Choir’s Holiday Spectacular

The Holiday Spectacular was on December 16th at 7:00pm in Dakota’s Auditorium. It was directed by Mr. Tyler Dargis, accompanied on the piano by Mr. Michael Emshwiller, and choreographed by Mr. Christian Boni. The show featured a wide variety of songs performed for a full theater of friends and family. It was a cheerful way to begin the holiday season. 

All of the work the students had put in for the previous week by staying after school to prepare for this concert paid off. It really was a reflection of all of the effort everyone put forth to make this concert a success. Act One was primarily traditional choral singing while Act Two had some more creative and lively songs with choreography.  

The anticipation was palpable in the audience as the lights lowered and a hush fell over the auditorium full of people. Act One began in a dark theater with wonderful solos by Women’s Varsity members Ava Clifford and Olivia Amore holding candles in front of the curtain. Then the curtain rose to show the entire stage filled with choir students with candles. At the same time others filed into the audience to join together to sing “Carry the Light”.

The mood immediately shifted as the Treble Choir sang a humorous version of “Various Themes on Fa-La-La” where the director Mr. Dargis “lost control” of the choir to senior Ashton Posner. However, even as the students began stomping their feet and moving around, none of their technical skill was lost in this entertaining song.

Then the curtain closed, and senior Rowan Hume sang a hauntingly beautiful “Winter Moon”. 

The Women’s Varsity Choir sang “The World for Christmas”. Sophomore Woman’s Varsity member Lauren Singer said, “The most exciting part was waiting backstage with everyone waiting for the concert to start.”

The Men’s Choir sang “Jingle Bells” with a twist. The rhythm was different than the classic and there were some different words as well. The difficulty of this must be acknowledged as it is such a well-known song.  

Always a crowd favorite, the acapella group The Unaccompanied Minors came out in front of the curtain to sing “The First Noel” with amazing solos by alto Aliza Black and soprano Cloe Campbell. They then sang “Up on the Housetop” with impressive beat boxing from vocal percussionist Aiden Debbs and short solos by Jeffery Garrant and Dante Dagati.  

The Mixed Varsity Choir sang “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “O Holy Carols” which first had a lovely solo by soprano Alyssa Sharp, then baritone Jeffery Garrant had his second solo, and finally soprano Nya Jones showed off her powerful voice.  

To end Act One, all of the combined choirs sang the traditional “Seasons of Peace”, and in an emotional performance, Dakota Alumni were invited up on stage to join in. There were wonderful solos by seniors Gina Miller, Samantha Shifflett, and Mia Serra. Gina Miller said, “We go through long rehearsals, but it is so worth it because I get to spend a lot of time with my second family while also getting to do what we love together.” 

During the Intermission, a bake sale was held in the atrium with sweet treats for the audience members to enjoy. In the auditorium, the cast came out with an entertaining commercial for the upcoming Shrek: The Musical. It featured Ashton Posner as Shrek, Claire Kraft as Princess Fiona who is awaiting rescue by her prince, Dante Dagati as Lord Farquaad, and Nya Jones as Donkey. The musical’s opening night will be on Thursday, February 2nd and the cast members invite everyone to join them in the kingdom of Far, Far Away. To buy tickets go to Performances will run throughout the first two weekends of February. 

To begin Act Two, the Varsity Choirs combined to sing “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” and it was just as enthusiastic as it sounds. This was a wonderful kick off for the more energetic second half of the show. 

For the second curtain act of the night, Treble Choir member Nadia Bronzino came out onstage in a sparkly dress to sing a Christmas version of “Hallelujah” and she did an outstanding job.  

The Women’s Varsity Choir sang “Underneath the Tree” decked out in festive red and green outfits. The choreography was done by Junior Olivia Amore and emphasized the Christmas spirit.  

Wearing pajamas, the Men’s Choir sang a hilarious “Santa, Bring My Baby Back” with choreography that brought out a great reaction from the audience.  

For the final Curtain Act, Junior Aliza Black did a fantastic job on her second solo “Grown-Up Christmas List”. 

The Treble Choir sang “Text Me Merry Christmas” in which Meredith Martin and Ashton Posner acted like they were texting one another as they danced across the stage. The choir members wore adorable plaid shirts and jeans while using their cell phones as props.  

The Mixed Varsity Choir sang “Run Rudolph Run” while all dolled up in 50’s style attire. White t-shirts, pink lady jackets, and polka dot neck scarves highlighted the throwback song. 

The Show Choir performed three back-to-back songs in their suits and blue dresses. They really brought up the energy level with songs including “We Need a Little Christmas”, “At Christmas”, and “Five Favorite Holiday Songs”. The dedication of this after-school group really showed through as their impressive singing and dancing talents were put on display. 

The combined choirs all came out onstage to sing “What Christmas Means to Me” and for the grand finale, the Dakota Choir Alumni in the audience were invited back up onstage to sing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” with a solo by Ashton Posner. The emotion was felt throughout the theater as the choir members old and new joined their voices for a heartwarming ending to an amazing show. Mikayla Shadowens who is in Woman’s Varsity, Show Choir, and the Unaccompanied Minors said, “I like performing with my friends and choir is like a second family to me.” This was experienced both on stage and from the audience as the Holiday Spectacular ended with a standing ovation.