Each year Trinity, in partnership with The Office of The Mayor, helps bring in the Christmas season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Walt Disney Amphitheater in Downtown Orlando. Students spend all semester learning their songs and practicing their speaking parts in order to not only put on a great show for the hundreds of people but also to bring the good news of Jesus to Orlando.
“When we started to sing, I saw an overwhelming amount of smiles… I was no longer nervous.” -Maryh’annah S. (7th)
From the beginning of the preparation process through to the final performance (a capella carols this year) the students worked hard, had fun and even felt a bit nervous. It’s a big deal standing up in front of hundreds of families and friends let alone strangers and tell the good news of the birth of Christ. The students did astonishingly well! A semester’s full of preparation, rehearsals, and studying doesn’t quite prepare you for a stomach full of butterflies and adrenal glands running at full-tilt. Yet Trinity’s Pre-K through 8th Graders, under the direction of Mr. TJ Howard and Mrs. Julia Malenke, did just that. Just like the Three Magi brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus, the Trinity students brought their talents of song and dance to the people of Orlando.
“We sounded fantastic. All of our parts were in perfect order. We can thank Mr. Howard for that! Every year Trinity does great at the ceremony, but I think this year was by far the smoothest practice and the best performance.” – Luke W. (6th)
“What you saw on the big stage at Lake Eola was just a snapshot of what the children are learning two times each week in class. What a joy to hear their sweet voices and experience the delight that they find in making music.” -Mrs. Malenke
The night started off with Trinity’s littlest performers. Mrs. Malenke had been working with the VPK’ers twice a week over several weeks getting them ready for their time to shine in the spotlight. Thirty or so little angels walked on stage followed by Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. The little ones helped kick off the evening with their renditions of popular Christmas carols like “Angel We Have Heard On High” and “Silent Night.” All of the hard work that Mrs. Malenke and the VPK’ers have put in over the beginning of the year paid off. They ended their performance with an a-capella version of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” that was sure to leave the audience feeling the Holiday Spirit as the elementary and middle schoolers took to the stage for their performance.
As the little angels filed off stage to adoring smiles and cheering applause the elementary and middle took their places. This year would be a departure from last. Instead of a scripted play, this year the kids would focus more on holiday carols with speaking parts acting mainly as segues into the next musical performance; the songs would be telling the story of Jesus coming.
Carols were chosen not only for their seasonal relevance and familiarity, but also for their proclamation of The Nativity. The spotlight of the upper school’s performance was when they gathered around their instruments; a piano, Orff instruments, and a guitar, to to sing a hauntingly beautiful “Ode To Joy.” All leading into another acpaella rendition of a Christmastime favorite, “Silent Night.” The VPK performance and the Elementary/Middle School performace was well balanced, showcasing the juxtaposition of cheerful and upbeat Christmas favorites alongside the haunting and beautiful medieval arrangements that send chills down one’s spine.
“I am so proud of what [the students] accomplished. I really challenged them this year and they stepped up to the plate.” – Mr Howard
The kids sounded great. Proclaiming the newborn Jesus Christ with confidence that would rival a seasoned preacher, Trinity’s students made not just their parents proud, but also their school, their various churches, and their teachers proud. All of them performed well.
Well done everyone! Bravo!