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April 20, 2014

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Kindergartners shine at Hanukkah concert

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Heather Cory

Samantha Colwell sings a solo during the Adelson Educational Campus choir’s annual Hanukkah concert on Dec. 15.

Hanukkah concert

Nathalie Blackwell, age 5, waves to someone in the audience during Adelson Educational Campus choir's annual Hanukkah concert on Dec. 15.  Launch slideshow »

Laughing, making faces and waving as friends and family in the audience adjusted the zoom on video recorders, the kindergarten students in the Adelson Educational Campus Choir sat in a row of pint-sized chairs on the school’s stage while the older members of the choir filed in filling the rows behind them.

Performing alongside their older schoolmates in a choir of about 60 students who range in age from 5-17, the youngest members sang the same lyrics and number of songs as their older counterparts during Monday's Hanukkah concert held in the campus auditorium of the new building housing the Milton I. Schwartz Hebrew Academy and Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Middle and Upper Schools.

The show was sponsored by Jewish women’s group Haddasah.

Choir director Susan Lind Vex said in her unusual grouping of student singers the bar is set very high.

“I have the kindergartners learning the same thing as the 11th graders,” she said. “I find that there’s no one who has told them they can’t do it, so they actually can.”

While the kindergartners didn’t participate in any of the solo performances, they sang along to traditional Jewish songs and Hanukkah songs performed in both English and Hebrew.

Concert soloist Alex Baskin, an 11th grader, sang the praises of the younger students, who will all have the opportunity to carry on their school choir career for the remainder of their education.

“These kids have such a future,” he said.

Self-described choir-lifer Sarah Lev, who is in ninth grade, said she has been singing for the school since she was a kindergartner.

During the concert she sang a piece by George Frideric Handel, something she said she has been singing in solo performances since she was in second grade. Lev said she looks forward to seeing the choir grow as time goes on.

Fourth graders who performed solos during the concert alongside seventh graders Leor Rozen and Zeb Katz all agreed that they already love the stage.

“It gives me a chance to really express myself,” said 9-year-old Samantha Colwell.

Fourth graders Almog Aydar-Agron and Maxime Chaltiel both agreed that one of their favorite songs to perform is Jerusalem of Gold, a song the group sang in English and Hebrew in which half the students began singing earlier than the others, creating an echo effect.

“When you think about it, it gives you such a special feeling,” Almog said.

Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or [email protected].

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