Valley choirs add to holiday flavor in Leavenworth
December 19, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
They came, they broke down, they huddled, they sang.
Not even a busted bus could stop the choirs of the Snoqualmie Valley’s three middle schools from performing in the cold of Leavenworth, the fabled Bavarian village of north central Washington.
Under the city’s downtown gazebo, the students belted out carols in an hourlong performance that was initially scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The performance was then moved to 11:30 a.m., but it had to start at about noon.
“Our buses broke down,” Snoqualmie Middle School student Ingrid May said. “We had to switch buses and sit three to a seat with the Twin Falls people.”
In typical tween hyperbole, students declared the ride had been great or awful, freezing or sweltering.
“It was a pain,” May said. “Some of us were squished against a window for like three hours.”
Classmate Sara Hannan agreed, “I was like ‘I’m freezing. I’m about to die of bronchitis right now.’”
Mortality fears aside, the students sang almost flawlessly when showtime arrived.
Students look forward to this trip for months, said Daniel Ray, the choir teacher at Snoqualmie Middle School.
“I think there’s some people who join choir just for this,” Ray said. “This is a big deal for them. They look forward to it.”
Of the concerts, Ray said, “They performed really well. I’m really proud of them.”
Sophie Click, a Chief Kanim Middle School eighth-grader, agreed, kinda.
“It’s one of the best performances we’ve ever done,” she said, before backtracking, “The Peace on Earth part, but not the other one. The other one we hadn’t really practiced, but we sang with the seventh-graders and they knew it, so it’s all good.”
The rehearsals for the concert started in October, Ray said.
Songs included varied holiday standards and pop hits like, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” before a crowd of well-layered passers-by, parents with camera phones, and couples smooching and letting out muffled applause from under gloves and mittens.
“I was kind of nervous, performing in front of people, but it was fun,” said May, who also performed in last year’s choir trip to Leavenworth.
Hunter Davidson, another SMS singer, disagreed.
“Nervous? We’re professionals!” he said.
Jittery or not, the children had a ball.
Karis Barnes, of SMS, performing in Leavenworth for the second consecutive year, said this year was more fun because the crowds were larger.
Chief Kanim’s choir performed first, followed by Snoqualmie Middle School and then Twin Falls Middle School.
After the songs, the students had a different kind of fun, invading the town’s touristic attractions, including the hat shops, ice-cream stands and myriad restaurants.
“I want food now,” Hannan said. “I want to be warm, and not hungry.”
Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Com