Pace had his first Christmas concert (actually “concerts” – see #5 below) today. That got me thinking about the ways they’ve changed since I was a kid.
[Edit: Someone pointed out many of the differences are as much about rural vs. urban approaches as generational which is probably true.]
- First off, when I was a kid, we actually *had* Christmas concerts. Pace had a “Holiday Celebration” or some such word mush.
- Pace’s had a whole lot more educational content than I remember my own long-ago Christmas concerts having. With a theme of “Christmas Around The World”, we got narrations about Christmas traditions for Jewish people, Africans, Germans, Chinese and maybe 1-2 other cultures/countries. Mine might have had an abridged version of “The Night Before Christmas” or the story of “The Babe in the Manger” (definitely *not* educational!).
- Not a single Christmas carol, not even a secular one, or even one that mentioned Santa. (I mean, wouldn’t “Let It Snow” work?). They did, however, have a song about how German people put pickles in their Christmas Trees which almost made up for it.
- All classes from K-8 were on the stage at the same time for the whole half hour production. Back in my day, the classes got marched up from the front rows of the school gym (uphill both ways through six feet of snow of course!), one at a time, to do their song.
- They do two performances in the city – one in the afternoon and one in the early evening. My memory is that we only did an afternoon concert when I was a kid but I may be mis-remembering that.
Extra ideas after discussing with a co-worker who spent many years in a small town school library:
- Length. Pace’s was half an hour from start to finish. Small town Christmas concerts would go on for at least an hour and often a couple hours.
- They played “O Canada” as part of the program (and sometimes even “God Save the Queen”) in small town Christmas concerts.
- In Regina, they had a single lapel mic the kids on stage had to pass back and forth when doing their narration. In a small town, my memory was that kids would have to go up to a podium with a handheld mic on it at the side of the stage.