The Mark Twain Elementary fifth grade class will join the area fifth graders from seven other schools in singing at the 2021 Silver & Snowflakes Festival of Lights. Shown here are:
Back Row: Alexander, Giancarlo, Aiden, Madden, Pedro, Christian, Vidal and teacher Christina Bourne.
Middle Row: Hailey, Ben, Liam, Meleena, Ayden, Emiliano
Front Row: Elmer, Hidalgo, Colin, Riley
As they have since 1988, Carson’s fifth graders take center stage annually in front of the Nevada State Capitol to usher in the holiday season at the Silver and Snowflakes Festival of Lights.
Singing in the festival has been a fifth-grade “rite of passage” to the sixth grade, although the fifth grade class of 2020 was not able to sing due to Covid restrictions that cancelled the 2020 event.
Over 300 students from the six Carson City elementary schools to include Bordewich-Bray, Empire, Fremont, Fritsch, Mark Twain, and Seeliger, will be participating. Also participating will be students from Bethlehem Lutheran and Saint Teresa of Avila.
The music teachers from the various schools have been teaching the classic holiday songs to students since early November in preparation for the big night on December 3rd.
Fritsch Elementary School Music Teacher Nicole Witkowski sums up the student experience, "Fritsch students look forward to Tree Lighting every year. It's a tradition that their siblings and friends have been a part of in previous years, which builds their excitement even more. It's funny... we fall in the trap of skipping Thanksgiving! Immediately after Halloween, we get started on these songs in class. We make games to memorize the words, and overall, we just have a really fun time together. It's great to see these students share this experience with each other. Above all else, it teaches these students the value of community and giving back to our town."
Not only will the student singers delight family, friends, neighbors, and the hundreds who come out to be thrilled by this hometown show, they also will be singing for Governor Steve Sisolak and First Lady Kathy Sisolak and Mayor Lori Bagwell and her husband Jim Bagwell. The Governor and the First Lady will assist Santa in lighting the newly decorated downtown.
Christina Bourne, Music Educator at Mark Twain Elementary, has coordinated the musical portion of the festival for years and states, "The annual tree lighting is one of my favorite events of the year. At Mark Twain, the students buzz with excitement as we rehearse each song. We appreciate everyone involved in keeping this Carson City tradition alive, and we look forward to singing for our community this year!"
This is the first festival for General Music Specialist Jonathan Chang of Fremont Elementary who writes, “I am elated to share my very first Christmas Tree Lighting with my 5th graders! The students continue to grow as musicians and a family, and I'm honored to share it with them!"
A special Christmas shout-out to the dedicated music teachers who keep the tradition of Christmas carols alive:
Natalee Medel- Bethlehem Lutheran
Alan Catron- Bordewich Elementary
Cassidy Robinson- Empire Elementary
Jonathan Chang- Fremont Elementary
Nicole Witkowski- Fritsch Elementary
Christina Bourne-Mark Twain Elementary
Kathy Roide- Saint Teresa of Avila School
Dom Van Orman- Seeliger Elementary
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