Norwood students take center stage during Nutcracker'
Chris Rossi/The Gazette
For most middle school choruses, December is a time to prepare for the annual holiday concert. This year at the Bethesda's Norwood School, those rehearsals have taken on a new twist.
The middle school choir at the school was selected by the Kennedy Center and the Joffrey Ballet to accompany the ballet during its recent performances of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," which ran Thursday through Sunday.
"The ballet usually travels with a children's chorus, but was looking for a local group this year," said Christine Saunders, a chorus teacher at Norwood. "The kids think it's going to be a lot of fun and can't believe they have their own warm-up room."
After hearing the choir at an independent school music festival at the National Cathedral in March, a representative from the National Symphony Orchestra recommended Norwood to the Kennedy Center, Saunders said.
While the opportunity to sing in front of thousands at the Kennedy Center was daunting, Saunders said one thing made the rehearsals a bit easier: the students only had to sing one word.
Since the choir was supposed to replicate the sound of snow falling, the group only had to sing "Ah" over and over again during "The Waltz of the Snowflakes."
"It's been a little easier because they don't have any words to memorize," she said. "But there still is a melody they need to follow."
to sing at White House
The fourth and fifth grade choir from Bethesda's Westbrook Elementary School will take to the stage at 8 p.m., Friday, at the Ellipse behind the White House as part of the National Christmas Tree Music Program.
The group will sing for a half-hour, and will sing songs from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," as well as other holiday favorites.
For more information, call Gianne McNeil at Westbrook Elementary at 301-320-6506.
Churchill cheer squad takes top prize
The Winston Churchill High School cheerleading team took first place in the Montgomery County Public Schools' 21st annual cheerleading competition, held Nov. 22 at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring.
The win was the first-ever Division II county championship for the school's squad.
With 377 points, Churchill edged out Richard Montgomery High School (359 points) and Paint Branch High School (332.5 points) to take the crown.
Tiffany Tran-Kiem, a student at Herbert Hoover Middle School in Potomac, made the honor roll for the first marking period this fall. Her name was inadvertently left off the list that ran in The Gazette.
Students graduate from leadership program
Two area students recently graduated from Youth Leadership Montgomery, a program dedicated to developing leadership skills and community awareness.
Talia Lieber, of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, and Hannah Phillips, of Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, were among the 13 graduates in the class of 2008.
School Notes takes a break
The School Notes column will take a winter recess for the next two weeks. Feel free to continue to send in news, notes and congratulations, as the column will resume Jan. 7.
Oneness-Family School hosts open house
The Oneness-Family School, a school for students age 2 through eighth grade in Chevy Chase, will host an open house Thursday for interested parents.
The open house will discuss programs and curriculum and each is scheduled to be an hour and a half long.
The events are for parents only; child visits can be scheduled separately.
Thursday's event is specifically for the school's Little Stars program, which is for students age 2 and 3, but more open houses for the remaining grades will take place throughout January.
For more information or to RSVP for the open houses, call 301-652-7751 or e-mail RSVP@onenessfamily.org.
Oneness-Family School is located at 6701 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase.
School Notes is a weekly column during the school year. Send story ideas by 10 a.m. Thursdays to Bradford Pearson via e-mail at email@example.com, by fax to 301-670-7183 or by mail to 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Photos will also be considered.