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Winter Festival: A Favorite CRS Tradition

December 20, 2023

On December 15, we welcomed parents, caregivers, alumni, and community members to join us for a favorite Charles River School tradition: Winter Festival! This special assembly includes performances from every classroom, and our teachers, specialists, and students spend a great deal of time preparing their acts.  Many of the performances are tied to classroom curriculum. The festival was filled with music, dancing, and so much to celebrate.  

Performances shared:

  • The Water Is Wide (Handbells) Grade 8
    Traditional, arranged by B. Burroughs

For Winter MultiArts, Grade 8 students learn to play the handbells. A complex musical puzzle that only becomes music once all the pieces are put together in time, handbells have been a tradition at Winter Festival for decades.

  • Peace Like a River (Handbells) Grade 8
    Traditional, arranged by T. Waldrop
  • El Barco Chiquitito PreK/K
    Traditional Latin American

For their “Water, Water, Everywhere” theme, PreK/K learned about the importance of water and the use of boats in different cultures. They then created their own boats using recycled materials. The song PreK/K performED, which translates to “The Itty Bitty Boat,” is a traditional song in Latin America, and many Latin American countries have their own versions of it. 

  • A Tarantella Dance Grade 3
    Danced to Tarantella Napoletana, by Jersey Guitar Mafia

Third graders focus on studying the culture and traditions of communities along the Silk Routes, beginning in Venice, Italy. Dance is central to many cultures and Italy is no different. The Tarantella is a traditional Italian folk dance with a long and storied history. Known as the “Dance of the Spider”, it has evolved from a ritual dance to a fun, traditional, and family friendly one that is still performed today. 

  • Can’t Stop the Feeling (A Cappella) Grade 7
    By J. Timberlake, arranged by P. Lu

For Winter MultiArts, Grade 7 students take part in an A Cappella group. Using only their voices, the singers provide all of the intricate harmonies and chord progressions that are usually created using instrumentation like bass, drums and guitars. 

  • The Winter Tree Coast
    Poem by D. Florian, set to music by R.E. Rivera

In the Coast (Grades 1 / 2), the class sings a song or reads a poem every morning together. It helps Coasters become better readers and singers, and often the content connects to classroom curriculum. Señora Rivera turned one of these poems into a piece of music and then translated the verse into Spanish. By singing the poem in two languages, the students get to experience the same concept in both languages.

  • Ancient Greece and the Modern Age Grade 4
    By M. Moellering

Continuing their thematic study of Greek mythology, language and culture, Grade 4 students celebrate the gifts that the ancient Greeks gave to our modern age. We have a lot to thank them for! Students chose between representing an “Ancient Greek” or a “Modern Ager,” and then collaborated as a class to create the choreography.

  • Pon, Pon, Pon /El Buen Panadero Highlands
    Two traditional chants adapted by R.E. Rivera

The Highlands (grades 1 / 2)  proudly presented a musical interpretation of their Spanish and music (aka música) teacher’s old family recipe – Rosquitas de Canela y Naranja (little cookies with orange and cinnamon). Señora Rivera came to them with this recipe and a problem – Which fat is used in it: butter, oil, or shortening? Studying how fats work in baking and using their growing expertise as scientists, Highlanders broke up into their science groups and followed the Scientific Method – making the recipe three different ways. The results were delicious (and according to Señora Rivera, the best fat turned out to be oil!).

  • In Summer Grade 6
    By K. Anderson Lopez and R. Lopez, from “Frozen”

In music class, sixth graders have begun to prepare for their show “6th and Broadway,” a musical theater review they will showcase for the CRS community in March. For Winter Festival, they shared a humorous song sung by a snowman who dreams of summertime.

  • The Flamborough Sword Dance Grade 5
    Choreographed by Emily Williams from The Revels

A long-standing tradition at CRS, the Sword Dance comes from the tradition of Morris Dancing, which is a form of English folk dance.

  • Sing-a-long of Let it Snow!

Faculty and alumni were invited to the stage to sing “Let It Snow!”