Junior Girls Follow the Star in Nativity Celebration
Tuesday, 09 December 2014
The Junior Girls invited their parents and grandparents to join them in the Girls’ Division Great Hall for ‘Following the Star’, this year’s Nativity Celebration. The traditional Christmas story was told through music, narration and poetry by the girls themselves.
The performance opened with a beautiful rendition of ‘Walking in the Air’ from a group of flautists. As they played, the rest of the girls entered the Great Hall and took their seats. One of the girls then welcomed the audience with these words: “The Christmas Story is age old, spanning over two millennia. Its message is one of hope and peace. Its message still holds relevance today for Christmas is a season of peace. Joy to the world for Christmas has come!”
A variety of songs, narration and short acted scenes followed, each one describing a different part of the familiar tale. Particularly entertaining was the entrance of Caesar to demand a census, accompanied by his soldiers and drum-beating from the Junior Girls’ percussionists.
More songs and poems followed, describing Mary and Joseph’s journey and their arrival in busy Bethlehem. The girls playing innkeepers performed particularly well, singing solos in ‘There’s No Room’, as did Mary and Joseph in their duet ‘In My Arms’.
The Christmas Story continued with a visit from the Shepherds; the girls taking up this part recited a poem, ‘Speeches of the Shepherds’ about the simple gifts they brought to the manger.
Next the girls performed ‘King Herod’s Song’ – another highly entertaining piece with a jazzy tone that the girls clearly enjoyed a great deal! The girl playing King Herod did an excellent job with this villainous character, as did the Roman Soldiers acting as malicious henchmen.
Finally, the Wise Men proceeded into the Great Hall with their camels and attendants, led by the sparking star! The girls sang about them following the star, and followed this with the ‘Kings’ Song’, during which the girls carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh sang the chorus as a solo in turn.
The final pieces in the performance offered a reminder of the international nature of Christmas. The lights went down and the girls held candles while two girls sang ‘Silent Night’ in French as a duet; they were then joined by the rest of the girls for a Spanish rendition, finally followed by the English version. A closing prayer, reminding everyone that Christmas is not just for merry-making but also for the contemplation of eternal things, was followed by the final song: ‘Joy to the World / Felicidad al Mundo’ – a rousing and upbeat version of the classic carol, sung in both Spanish and English.
All of the girls did an excellent job, joining in with the singing and actions throughout. The flautists and percussion ensemble provided additional accompaniment to some of the songs during the show, adding another layer to the girls’ performance. The girls with specific parts to play or narration to remember did a really good job, and together, the Junior Girls made ‘Following the Star’ an entertaining Nativity Celebration.
One parent commented, “It is always good to see the girls so enthusiastic and singing their hearts out! I know the teachers put in a lot of hard work to make such a wonderful afternoon possible.”
Another said, “Just to say a huge thank you and congratulations for producing another wonderful Christmas concert. I always look forward to the concert, more so now both daughters are at Hesketh House. All the girls clearly worked so hard to put on a very enjoyable evening for us all.”
A final comment received the morning after the performance read, “This was our first experience of the Carol Service - our daughter joined Year 5 in September. We thought it was simply wonderful.
“What a credit to you, your team and to each and every girl. I thought the quality and the professionalism of the entire event was second to none. I spent much of the evening with tears in my eyes.
“You should all be incredibly proud.”