CHS’s Winter Festival: A Night of Pure Holiday Joy


By Graham Jones, Reporter


Music rang through the halls of Cleveland on Thursday, Dec. 13, from the auditorium where the school choral department performed their annual winter festival. The choirs sang holiday songs from all across the world with instrumental accompaniment, including drums, a piano, and an organ. As the first song began and the choir shuffled out in their fancy attire and holding glowing candles, I knew I was in for a treat.

While every song performed had its own spice of magic, key songs and moments throughout the show stuck out to me and gave me the largest smiles. One moment I especially enjoyed was the singing of the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” but with a twist. While the original song seemed to feature a man trying to convince a woman to stay at his house overnight after a party, the new rendition had the man asking the woman to leave and trying to tell her it was ok to do so. Not only was the re-do of the song comedic, but it also had a good message that no one could disapprove of.

I also liked the times where the audience got to join in on the singing and belt out classics such songs as “Let it Snow!” and “Jingle Bells.” My two favorite songs on the night were “Star of Wonder” and “Noel.” I loved “Star of Wonder” because it just gave me that wonderful feeling of wanting to curl up next to a fireplace at night with a cup of cocoa while it snows outside. On the opposite side, I adored “Noel” just because of how loud and epic it was, like the adrenaline you feel when opening a present on Christmas morning. Overall, the night just felt like pure holiday joy.

When asking the participating students what they enjoyed about being a part of the choir, many of them had similar things to say. One student, Stephen Rautio, told me, “So mostly what I like about being in the choir is just, I finally get to sing with a group instead of just being in my room, on my laptop singing and I feel like I’m actually part of something when it comes to my singing.”

Another student, Ruby Leib, also said to me, “I like just singing and having an opportunity to perform is really great, especially in front of families and friends and stuff and it’s not in front of an audience of strangers.”

Leib also had praising words for the conductor and teacher, Allison Bassett, saying, “Miss Bassett’s amazing and she really knows what she’s doing and she teaches us different techniques to get a better sound.”

After hearing that appraisal, I knew I had to speak to her myself and ask her what she loved about teaching the choir. Miss Bassett let me know, saying, “It’s a wonderful experience. These students care a lot about what they’re doing and all I have to do is foster that and help them explore music, explore their voices, and as you can see there’s students who want to do things on their own, so I just try to help give them opportunities to continue growth and explore choir and for me that’s the most special thing, so it’s a wonderful experience.” It looks like there’s nothing but utter love in the choir for each other and the music they sing together.

The best way I can describe the show is that when the night was over and all the songs had been sung, I walked outside expecting snow, carolers, and bright lights all around me because of the holiday spirit I had heard while listening to the music that night. It was a great way to cap off my day and had me humming as I walked away from the school that night.