Merry musical Christmas at EISD
Barbara Qualls, Superintendent of Ennis ISD
A couple of weeks ago, I urged readers to enjoy some of the performances of EISD musicians and I’m happy to report that attendance has been great at the Christmas programs that have already occurred. There are still some opportunities left for this week, though, and I urge you to take advantage of excellent free entertainment as well as the ‘feel good’ that comes when you support the effort of a kid. Another free by-product is that your own Christmas spirit will be lifted. So, if you’re harboring an inner Scrooge, let our young musicians help chase him away!
Although I’m writing before the fact and you’ll be reading after the fact, I hope that many people enjoyed the Ennis High School band concert on Monday evening. The EHS band is only a few weeks out of football season, which means a rapid transition to indoor playing. Some folks may not completely understand that or more likely, just don’t think about it. For months, the musicians concentrate on projection, volume and coordinating feet, hands, mouth in tandem, plus memorizing music and show drill. That set of skills is quite a bit different from what is needed in a sit-down concert group. While our kids are very good at both indoor and outdoor performance, the transition does take some time and the distance between the last football game and the Christmas concert is barely enough time to make it.
The Miller and Lummus Intermediate Schools will each present their choir programs on their respective campuses on Monday evening, too. The Intermediate choirs have prepared excellent programs and we hope all parents and other concert-goers are as pleased with the students’ performances as we are. Tuesday evening is another opportunity for multiple performances. The Houston Elementary program will be held at San Jacinto Auditorium at 7:00 and the Junior High Band concert will take place at the same time at the HS Auditorium. On Thursday at 7:00, the High School and Junior High choirs will sing a variety of Christmas music in their annual holiday concert.
It would be nice if the various performances could be scattered out so that it would be easier to attend them all, but with literally hundreds of young performers, there isn’t a place big enough or with enough parking for parents and others. While we are fortunate to have two auditoriums and a cafetorium at each campus, there is still a need for performing venues. San Jacinto auditorium has had a long and storied life, having served as home to decades of Ennis performers, both in Ennis ISD as well as various performing groups in the larger community. In the 1970s and later, San Jacinto was considered cutting-edge, with its electronic system, generous stage, warm-up and dressing facilities, and outstandingly good acoustics.
Over the last several years, though, San Jacinto’s age has begun to show. We at EISD recognize that there are repair and upkeep items that need attention and plans are underway to begin some needed work on this important structure that represents so many moments of happy musical history for so many people.
Another EISD group will be performing this week: The Singing Ladies of EISD.
Until a flashier name is found, this one will have to do. All the EISD music teachers (plus me) will sing a double quartet of holiday repertoire at the December meeting of the EISD Board of Trustees, along with the EHS/JH choirs and then again at the Noon Lions meeting on Wednesday, with the Intermediate Choirs. This season, there’s plenty of musical Christmas cheer in EISD. Join us for one or all these shows.