Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, General

Free Upcoming CMS Holiday Concerts to Help in Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

When the remnants of Hurricane Irene slammed into Vermont last year, every school in the district stepped up to help in the relief efforts—and it didn’t stop there; community members from every corner of Colchester gave what they could to help our fellow Vermonters in need rebuild and recover.

This year, millions of people were handed the challenges brought by Hurricane Sandy … and many are still reeling from the effects of the destruction. So now, as it did with Hurricane Irene, Colchester Middle School is once again getting creative in offering help. On Wednesday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the community theater at Colchester High School, the CMS choruses will host its holiday concert.

The sixth-grade choir will perform a three-minute version of “The Nutcracker”—a comical take on how fast the ballerinas dance. They will also perform “Two French Noels” in French, a Jazz piece entitled “Santa Boogie,” and a song that celebrates all faiths at this holiday season entitled “In December.” The seventh- and eighth-grade choir will perform two difficult pieces: an original composition by Ruth Gray Morris featuring three-part harmony entitled “Winter Has Come” and a fanfare version of “We Three Kings.” They will also perform a pop piece featured by “Glee” entitled “Extraordinary Merry Christmas.” The Select Choir—an extracurricular group for which students must audition—will perform select Hanukkah pieces entitled “Bidi Bom” and “Light the Candle,” ending with the traditional “Carol of the Bells.” More than 150 dedicated CMS students participate in a chorus this year—and there would be more if rehearsal space permitted it. “The students are committed and work hard to learn how to sing with proper technique and to just enjoy themselves,” said Choral Activities instructor Bridgette Tozzi.

And on Thursday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Colchester Middle School gymnasium, the CMS band will host its holiday concert. In addition to other pieces to be performed at the upcoming concert, the sixth grade band will perform “Suite for St. Nick” featuring many different sections of the band, as well as “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.” The seventh- and eight-grade band will perform tricky pieces from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” featuring the upper woodwinds, low brass and woodwinds, and percussion sections. CMS’s extracurricular jazz band will play a jazzy rendition of “Dashing Through the Snow” and “Wipe Out,” originally by the Surfaris.

Both concerts are free and open to the public, and donation jars for the American Red Cross Sandy Relief Effort will be available so that community members will have the opportunity to donate to the relief efforts while enjoying holiday music if they would like to do so.

CMS’s program is unique because it involves students involved at all ability levels; some are new to music performance, while others have taken private lessons for years.

“I am most proud of the growth in our program,” said Instrumental Activities instructor Emily Desautels. “We have over forty students in sixth-grade band and fifty-five students in the seventh- and eighth-grade band; three years ago, we had less than thirty in the seventh- and eighth-grade band. It says a lot about our students’ commitment to succeeding in a performing ensemble and to the quality of the program district-wide.”

If you would like more information, please contact CMS’s music department’s Instrumental Activities instructor Emily Desautels ( or Choral Activities instructor Bridgette Tozzi (

Remember that Colchester Middle School’s calendar of events can be found on the school’s website, and CMS publishes a weekly Friday Focus with news and updates, as well. Colchester School District also posts a district-wide calendar of events, so be sure to check there often, too!

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