Students of All Ages Bring Christmas Cheer
December 11, 2019
Under instructors Colleen Thompson for voice and Jenna Johnson for piano, students of all ages brought holiday cheer during Thompson's students' annual Christmas program at Prairie Ridge on Dec. 4. Walking into the doors, individuals were greeted by elf Kennedy Flaten as they found a perfect spot to support those performing. With students ranging in age from six through adulthood, this annual Christmas program showcased a wide range of vocal, piano, flute, guitar and percussion abilities.
The program started off with six-year-old Khloe Kaufman and her rendition of "Jingle Bells," and ended with the entire group students singing "12 Days of Christmas," with dancer Addison Jones, who also showcased her vocal abilities earlier in the program with her rendition of "White Christmas." A special appearance by Santa Claus closed out the program, allowing children of all ages to tell him what they wanted in addition to bringing home candy and a stuffed animal.
Thompson and her students have been sharing a Christmas program with the community for at least 20 years with the program evolving over the years. "When I first started having students sing in front of an audience the locations were switched most every year. Most students find it more uncomfortable to sing in front of others, therefore I try to expose them to different audience settings," explained Thompson. "Most everyone can sing in the shower, but it is not so easy in front of an audience. With the changing of locations, different audiences receive the benefits of listening to some very enjoyable music. With these changes in venues, the students can share their talents. It is a way of communicating that provides a common denominator (being music) to assist in bridging the age gaps."
In addition to the performance at Prairie Ridge, the students also performed at Valley View Home on Dec. 8, and will also be performing a recital in May, closing out their lesson year. The students started the year in September by setting goals for themselves, which are then incorporated into the songs as they started to prepare for the holiday season. By setting their goals, students were able to choose the type of music, religious or secular that they wished to sing at the Christmas programs.
Thompson has been teaching voice for 25 years after being recruited by a young girl who really wanted to learn how to sing and asked her parents to talk to Thompson about instructing her. "One student led to another and another. Twenty-five years later I am still enjoying the students as much as I did with my 'first young lady,'" said Thompson.
Throughout these years, she has enjoyed teaching those of all ages and helping them reach their goals. "Music never completely leaves a person, no matter what age. You can visit a nursing home where some of the residents may not be able to recall who their spouse is but they can still remember and sing the songs they learned as a youngster. So, as long as a person wants to learn, regardless of their age or abilities, I am excited to help them achieve their goals," explained Thompson.
Program Set List
Name Age Song
Khole Kaufman 6 Jingle Bells
Riley Pattison 7 Suzy Snowflake
Ava Budde &
Paxton Wesen 7 & 9 Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Ava Budde 7 The Chipmunk Song
Paxton Wesen 9 Over the River
Rebecca Nickels 11 Frosty The Snowman
Halle Hunter 12 O' Christmas Tree
Kate Parks 15 Piano Solo – It's Beginning
to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Addison Jones 12 White Christmas
Gabby Nickels 12 Mary Did You Know?
Bailee Baxter 17 Piano Solo –
Angels We Have Heard On High
Gabriel Proctor 12 Do You Hear What I Hear?
Grace Reyes 12 In The Bleak Midwinter
Leonard Swenson Adult The Marvelous Little Toy
Samantha Combs 13 C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S
Kacie Hankins 13 Little Drummer Boy
Cerenity Olsen 17 T'was the Night
Raelee Dowden 16 Mary Was the First to Carry the Gospel
Dianna Isakson Adult Away in a Manager
Codi Doniaque 14 O'Holy Night
Emma Cook &
Leonard Swenson 15 and Adult Silent Night
Students with Dancer Addison Jones 12 Days of Christmas