RMS holds virtual Christmas concert

COVID-19 restrictions did not ruin the holiday cheer at Russellville Middle School as RMS held its annual Christmas concert virtually.

The annual Christmas concert typically takes place in the Russellville Auditorium, but this year students performed all numbers in the RMS Cafeteria for cameras. Once the footage was edited together, the performance was posted to Facebook.

“These kids have worked so hard, and we have all learned how to work around the circumstances to create something fun,” said RMS choral director Emily Rush.

The concert features performances from the sixth-grade chorus, sixth-grade show choir, seventh- and eighth-grade show choirs and the seventh- and eighth-grade drama class.

Rush said each group performed a medley and then a fun song. Some of the performances are songs the audience can easily sing along to, and other tunes allowed the students a chance to be silly.

“I think they really enjoyed getting to take a break away from their day to come in here and record this,” Rush said. “It was something different for them.”

Numbers include “This Christmas,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Santa is On His Way.”

The students also performed their own version of Luke Combs’ song “Six Feet Apart” with some minor changes to the lyrics.

“The original song takes place in the spring and is about missing parents,” Rush explained. “I told them ‘You guys have probably spent too much time with your parents, so let’s switch it up.’ We changed the lyrics to reflect Christmas time and missing friends.”

Rush said the students had been begging her to perform the song since school started back, and she felt like the Christmas concert was the perfect chance.

In addition to all of the numbers from the middle school, the concert also included a performance from the high school chorus, “This is My Wish.”

“I love us performing this song every year, so we couldn’t leave it out,” Rush said.

Rush said the middle school students learned choreography for the songs, pre-recorded the vocals and then performed live with the track.

“It is very different overall, not getting to perform on the stage, but we are learning how to make the most of it,” Rush said.

This is the second virtual concert RMS has hosted this year, with the first taking place in October for the annual Spooktacular show.

“We learned so much from that performance that we were able to take and use for this performance,” Rush said. “With each virtual concert we do, we are learning something new.”

Despite social distancing, Rush said the numbers still include choreography because having the performance in the cafeteria allowed students more room to spread out.

“It was almost easier to choreograph for these performances,” Rush said. “Typically, when they are in my classroom, they might be right beside each other. Doing it in the cafeteria, we know that as long as they are behind their desks, that is 6 feet from the person beside them.”

Rush said although she misses seeing her students perform on stage, there are benefits to doing a virtual concert.

“It is posted on the internet, so anyone can see it,” Rush said. “Family that is out of town is able to watch it, and it is something the kids are able to look back on and watch.”

Rush said the students also have access to all performances on their Schoology account, which gives them easy access to look back on past performances.

To watch the virtual concert, visit Mrs. Rush’s Vocal Music Classes page on Facebook.