Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Biggest Christmas Party Yet!

Saturday, December 10th, marked the 5th year in a row The Bluegrass Shack has hosted its annual Student Christmas Party.  This year was the largest yet!  I think better weather helped us out this year.  The past two years were still great, but slightly less attendance due to snow and freezing rain.

We had around 200 people in attendance at the party.  Everyone brought food to share, so there was a great selection to choose from!  Nick was kind enough to provide all the soda and water again this year, and St. Agatha Parish allowed us to use their multi-purpose room (cafeteria) again this year.  We are so blessed by the kindness of others!  I personally sampled home-made vegetable soup, rice and broccoli casserole, mashed potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, honey-baked ham, cheese and crackers, a gingerbread cookie with cream cheese frosting, and a chocolate cupcake!  I know, I know....It sounds like I ate a ton.  However, I am an expert at potlucks and buffets.  I know how to make the most of it without being miserable afterwards.  I take only a little portion of many things so that I can try out a lot!  And it was all good!

Santa came early in the evening -- I'd say around 7:00 p.m.  He brought lots of smiles to all!  He handed out candy canes, suckers and a few sticks!  I can't wait to get the pictures from Marvin to post.

We started off the evening's celebration by handing out attendance prizes.  This continued throughout the evening until practically everyone present received an attendance prize of some sort.  Our huge stocking winners (for 12 and under) went to Anna and Jarrett.  Lucky Jarrett!  Somehow, he has managed to win the giant stocking two years in a row!  The winner of the gingerbread house was Denise.  Congratulations to Denise and Marvin! 

The entertainment for the evening was provided by Bluegrass Shack students and all present.  We started off with a flute quartet.  My student, Pat, selected the pieces she wanted to perform, and I found two other students that also played flute who were willing to join us.  Paige, Pat, Amelia and I played Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Here Comes Santa Claus, Angels We Have Heard on High and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

I had a surprise trio of young girls that wanted to sing for everyone.  This trio was all under 10 years old and consisted of Joy, Isabella and Isabelle.  They sang Away in a Manger for everyone and did a super job!  I think everyone present loved it!

Next up came the fiddle duets that we play every year.  I have a great book of fiddle duets that we use every year because the arrangements are not too complicated and the harmony parts are the best I've ever heard.  Joy and I played the harmony parts, while all the other students played the melody.  This is something that is never practiced as a group, but only as individuals during regular lessons.  It always works out amazingly well considering there is no conductor and we've never practiced together before.  We had quite a few fiddle players this year:  Earl, Tim, Colton, Joy, Angela, Nathanael, Emily W., Emily C., Alex, Pat, Susan, Aubrie, Liz and me.  I hope I didn't leave anyone out!

After the fiddle duets, we had a sing-along of Christmas carols.  Lyrics and chords were passed out to everyone, and then we all sang a number of Christmas tunes together.  I love this part!  It is so nice to hear everyone's voices all together!

Finally, the evening was ended with a Virginia Reel.  This year, we had 16 couples that participated.  Many thanks to Ron and Lucas for helping out with this!  Ron played guitar for my fiddle, and Lucas did all the calling.  We had all ages from 5 years old to almost 80 years old partcipating.  Having to play for 20 minutes solid doesn't seem nearly so long when I can watch the fun that everyone is having!

I'll be getting the pictures back from Marvin very soon, so be on the look-out for them!  Many thanks to everyone for coming.  I hope you all had as good a time as I did!

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