Stars tell the Christmas story

Published 10:37 am Thursday, December 16, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - There was more to the St. Mary's School Christmas Program than the singing and performing of students from all grade levels Tuesday night.
The Christmas musical, "Once Upon a Starry Night," which was performed by kindergarteners, first, second, and third graders, was actually the culmination of a five week curriculum program taught by the students' teachers as well as K-3 Music Teacher Dr. Sue Bryant.
The "Once Upon a Starry Night" package which Bryant ordered included a director's book for the musical, as well as theology lessons for the younger students, teaching them the importance of the Nativity and other events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.
The musical tells the story of Christ's birth from the perspective of the stars which lead the characters in the story to the manger where Mary and Joseph ha their child.
Bryant, who has been directing the winter program for five years, said all the costumes in the musical were made by volunteer parents, and that the show is a lesson in itself for the children.
Before the K-3 students took the stage for their performance, the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classes performed a holiday concert for the friends and family in attendance in the gymnasium of the school.
The older children, accompanied by music teacher Cindy Antos on the piano, sang selections from "The Sound of Music" and other holiday songs.
After the Christmas Program, several people in attendance braved the bitter cold to witness the lighting of the Lights of St. Mary's.
For a small donation, individuals or families could buy lights on the tree in front of the school in honor or memory of anyone they saw fit.
Money collected from donations for this year's Lights of St. Mary's will be used to purchase art supplies for the school art department.
Dawn Lamson, who coordinated the event, said the school has been holding the fund raiser for about four to five years.