Vinemont Elementary hosts ‘Christmas Around the World’ 

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Machiela Richard, new music teacher at Vinemont Elementary School, gives a hand signal to a group of performers at Vinemont Elementary’s winter performance, “Christmas Around the World.” (Cayla Grace Murphy)

VINEMONT, Ala. – It was standing room only on Wednesday morning, Dec. 13, in the Vinemont Elementary School gym as parents watched eagerly, filming on smartphones as students from kindergarten to second grade guided their grownups on a musical tour of Christmas traditions and songs from across the globe at the school’s winter performance, “Christmas Around the World.” 

Students stood tall, shoulders back and chests high, to deliver performances of “Patapan” and “I Saw Three Ships a Sailing” along with classics like “Away in a Manger” for the mass of grown-ups packed into the gym. An appearance from Santa brought the finale: a cheerful rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” followed by a standing ovation and bodacious applause.  

Machiela Richard, first-year music teacher at Vinemont Elementary, said the performance was a couple of months in the making, marking one last merry occasion before school let out for Christmas break. Students practiced since early fall to perfect harmonies and learn lines.  

Richard shared that with the event being one of the first student performances open to the public since the COVID-19 pandemic, the pressure was on to deliver a memorable experience not only for the viewers, but also for the student participants. 

“I’ve been really excited about it! We’ve been working hard on this since October, and we’ve also had Veterans Day on top of that. They continue to amaze me with how hard they work every single day,” she said, smiling and waving to students as their parents took photos and congratulated them. Richard said the best song of the revue was “Patapan,” a French Christmas or “Noel” classic. 

“My first graders really got the energy up on ‘Patapan,’ our France song. They have loved it, so it’s become one of my favorites because they get so excited and into it when they sing it!” she laughed. Richard suggested the community keep their eyes on Vinemont’s music program, hinting at a few big things coming in 2024, and throwing out a bid for more performances. 

“Keep watching us, we’re going to do some really cool things in the spring with our older grades. And, any time anyone needs a performance, feel free to call Vinemont Elementary!” she exclaimed. “We definitely want to show off these kids because they’ve worked so hard, and they’re so excited about it.” 

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