Winter Fine Arts Night at Gilpin Elementary

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Musical performances and art displays feature a large dose of cute

by Patty Unruh

Gilpin Elementary School’s youngest students put on a charming evening of musical and artistic entertainment on Thursday, December 6, in the Gilpin School auditorium and atrium. The classes included children from preschool through third grade in the traditional and Montessori programs.

Kids and their families crowded into the auditorium, where music teacher Misty Ebers welcomed the audience. Her excited charges were attired in an assortment of velvet dresses and button-down shirts, red and green plaid flannel, warm woolen mittens, and Santa hats.

Ebers announced that the group of young performers was a bit smaller than expected, due to forty children being absent that day with colds and stomach flu. Everyone joined with her in hoping that all the children would soon be well.

She introduced several middle and high school students who were there to help keep order and conduct the young singers on and off the stage. She also thanked parent Kayce Harmsen for her work in cutting out scarves for the kindergarten classes to wear on a couple of their numbers.

The Montessori preschool and kindergarten kids were still at the age when they didn’t mind grinning and waving to their parents.

“There’s a little wheel beating in my heart!” they warbled on the first tune. At the close of the song, one proud little guy drew a big laugh as he piped up with “Did you hear that?”

“A Hat for My Snowman” followed, with the kids warmly wrapped in the famous Harmsen scarves. Ebers accompanied on guitar to the traditional favorite, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” First graders followed with “Christmas Card” and second graders sang the bright and cheery “Happy, Happy Hanukkah.” The Montessori first through third graders delighted with the lively tune, “When the Holidays Come” and encored with the thought-provoking “Silver and Gold.”

The entire lower elementary group joined together for “Sacrifices Made,” a tribute to military veterans, the familiar “This Old Man,” complete with motions, and the swingin’ grand finale, “If I Were a Reindeer.”

As the kids imagined themselves leading Santa’s sleigh, they waved to the audience and belted out, “If I were a reindeer, what would I do? I’d fly fly fly with Santa, it’s true!”

Before and after the music, folks viewed artistic creations in the atrium, where the halls were decked with dozens of colorful, seasonal pieces done by the boys and girls in art teacher Curt Halsted’s classes. These illustrated the songs that the children performed that evening and utilized numerous craft materials: water color paints, construction paper, acrylic gems, cotton balls, glitter, and googly eyes. They were colorful, whimsical, and looked like the kids had a ton of fun making them. Family members couldn’t help chuckling at the dancing reindeer, elves and festive mice. Silver and gold landscapes added a touch of sparkle. Tall, lighted buildings spotted with snow set the tone for “Christmas Time in the City.” Vivid Christmas cards reminded everyone that it was time to start writing those annual newsletters!

Creations done by winners of the 2018 PTA art show were prominently displayed on tables in the atrium. Halsted said that the school’s website will begin featuring a digital art show, hopefully in January. Art had previously been featured online through the Artsonia program, but Halsted said putting it on the school’s website would make it easier for people to access.

Fundraisers were in progress before the show for the benefit of the high school’s foreign travel group, which was selling wreaths and living trees, and the high school cheerleaders, who were selling bracelets and snacks to raise money for camp, uniforms, and all things cheer.

Program acknowledgements went to David MacKenzie (superintendent), Heather Huntoon (elementary principal), Katie Yocom and Mary Kay Morris (Montessori preschool and kindergarten), Kathy Haley (kindergarten), Elizabeth Hamilton (first grade), Laura Bohan (second grade), Monica Ruhl and Lauren Nelson (Montessori first-third), Kendall Linnehan, Eva Panelo, Mike Vaughn, Alisa Witt, Kayce Harmsen, and Ryan Raynes.

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