Montecito Schools’ Holiday Concerts

By Joanne A Calitri   |   January 2, 2020
The grand finale of the Cold Spring School Winter Sing 2019 (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

The Montecito schools held their holiday concerts throughout December celebrating both religious and secular seasonal greetings. Here is the round up from me and Santa.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School Christmas Program on December 5 at St. Joseph’s Church in Carpinteria showed full on spirit with chorus, band, and reading performances with music teachers Mr. Aswadand Miss Tipple, accompanist Miss Kim, and Fr. Martini of St Joseph’s presiding. The preschool and K through 5 sang classics “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and the Middle School and full choir sang the more complex harmony songs “On This Night is Born a Child” and “Oh How Joyfully.” The Wind Band songs included the “Dredyl Song” and the Guitar Ensemble & Middle School Ukulele Band’s highlight was “Ode to Joy.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School middle school students at the Christmas Program (photo courtesy of OLMC)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel School Christmas Program student Wind Band with the Guitar and Ukulele Band (photo courtesy of OLMC)

El Montecito Early School

El Montecito Early School presented an “Advent Morning” on Friday, December 6 at the El Montecito Church and courtyard. Pastor Tom Haugen opened the program with a prayer, followed by the children’s processional to “Angels We Have Heard On High.” Songs performed included “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “Silent Night.” Miss Suzy Dobreski, school director, led the children with her staff, Ms Jenna, Lisa, Monica, Melanie, Casey, Haley, Meika, and Mr. Brandon. Musicians were Maria Sweeney, Matt Newman, Brandon Kinalele, and Miss Suzy. After the program, the children led the guests to the Parish Hall for lunch.

ELMO preschool students getting ready for the Advent show and Las Posadas parade (photo by Meika McCrindle)
ELMO preschool students reenact the Christmas story, here with Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus (photo Meika McCrindle)

Cold Spring School

Cold Spring School Winter Sing held four performances over December 10 and 12 in their auditorium with parents and students attending. I attended the December 10 evening performance, where Superintendent Dr Amy Alzina announced that “the performance is being recorded to submit to Disney Performing Arts as an audition tape. If selected, the Chorus students will perform at Disneyland in the Spring. Cold Spring School is one of 12 schools in the state to be selected as an Exemplary Arts School.” CSS Music Teacher Sara DiSalvo began the concert with the school chorus with her band: Jay Real (keys), Adrian Dentzel (bass), Miguelito Leon (drums), and Gavin Roy (sound engineer). Songs performed included “Hanukkah O Hanukkah,” “Carol of the Bells,” new rhythmic versions by DiSalvo to “Feliz Navidad,” “Hot Chocolate,” and other traditional songs. Students sang great harmonies, played recorders, violins, bells, ukes, and danced.

The grand finale of the Cold Spring School Winter Sing 2019 (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
Cold Spring School students sing “The Bakers Song” (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Crane Country Day School

Crane Country Day School’s Winter Sing featured their Lower School students, Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. The performance was held on Thursday, December 12 at 6 pm in Crane’s amphitheater in the Oak Tree Quad. Bundled up parents and guests were seated on chairs and on blankets around the ellipse. The students performed a variety of pop and seasonal songs. The Kindergarten started the show with a poem recitation. Songs included: “At The Beginning,” “Jingle Bells,” “Stray Cat Strut,” “Summer of ’69,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Light the Lights Hanukkah,” and “Good Time.” Music teacher Konrad Kono led the performance.

Crane Country Day School Winter Sing rehearsal (photo courtesy of Crane Country Day School)
Crane Country Day School Winter Sing (photo courtesy of Crane Country Day School)

Laguna Blanca Lower School

Laguna Blanca Lower School Holiday Concert was held at the Hope Ranch Upper School on December 17 at 6:30 pm. The 80 students performed together and by grade. Andy Surber, Head of Lower School, introduced the concert, “It is such a treat to see our program in action, especially witnessing how our students progress from Early Kindergarten through fourth grade.” From instrumental performances and dances to the sweet singing songs and exuberant jingle bell number, the show was a great kick-off to the holidays! Songs included: “Ale A,” “Ram Sam Sam,” “Be Kind to Others,” “Ode to Joy,” “Shalom Chaverim,” and “We Wish You a Happy Holiday.” They were led by music instructor Mrs. Molly Markstrum with Ms Leana Movillion on piano.

Laguna Blanca Lower School Winter Sing stage left (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
Laguna Blanca Lower School Winter Sing stage center (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
Laguna Blanca Lower School Winter Sing stage right (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Montecito YMCA Preschool

Montecito YMCA Preschool Christmas pageant was performed at the Y on December 20 at 11:30 am. MsGabriela Macias led the program with her kids in the songs “10 Little Angels” and “Christmas Star.” Next, the angels and candles kids were directed by teacher Mrs. Ruth Ambriz singing “This Little Light of Mine” and “Walking in the Light.” Preschool Director Annie Fischer directed her class Room 3 in the reenactment of the Christmas story and traditional songs, closing the program with all school classes singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Her teacher helpers are Mrs. Jayne Valdez, Ms. Jordan Trujillo and Mrs. Mindy Andrade.

YMCA Preschool kids with teacher Annie Fischer (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
YMCA Preschool students with teacher Ruth Ambriz (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Montecito Union School

Montecito Union School’s famous Winter Sing was held on December 20 with three showings to accommodate all the students and their families. Music teachers Pam Herzog and Ron Zecher conducted the entire school in song, string orchestra, drums and percussion instruments, and they each took turns playing piano. The students’ dances included being reindeers for the chorus singing “The Reindeer Twist,” and as Santa’s elves making the toys. The MUS Orchestra played “Believe” and “Carol of the Bells.” Chorus songs included “Let Those Sleigh Bells Ring,” “Deck the Halls,” “Merry Christmas to You All,” “Make A Little Music for Hanukkah,” “Light the Candles,” “We Three Kings.” and “Jingle Bells.”

Montecito Union School Winter Sing 2019 (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
MUS students in their festive attire (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
Singing students in the MUS auditorium (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
Music teacher Pam Herzog conducting the Montecito Union School Winter Sing 2019 (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
Music teacher Ron Zecher conducting the MUS orchestra (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
Montecito Union School students at the Winter Sing (photo by Joanne A Calitri)
Principal Dr. Nick Bruski and Student Principal of the Day Max Bunnin at the MUS Winter Sing (photo Joanne by A Calitri)

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