Hundreds of St. Mary’s, Seisen, and Sacred Heart students and families gathered in the SMIS gymnasium, which had been converted into a concert hall for the evening. They had been here since noon, rehearsing the same twenty six songs over and over again. Mr. Rose was this year’s narrator, the acclaimed “Voice of God”. As the lights began to dim ever so slightly, Mr Stenson, the SMIS Choral Director, stepped forward to inaugurate the annual St. Mary’s Christmas Concert.

Afterwards, Mr. Stenson expressed his content and delight with how this event went down. “(The concert) went really well, very smooth. The transitions went really smooth, it was really good. Each concert we try to do something a little different than the year before. I mean it’s pretty hard with the amount of people we have, and the setup.” In preparation for upcoming concerts, he would appreciate “more space with the choirs moving in and out of spaces.” He expects the choir to “always be good.” Varsity Ensemble member and life-long fan of the choral program, Cai Rahman, commentated that, “ I was surprised by the number of people who came. As usual the narration was able to set an appropriate atmosphere. I’m glad the concert was able to contribute to countless charities and TASSEL.”  Throughout the concert, Student Council members passed out a collection basket in order to raise funds for children in need all over the world. Hopefully, this vast sum will help lead children everywhere to a brighter and more prosperous future.

Varsity Ensemble members performed their own eloquent pieces. Their well-timed entrance and performance helped to add the little bit of flair that was missing in the concert.

Gospel songs, such as “O Come Ye Faithful” and “Laudate Dominum” helped to chronicle the original Christmas, as well as divulge in the true meaning of Christmas hidden within the tale. As “the voice of God” provided narration for the birth of Jesus Christ, who this concert is for, he concluded with a heart-warming piece about the “meekness of heart” and general wholesomeness. The concert finished off with a nice bow in the form of “Hallelujah”, a robust piece narrating the dramatic birth of Jesus Christ and the Nativity.

“Hallelujah” was performed by the entire audience present, a total of over 200! On top of being one of the most well known pieces ever, its lyrics are extremely simple. Uniting the audience onto a single simple melody, the song wrapped up all of the loose ends of the concert, and to an extent, 2018.

The Christmas Concert never fails to appropriately wrap up the year and prepare us for the Christmas Break. With it also comes the belief and faith that the next year will be a good one. Hopefully, 2019 will be a great year. For those who had a rough 2018, we hope that you catch a break this year, and for those who had an excellent year, we hope that it rises above and beyond your wildest expectations.

Article by Ryo Matsuki