NDA Students Entertain GRACE Kids with Annual Christmas Program

Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Last week several groups at NDA put on the annual Christmas performance for the grade schools of GRACE. This year, the program included a Christmas play put on by Drama Club, several skits by Public Performance and performances from Academy Choir, Concert Choir and the band.

“The Christmas performance was a collection of fine art displays put on by NDA students and faculty,” said sophomore Olivia Allen, a member of the Academy Choir who performed on Thursday. “The goal is really just to entertain the kids and have a fun experience. I remember how much I always enjoyed seeing the older kids perform for me when I was in grade school.”

However, the show is also fun and beneficial for the NDA students who perform.

“The Christmas performance is great for the performers to just have a lot of fun,” said sophomore Kelsey Mullen, a member of the band. Whether it be acting, singing or playing music, it provides a low-pressure environment for the students to do their best.

“There isn’t very much pressure considering that the audience isn’t focused on our mistakes. It’s more about bringing the light-hearted Christmas spirit to the kids. That’s what I love about the show,” added Mullen.

The Christmas play put on by the Drama Club performed first, with their own rendition of “The Conversion of Mrs. Scrooge.” The short show was about Ebenezer Scrooge’s wife, a teacher noticeably lacking the Christmas spirit. That is, until she and her students are visited by some very special guests, who convince her that, maybe, Christmas isn’t so terrible after all.

The play this year was also unique, as it was student directed by juniors Alissa DeWilde and Jordan Zehms.

“I really liked that it was student directed,” said Danielle Lippert, a sophomore involved in the play. “It was really cool having classmates helping and coaching me.”

Following the play, the choir, band and Public Performance alternated performing.

“It felt great performing in front of the kids because they knew all the songs and could sing along with us,” said Allen of the various songs that the choirs performed. “Mrs. Salerno and the rest of the choirs practiced a lot leading up to the concert, and it really paid off.”

The show ended with a skit by Public Performance based on the movie “Elf” that was a crowd favorite. It involved senior Jacob Zeise as Buddy the Elf unmasking the fake Santa that was his fellow senior, Blake Olejniczak, and culminated in a brawl on stage set to the cheers of the enthusiastic grade-schoolers.

Cam Knight, Blake Olejniczak and Jacob Ziese, all seniors perform a Buddy The Elf skit with public performance.
Cameron Knight, Blake Olejniczak and Jacob Zeise, all seniors, perform a Buddy The Elf skit with public performance.

To break the tension, the real Santa came to give gifts to all the schools and lead the children in a few Christmas carols before they were dismissed.

“We put a lot of work into the show, and it really paid off,” said Lippert. “It’s great and really fulfilling knowing that the kids liked it and had a fun time.”