Our Past | 1948: Christmas program showcases music from students of all ages

Selected by Karen Larsen

Waterville School’s Christmas program is a long-standing tradition, as can be seen from this article from the Dec. 23, 1948 edition of the Waterville Empire-Press. That year’s Christmas program at Waterville School was held Dec. 19.


School Presents Christmas Program

Miss Dorothy Bunch, music director at the Waterville public school, presented a program of Christmas music last Tuesday evening to members of the P.T.A. and friends.

Every child in the school system had a part in the performance.

The program opened with the first and second grades’ chorus singing some children’s Christmas songs: “When Santa Rides,” “Santa Claus is Coming,” and “Silent Night.” Marsha Riedasch sang “Away in a Manger.” Mary Kay Wilson recited the poem, “Don’t Open ‘Till Christmas Day.” The third, fourth and fifth grade chorus sang two Christmas carols: “Carol of the Shepherds” and “Deck the Halls.” Donald Deasey recited the poem “The Christmas Stocking.” “Joy to the World” and “Santa Claus is Coming,” sung by the sixth, seventh and eighth grade chorus, completed the grade school portion of the program. Miss Bunch accompanied all grade choruses.

Following a short intermission, the instrumental ensemble, directed by Miss Bunch, played a medley of Christmas carols that she arranged. This ensemble is composed of both grade school and high school students.

The high school girls’ sextette sang “Vigiles et Sancti” and “Shepherds Awake.” The high school male quartet sang “Jesus Bambino” and “Jingle Bells.” Three high school students played instrumental solos. George Juergens played a saxophone arrangement of “The Green Cathedral” by Hahn. Bruce Benthin played Rubenstein’s “Melody” as a trumpet solo. Mary Ann Jenkin played a piano solo: Chopin’s “Waltz in A-flat.” The high school mixed chorus, under Miss Bunch’s direction, closed the program with a group of fine songs: “Gloria Patri” by Palestrina; “Cherubim Song” by Bortniansky; “Dear Land of Home” by Sibelius; “The Sleigh” by Kountz; and “The Birthday of a King” by Neidlinger, in which Carl Ruud sang the baritone solo.

A large number of parents filled the auditorium and expressed their appreciation of the music by enthusiastic applause.