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Christmas at Chantilly High

Tiny Tots, Holiday Spectacular Shows, Dec. 12-14.

Almost the entire Performing Arts Department of Chantilly High — some 300 students — will entertain during the school's two, upcoming productions for the holidays.

The annual Tiny Tots concert and show is Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 9:15, 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. in the school auditorium. (Snow date, Dec. 14). And the Holiday Spectacular for families is Thursday-Friday, Dec. 13-14, at 7 p.m., also in the auditorium.

"THESE PROGRAMS are almost an institution here at Chantilly because they've been a big part of our community for so very long," said Choral Director Glenn Cockrell. "The students change, sometimes the songs change — but people keep coming back every year."

Tiny Tots tickets are $5; call Lynn Lull at 703-786-1126 or e-mail her at LRLull@cox.net. Or download a reservation form at www.chantillychoral.org. Tickets for the longer, Holiday Spectacular are $8; to order in advance, contact Donna McBride at 703-222-9540 or at mcb88@cox.net.

The entertainers represent the Advanced Mass Choir, Symphonic and Jazz Bands, String Orchestra and Theater Department. And their wide variety of material is sure to strike a harmonious chord with the audience.

"We'll be performing some of our standards that people have come to expect from us over the years," said Cockrell. "And we'll revive one of our Disney favorites, 'The Little Mermaid,' in honor of it opening on Broadway, this year."

Cockrell will narrate the ever-popular, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," while choral students sing and theater students act out the story. Senior Ray Diaz will portray the Grinch. Also slated is a lively rendition of "'Twas the Night before Christmas."

SONGS FROM "The Little Mermaid" will include "Under the Sea," "Part of Your World" and "Kiss the Girl." There'll also be a medley of selections from "The Nutcracker Suite," plus several of its cultural dances and the famed "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy." And, of course, seasonal favorites such as "Sleigh Ride," plus "Songs of Israel," will also be performed.

Geared for preschoolers, the Tiny Tots show is just 35-40 minutes. But the longer Holiday Spectacular contains all the elements of the Tiny Tots program with additional songs for families.

So on Dec. 13-14, attendees will be treated to numbers including "Christmastime is Here" from "A Charlie Brown Christmas," the "Hallelujah Chorus" from "Handel's Messiah," and "Russian Christmas Music" — which has become a standard with Chantilly's Concert Choirs and Symphonic Band.

"It's nice because we work independently on all our parts," said Cockrell. "Then we bring it together for two rehearsals prior to the show." And by showtime, all the performances have jelled and everyone's ready to take the stage.

Cockrell said audiences eagerly look forward to both the Tiny Tots and Holiday Spectacular shows each year. However, he explained, it's not just the holiday season that brings them back, but "the quality of the production and the fun they have seeing it. And we really appreciate the opportunity to give to our community in this way."