Building Confidence via Performing Arts

“Butterflies in the tummy?” This was the principal’s question as he walked around the waiting rooms 10 minutes before the start of the Christmas concerts. The children’s replies were; “No butterflies at all”; “Just a little”, and only a sprinkling of “Yes”. The children were “oozing” with confidence. So the principal’s own “butterflies in the tummy” fluttered away. He knew that the shows would be great, and as he walked into the hall for the welcome address, he heard the young actors and actresses exclaim, “Let’s break a leg!”

The first concert starring the regular homeroom classes was on Friday, December 12. The concert opened with a short “generic” prayer in Hawaiian and English led by Nagomi Ebine, a pre-first grade girl.  The Oyako (mother and child class) then presented a cute opening number – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with original Christmas lyrics and Winter Wonderland. This was followed by a short musical, a Christmas version of the popular children’s story, “The Gingerbread Man”. It had a happy ending with Santa Claus hiding the Gingerbread Man from the characters chasing and wanting to eat him – a hungry reindeer and groups of carollers. Santa Claus baked gingerbread man cookies that he shared with everyone thus concluding the story with everyone filled with the Christmas spirit of sharing and joy.

Saturday School classes and after school students performed the second Christmas concert a week later before an SRO audience. It was a two-part concert, the first part consisting of group performances: “Let It Go” from the movie, Frozen, Santa Is His Name O, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock II, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and Deck the Halls. The performances had the parents and guests singing along, clapping and swaying, and some mothers of the youngest children misty-eyed with joy.

The highlight of the concert was a full musical, “The First Christmas”, telling about the story of how Christmas started some 2,014 years ago. The narrator was, Haruka Kurimoto, a Kailua kindergarten graduate who attends the school’s Saturday school and after school programs. A children’s choir complemented the beautiful acting of the main cast – Mary, Joseph, Angel, innkeepers, shepherds and the three kings. The grand finale was the community singing of John Lennon’s “So This Is Christmas”, a message of JOY, LOVE and PEACE.