JESS Positive Group performed a rap encouraging positive behavior.
“We are young, and we are positive; we are the future, we’re gonna tell it like it is,” the students rapped. “Adults out there, show us you care; listen to what we’re about to share.”
The students rapped about using and selling drugs, and why the island’s youth shouldn’t get involved in illegal, destructive activities.
The first grade chorus performed an uplifting rendition of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year,” complete with choreography. Chorus teacher Belle performed a solo on the saxophone, beautifully tying the performance together.
The chorus then sang “Mary’s Boy Child” and “Christmas Medley,” featuring favorite local Christmas carols, finished off with a rousing performance of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Fifth graders read poems to the crowd on subjects including “what Christmas means to me” and “the first Christmas,” followed by a moving performance of “Little Drummer Boy” by the JESS concert band. The students then took a break from the spotlight while Belle, Johnson and Eddie Bruce performed “The Christmas Song,” with Belle and Johnson playing saxophone and Bruce on guitar.
Teachers Perform Too
The audience was in for a real treat when JESS staff — including Dalmida and principal Mario Francis — gathered to sing “Ho Ho Ho (How Will Santa Get Here?)” much to the delight of the students, who screamed and applauded their teachers. The choir then surprised Francis, whose birthday happened to fall on the same day as the holiday program, with a performance of “Happy Birthday.”
Francis thanked parents for coming, and reminded the audience about the true meaning of Christmas.
“Parents, no matter what we do, we couldn’t do it as good as when you’re involved,” said the principal. “The very nature of the holiday is about love, giving and self-sacrifice. The best gift you can give to anyone is the gift of yourself — a gift of love.”
“The love you share with someone will always be there,” Francis added.