Hilltoppers travel around the world

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.A second-grade Hilltop Elementary School student donned a sombrero during the singing of “The Pinata Song” at the school’s annual Holidays Around the World program on Dec. 20.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Hilltop Elementary School second-grade students performed “Up on the Housetop/Jolly Old St. Nicholas” during the school’s annual Holidays Around the World program on Dec. 20.

By ABBY SLANKER

neighbors@vindy.com

Hilltop Elementary School second-grade students took their audience of family, friends and fellow students on a holiday trip around the world during the school’s annual Holidays Around the World program on Dec. 20. The students performed the show three times throughout the day.

The students, under the direction of Stephanie Summers, Hilltop music teacher and accompanied by Courtney Larson on the piano, performed the holiday program which included songs representing several countries. Musical arrangements were by Paul and Teresa Jennings.

“Welcome to our second graders’ Holidays Around the World program. They have put a lot of hard work into preparing for this show. Our students and second grade staff have done a great job and we hope you enjoy,” said Joe Maroni, Hilltop Elementary School principal as he welcomed the crowd.

The students entered the multi-purpose room with a processional of “Joy to the World” and once the students were on stage, asked audience members to stand and recite the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

Throughout the program, students performed the songs “Festival of Lights,” arranged by Lauren Mayer; “O Christmas Tree,” of Germany; “Deck the Halls,” of Great Britain; “The Pinata Song,” of Mexico; “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” arranged by J. Fred Coots, of the United States; “Up on the Housetop/Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” of the United States; “O Hanukkah,” of Israel and the Jewish Nation, and “Auld Lang Syne,” arranged by Donnelly/Strid.

Each song represented its country of origin and in between numbers, students read the holiday traditions of the countries highlighted. For example, before singing “O Christmas Tree,” a student noted Germany was the first country to have the Christmas tree and before singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” a student noted that it is a Christmas Eve tradition that children wait for the arrival of Santa Claus.

A student also noted, before the performance of “Up on the Housetop/Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” that the U.S. has the most customs and beliefs because the country is made up of people from all over the world and before singing “O Hanukkah,” a student explained that Hanukkah is an eight-night celebration which includes traditional foods and small gifts.

To close the program, the second-graders sang “Around the World.”

“Thank you all so much for coming out today and we hope you enjoyed our show. Have a safe and happy holiday season,” Summers said.

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