Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

December 23, 2010

Arlee Elementary School Holiday Extravaganza brightens up ye Ole gym

By B.L. Azure

Santa Claus made a surprise appearance at the Arlee Elementary School Holiday Extravaganza and there were plenty of children with wish lists. (B.L. Azure photo)
Santa Claus made a surprise appearance at the Arlee Elementary School Holiday Extravaganza and there were plenty of children with wish lists. (B.L. Azure photo)

ARLEE — The Arlee Elementary School Holiday Extravaganza, under the direction of music teacher Brandon Ensley, decked out the old high school gymnasium with plenty of jolly holiday spirit Thursday.

A couple hundred folks braved the typical Montana winter weather to listen to the various Christmas carols sang by the kindergarten through fourth grade students followed by the fifth and sixth grade bands performing musical renditions of Christmas tunes. The combined group of fifth and sixth grade musicians beat out more holiday cheer on percussion instruments.

The first grade vocal chords got a workout singing Christmas carols at Arlee's Christmas program. (B.L. Azure photo)
The first grade vocal chords got a workout singing Christmas carols at Arlee's Christmas program. (B.L. Azure photo)

The evening began with the kindergarten class’s rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The youngsters, under the direction of Salish language teacher Mary Parker, sang some of the verses in Salish.

Parker did the same with the first graders’ performance of “Jingle Bells”; the second grade’s “Be Happy and Sing”; and the fourth grade’s “Silent Night.”

Salish language teacher Mary Parker maestros Arlee Elementary School students singing Christmas carols in Salish. (B.L. Azure photo)
Salish language teacher Mary Parker maestros Arlee Elementary School students singing Christmas carols in Salish. (B.L. Azure photo)

Each of the classes sang other Christmas songs and all featured pianist Anne Stewart plinking the keys.

The fifth grade band performed musical renditions of “Jolly Old St. Nick” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

The sixth grade band did “Up On the House Top” and “Here Comes Santa Clause.”

The fifth and sixth grade percussionists, under the guidance of Richard Brinkman, beat out the tune “One Horse Sleigh Ride” on numerous percussion instruments.

The percussion instruments are a big part of the Arlee Elementary School's Christmas program. (B.L. Azure photo)
The percussion instruments are a big part of the Arlee Elementary School's Christmas program. (B.L. Azure photo)

Then through an uncanny coincidence Santa Claus showed up within seconds of the last note of carols. Then the little human buzz took over as the young ones wrangled in line waiting anxiously to let Santa know what they want under their Christmas tree.

The big fella gave plenty of nods of approval and told the little ones he would do his best then pointed them to the treat locker provided by the BigSam family.

Big eyes were on the big guy in the Santa Claus line. (B.L. Azure photo)
Big eyes were on the big guy in the Santa Claus line. (B.L. Azure photo)

It was a very merry evening and band teacher Ensley gave a hardy ho, ho, ho way to go special thanks to piano-accompanist, Anne Stewart; Salish language instructor Mary Parker; AES principal Lisa Miller; the BigSam family for Santa’s treats; AES staff; janitorial staff; teacher Sue Carney and, last but not least, the jolly big guy: Kris Kringle, aka Santa Claus.

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