Near full house hears harmony at high school

POULSBO — The North Kitsap High School choral department gathered with friends and family Dec. 13 to sing the songs that ring all season long. And, despite a quick turnaround, the annual event went off without a hitch.

“The kids did a fantastic job learning their music quickly,” said NKHS choir director Sylvia Cauter. “It’s been a bit chaotic with the limited time.”

With the high school’s new class schedule, choir time has been severely reduced Cauter said. However, her choirs were able to master their pieces in the three weeks leading up to the winter concert.

And the dedication paid off as they sang joyfully to an abundant audience Tuesday night.

“This is one of the concerts where we get a packed house because people are craving that holiday cheer,” Cauter said.

Six different groups each offered renditions of Christmas favorites to a festive audience.

NK’s concert choir began the evening with a tune from the 1800s called “Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John,” followed by “Night of Silence.”

The all-female treble choir provided an upper-range interpretation of “The Angel’s Carol” by John Rutter and a jolly jazzy carol called “Santa Baby” highlighted with a solo by Laura Rogalsky.

NK’s other all-girl group, the Northern Lights joined the treble choir in its finale to beckon the crowd with “Catch the Spirit, Share the Magic.”

The co-ed high school jazz choir closed the first half of the concert with a speedy rendering of “Deck the Halls” along with a slow and sweet Austrian carol “Still, Still, Still” then closed their set with a blessing for everyone to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

NKHS choirs weren’t the only ones given the chance to rejoice in the holiday spirit at the concert. The entire audience was invited to sing along to the well-known tunes of “Deck the Halls,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and “Jingle Bells,” which were interspersed in the choir line-up.

“The highlight for me was the Poulsbo Elementary (School) kids,” Cauter said of the seven-year tradition of showcasing the Poulsbo Elementary’s fifth and sixth grade chorus.

The Poulsbo elementary chorus joined in the celebration starting the show back up after intermission. The choir of more than 70 sent out warm thoughts with the tropical tune “Shake the Papaya Down,” during which Nick Stevens and Jonah Stickney provided an island feel with steel drums.

“We are very grateful to the high school for letting us join in,” Poulsbo Elementary director Joanne Erickson said. “A lot of those kids that continued into high school started out it in the fifth and sixth grade chorus.”

Some of those high schoolers as part of the NKHS chamber choir joined in for Poulsbo Elementary’s finale “Turn the World Around.”

The Northern Lights chimed into the night with “Ding, Dong Merrily on High” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and finished with “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”

Then the NK Chamber Choir put the final touches on the evening with “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and the timeless favorite “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

“Overall, I felt good about every choir,” Cauter said. “They all gave strong, solid performances.”

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