Hilltop second-graders travel around the world

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Hilltop Elementary School second-grade students performed the school’s annual Holidays Around the World program under the direction of Hilltop music director Stephanie Summers on Dec. 19.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance during Hilltop Elementary School’s second-grade Holidays Around the World program on Dec. 19.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Hilltop Elementary School second-grade students donned sombreros during the singing of “The Pinata Song” at the school’s annual Holidays Around the World program on Dec. 19.

By ABBY SLANKER

neighbors@vindy.com

Second-grade students at Hilltop Elementary School took their audience of family, friends and fellow Hilltoppers on a trip around the world during the school’s annual Holidays Around the World program Dec. 19. The students performed the show three times throughout the day.

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

“Welcome parents, grandparents and friends and families to our second graders’ Holidays Around the World program. They have worked very hard on preparing this program for you. They had a shortened time frame this year, so they practiced and put in a lot of hard work to get it ready on time. Thank you to Ms. Summers and our second-grade teachers for all their hard work, too. Please enjoy our second-grade Holidays Around the World Program,” 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.“ Throughout the program, students performed the songs “Festivals of Light,” arranged by Lauren Mayer, “O Christmas Tree,” of Germany, sixteenth century Welsh melody “Deck the Halls,” “The Pinata Song,” of Mexico, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” arranged by J. Fred Coots, of United States, “Up on the Housetop/Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” of United States, “O Hanukkah,” of Israel and 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 “The Pinata Song” that children of Mexico celebrate by playing a game with the prizes being candy and toys 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.”

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