By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
The Stanly News & Press
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 —
Albemarle Middle School (AMS) had its Christmas program Wednesday morning, a scant couple of hours before early release into the holiday break.
AMS Pincipal David Grice opened the program with a short speech, followed by the AMS band under the direction of Jessica Alvarez. The band played the theme from “Star Wars,” “Up on the Rooftop” and “Jingle Bells.”
The AMS Bucket Drums also performed, playing some of their favorite cadences in a unique fashion.
Two students also performed individually for AMS.
Joshua Palmer sat behind his keyboard, tickling the ivories. He played “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” as everyone else sang along and finished with a rendition of the “Nutcracker Suite.”
Kayla Cole played “Silent Night” on the piano as she sang along.
“I chose ‘Silent Night’ because it explains the birth of Jesus,” Cole said.
The last musical performance was given by the AMS Chorus.
The AMS cheerleaders performed, opening with a short routine and finishing with some classic AMS cheers and even some holiday-themed ones.
Also in attendance were the AMS Stunnaz, the step team. They awed the audience with perfectly timed stomps, claps and explosions of movement.
Interspersed among the frivolity was something the students took quite seriously: Christmas games.
The games were relay style, organized by grade-level; the winner of each event was awarded a point and whichever grade had the most points at the end of the program was declared the winner of the Christmas relays.
The most popular game by far was the sleigh relay, in which one student pulled another on a sheet (the sleigh).
Though the match was so close between the seventh and eighth graders that they had to have a tie-breaker round, in the end the eighth graders prevailed and walked away from the program as the overall winners.
“This is a tradition at AMS. We all look forward to it as much as the kids do. The teachers even wear festive clothes,” said Trudy Saunders, media coordinator at AMS.
As the program concluded, Alvarez took to the center of the gym and with the help of her reindeer, cleverly disguised teachers, she led the school in a sing-along of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”