Richmond Hill Middle School’s fine arts department hosted its annual holiday concert Dec. 4.
The Wildcat Winds, under the direction of Alisha Bowden, presented four songs including audience favorites “Trepak” from the Nutcracker Suite and technical standout “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The Wildcat Winds is an auditioned group of 55 seventh- and eighth-graders.
The RHMS chorus, under the direction of Tina Butler, is comprised of separate grade-level choirs. The students performed a total of nine selections, including “Carol of the Bells” and “Lift up Your Voice, Alleluia,” in which the chorus members from sixth through eighth grades formed a choir of 222 members. The chorus is an in-school program that students begin in sixth grade, but may join by audition in subsequent years.
For the finale, the Wildcat Winds and chorus joined on “Here Comes Christmas.”
“My favorite part is the combined piece we sing every year,” eighth-grade chorus member Kaleigh Hardee said. “I get chills when the drums and trumpets play, the band and chorus sing and the parents get into the music. It just feels like Christmas.”
Norma Royals, Heather Varinelli and trumpeter Elizabeth Dobson were accompanists.
The visual-arts department displayed haiku watercolor paintings with an Asian winter theme from seventh-grade students. RHMS art teacher Tammy Luke is passionate about bringing art into the everyday lives of her students.
“We studied Japanese culture as a theme in art. In the students’ English classes they were learning about haiku, so I brought those skills into my fine arts classrooms and built upon them,” Luke said. “By having the students write about what they see in their day-to-day routine, we have made direct connections which is what our Common Core Georgia performance standards is all about. The students think they made wonderful art but their learning has gone far beyond just that.”