WES, RES hold Christmas programs

Franklin County has boasted plenty of Christmas cheer through a variety of events this year. In Russellville, West Elementary second-graders performed their annual Christmas program Dec. 15, and Russellville Elementary fifth-graders performed their show Dec. 13. Both took place in the RCS auditorium.

Second-graders performed under the direction of Emily Rush. Songs included “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas,” “March of the Toy Soldiers,” “Someone in the Chimney,” “Santa’s Stuck in the Chimney,” “Best Christmas of All,” “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree,” “Christmas Don’t Be Late,” “Jingle Bells,” “I Wanna Go to Hawaii,” “Cray Cray Christmas,” “Mr. Grinch,” “Where Are you Christmas,” “Blitzen Boogie,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Nuttin’ for Christmas,” “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” “Navidad Rock/Jingle Bell Rock” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

“I made a lot of changes this year,” explained Rush, “and that was exciting. The kids loved “Cray Cray Christmas,” a rap that’s part of our music curriculum, about how crazy things are at Christmastime. That was probably one of their favourites.”

Rush said they updated music tracks as well as costumes. For one of the songs, the children sang it half in Spanish and half in English, “Navidad Rock/Jingle Bell Rock.”

Rush’s daughter Lindsay and fifth-grade director Lauren Ritter’s daughter Lillian performed “Mr. Grinch.”

“I was really, really nervous,” said Lindsay, “but then I got up there and sang my song, and after that, I really enjoyed everything. My costume was green with a red bow, and I danced to all the other songs and had a lot of fun singing and dancing with my friends.”

Lillian said she liked “that I got to be with my friends. Getting to do the duet with Lindsay was fun. We had fun rehearsing and getting to be on stage. It was a really, really fun experience.”

The fifth-grade show was titled “Karaoke Christmas.” Ritter said she was pleased with how it turned out. She said students began preparing for the performance in August and worked really hard to make it a success.

For Lydia Ross, who portrayed Principal Pine in the show, it was an exciting experience. “I had a solo and a few spoken verses,” Ross said. “We sang a bunch of different songs had a lot of fun. I love the Christmas spirit you feel from singing and performing.”

Students performed “Getting’ in the Mood for Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman,” Run, Run Rudolph,” “Candy Cane Lane,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Believe” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Soloists included Tinley Cleveland, Ayelen Contreras, Griffin Rogers, Jonalyn Thorn and Lydia Racz.

“I’m just super proud of my kids,” Ritter said. “They worked really hard all year long and pulled through and gave an excellent performance. There were several solos and speaking parts, including a lot of classic holiday hits.”

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