Overflowing With Christmas Cheer


Heather Jones (left) looks worried that Sandra Orris may not finish her portion of the duet on time for Heather to sing her part, during the Julia Randall Elementary School concert Tuesday.

Heather Jones (left) looks worried that Sandra Orris may not finish her portion of the duet on time for Heather to sing her part, during the Julia Randall Elementary School concert Tuesday. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Standing room only.

That’s what anyone who came late to the Julia Randall Elementary (JRE) holiday concert on Tuesday evening found as they squeezed into the back to watch the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders sing their hearts out.

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April Waldroup and Keenan Waldroup

To find a seat, families would have had to stake out a spot before 6 p.m. However, sitting or standing, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins listened joyously to holiday favorites from the cute to the somber.

“I taught 500-plus students these songs starting after the fall break,” said Juli Davies, the JRE music teacher. “So, we’ve been singing about Christmas since before Thanksgiving ...” she concluded sheepishly.

For the finale, Davies ambitiously had the whole school come up to the stage to sing, “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful.”

But first she had to find room for all the students. “Parents,” she said, “if you’re crowding the entrances, please move aside so the kids can come by — go up against the wall and all the way down there ...”

As she organized the parents inside, teachers outside in the Payson High School Auditorium foyer corralled more than 150 jostling, giggling children. The teachers attempted to quiet them down in preparation to enter the auditorium, with varying degrees of success, but mostly the children could not wait to perform.

As soon as the audience opened a space, the children streamed down the center aisle to fill the stage with more than five rows of young performers. Extra students rolled out onto the side stairs and onto the carpet in front.

Some wore Santa hats, some had high heels, curled hair, makeup, and sparkly holiday dresses, while others looked out over the bulging audience with eyes wide with awe.

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Lexi Stonebrink

Davies took center stage, towering over the piles of little people. Magically, the children fell silent when she raised her hand for attention. As the first strains of the opening chord rang out — the hall filled with sweet voices. A sea of parent cell phones rose in the audience as they sang:

“Oh come let us adore Him,

“Oh come let us adore Him,

“Christ the Lord ...”

Applause erupted, kids grinned, Davies beamed.

To purchase more pictures of this concert, click on the link below.

payson.mycapture.com/mycapture/index.asp#.UMue7Y6aRC0

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