An original holiday performance
By Julie Matuszewski: photos courtesy of Briea Berry
The sound of the holidays was alive in the Glen Oaks neighborhood of Castle Pines. A group of talented students from Timber Trail Elementary and Rocky Heights Middle School produced and performed a 20-minute outdoor holiday performance for their families, neighbors and their instructor, Douglas County band director Mike Stroman.
Snow covered lawns, chilly temperatures and hot chocolate created the perfect backdrop for the performers and their audience. They covered some of the most beloved holiday tunes – from “Jingle Bells” to the “Carol of the Bells” and many others.
All four of the musicians are current students of Stroman. He is the band director for the before-and-after elementary band program at each elementary school that feeds into Rock Canyon High School. The program is sponsored by the Colorado Chamber Orchestra. Group practices have all been on Zoom since the quarantine.
Stroman shared that the motivation and desire to learn how to play a musical instrument has allowed these kids to do some pretty amazing things, and he is extremely proud of their accomplishments.
Although Stroman provided the kids with the holiday sheet music, their rehearsal time and planning of the holiday concert was completely on their own. The group loves to produce and perform. During the spring quarantine they wrote, produced and performed three outdoor plays for their neighborhood cul-de-sac. Feeling a little down that traditional holiday performances were canceled; the girls came up with the idea to perform their own outdoor Christmas concert.
After three weeks of Zoom practices and socially distanced driveway rehearsals, costume design, holiday decorations and writing the program script for the announcer and emcee, it was time to perform. Fifth grader and flute player Brooke Berry was glad they were able to perform this year. “We worked really hard on everything from the costumes, to the set design and especially the songs. I am really happy with the way it turned out,” Brooke said.
Briea Berry and fellow parents shared that they are so happy their kids have had each other this year. “The kids are so creative and they are so thankful for their neighborhood of Glen Oaks,” commented Berry.