Students To Give Patriotic Holiday Concert

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Beautiful noise escapes into the hall from teacher Julie Davies' classroom at Payson Elementary School.

Then, all of a sudden, there is silence as Davies' pupils listen for their next musical cue.

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Practice is just about over for fourth- and fifth-graders in Payson Elementary School's chorus. They have their new red chorus shirts and are ready to perform holiday and patriotic songs at their concert on Thursday.

"I need you to remember that you need to take really big breaths in this, because it is a hard song," she tells her fifth-grade chorus. "Breathe deep and slow."

"Our Heroes Will Live On" has some difficult notes So, Davies gives them the note on the piano, then, instead of conducting like she usually does, she raises her hand in the air with the notes.

After the song ends, a few sweet voices sing a few more stanzas on their own while Davies gets the next music ready.

"The songs always get stuck in my head and I can't stop singing them," said fifth-grader Chance Parker. "I sing them until I go to bed. My parents ask me to stop then I start singing them again."

"Our Heroes Will Live On" is a song the class will dedicate to our veterans at their winter concert to be held 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the Payson High School auditorium.

"Even though this is a holiday concert, because it is the anniversary of D-Day, we will be doing a couple of patriotic songs," Davies said. The fourth- and fifth-grade choruses will perform.

"All American Me and You" is an upbeat song that the children clearly love to sing.

Davies only needs to remind them once, "I can't hear you," and the beautiful noise fills the room.

"... we have our freedoms / we have our choices / we have the right to raise / our all-American voices ..."

"I like ‘All-American Me' because it's fast and fun and we get to do motions with it," said student Keely Christensen.

"We're going to sing ‘Shalom' spelled s - h - a - l - o - m," Parker added.

The children sing a favorite tale called "Snow Day," about getting bundled up to play and work on a snowman and not go to school.

All eyes are forward watching for Davies' cues as they sing a song about the things for which they are thankful.

"Ms. Davies has us sing in rounds," Christensen said. "That helps us focus on what we are singing and not pay attention to everybody else."

But the hardest thing, Christensen and Parker both agree, is holding the notes a long time. So, the class practices proper breathing and not letting out too much air when they sing.

"I love to sing and I get to sing with all my friends," Christensen said.

"It is important for students who excel in music be able to have that opportunity in school and experience performance," Davies said. Chorus, like band or orchestra, teaches students teamwork and responsibility because they must work together. "Music helps us be better-rounded people."

Though Davies does play the piano, she can't conduct at the same time.

She uses CDs instead.

"That is why it would be nice to have a paid accompanist for the district -- and there is my plug for Credit for Kids money," Davies said.

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