Rainey family benefit concert Saturday

By Mindy Kearns - Special to OVP

MASON, W.Va. — A benefit Christmas Concert by the Wahama High School Fine Arts Department and the New Haven Elementary School Music Department is slated for Saturday evening under the stars.

In order to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions surrounding live music performances, the concert will be held at 7 p.m. outside in Bachtel Football Stadium, according to Rachel Reynolds, Wahama Chorus director.

The show will include the New Haven Elementary School Band and the Wahama White Falcon Concert Band, both under the direction of Matthew Bradley; the New Haven Elementary School Choir, under the direction of Kimberly Bond; and piano students and the Wahama Chorus, under the direction of Reynolds. In addition, Susan Parrish’s visual arts students will present an art show, showcasing students from grades seven through twelve.

“Both schools are excited to present this year’s program, as it is the first Christmas concert since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Reynolds said. “Students and directors alike are overjoyed to bring live school music back to the community.”

Tickets will be sold at the door and are $3 per person, with children five years and under admitted for free. All proceeds collected through ticket sales will be donated to the family of the late Kaycee Rainey. Bend Area C.A.R.E., which has always partnered with the annual Christmas concert, will also make a donation to the family, according to Reynolds.

“Ms. Rainey was a member of the New Haven Elementary School staff and passed with COVID earlier this year,” Reynolds said. “She was very near and dear to the hearts of the students who attend there.”

There will be a variety of Christmas music presented at the event. Among selections from the elementary school band will be “Up on the Housetop,” “Jolly Old St. Nick,” and “Jingle Bells.” The high school band will present “Carol of the Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Christmas Tree.”

“Joy to the World” and “Deck the Halls” will be among the elementary school choir selections. The high school chorus will feature a solo, and catchy piece called “Snow Globe.”

The concert will conclude with several collaborative pieces between the high school and elementary school ensembles. “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel,” “Mary Did You Know,” and the traditional “Sleigh Ride” will be performed together.

Free hot chocolate will be provided prior to the start of the show. Reynolds said audience members are encouraged to bring their blankets and stadium seats in order to stay warm. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the main gymnasium.

© 2021, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to OVP

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.