The Potter Gymnasium and high school commons area were filled to the brim with parents, grandparents and friends of Melba elementary school students on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 18.
For the first time ever, kindergarten through 12th grades had their performances all in the same evening.
“This time of year when everyone is so busy, it is nice to have the concerts all together in one day,” said Diana Bradshaw, who has her son, Joseph, performing in the grade school and daughter, Emma, in the junior high choir.
The evening started with several performances from the grade school students and special guests, in the gym including Carter Littledike and Petey Hansen performing “12 Redneck Christmas” and Brooklyn Beus sang “A Baby Changes Everything.”
Filling up nearly 400 chairs on the gym floor, the entire north end bleachers, and standing room only at the back of the gym was the biggest crowd of parents and supporters Choir teacher Justin White had seen at Melba.
“It is so good to see so many people come to our events,” said White. “I expected 100 people and we are getting three times that, or more.”
Dinner was a potato bar offered in the commons at intermission raising money for the music program and there the crowd settled in to eat and watch more performances from the junior and senior high choir and band.
The music program students and parents prepared nearly 500 potatoes for the evening’s event.
“We have enough potatoes, maybe not some of the toppings though,” said White. “But I would rather have the parents here and say sorry about running out of food than not have them here. I had no idea so many people would come.”
“The high school kids usually don’t get the support and crowds like the younger kids,” said Chanall Astle, mother of duet performer Adelaide Astle. “Mr. White has such a good rapport with the kids.”
The choir and band played and sang about ten songs and had special performances by Adelaide Astle and Cierra Grover singing “All I want for Christmas is You;” Amanda Grover, Heidi Olsen, Shaunie Heiner and Audrey Svedin singing “What Child is This;” Annaliese and Allison Herman performed a violin duet; Natasha Krause sang “Winter Wonderland;” Michelle Riley received a huge applause for her fiddle solo; Haylee Williams and Kerenza Pearson shared a flute duet and Audrey Svedin sang flawlessly in “Oh Holy Night.”
It was just in 2010 that that the Melba music program was on the chopping block at Melba Junior Senior High School.
Tuesday’s performance and support was an indication that keeping the program has led to talent and desire still thriving during these tough education financial times.
“I love this, the Christmas concert is one of my favorite things Melba does, this and Christmas in Melba,” said Astle.