Winter Choir Concert Traditions

Emily Tusek, Staff Writer

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Tradition- it’s the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way. Like many families during the holiday season, Ralston Valley has traditions of its own. Every December for their winter choir concert, the songs “Peace Peace/ Silent Night” and “ Hallelujah Chorus” are sung by all choirs.


  Many outsiders know the songs “Peace Peace/Silent Night” and “Hallelujah Chorus” that are sung every winter concert, but what’s unknown is why. Ms. Talley, one of Ralston Valley’s choir directors, reveals the inside scoop behind these traditions: “What makes it one of a kind is the tradition that surrounds it. We’ve been doing the same closing piece since the school has opened and we always invite all of the alumni to come back and join us, and I think that that kinda coupled with this whole holiday spirit and coming together. People really enjoy and appreciate that aspect of the concert.” Graduate students who were once in Ralston Valley Choir come and join in the closing song (these people are called alumni.) This itself is one example of the importance of traditions. Seeing the evolution of the tradition itself and the people who were once a part of it brings a warm joy.


  Multiple personal stories create memorable traditions. Sam Keller, a senior choral singer in Concert Choir and Shades Of Blue, discusses how meaningful the tradition is to him. “I grew up with the song since my dad is a choir director. They would always sing “Silent Night” at their school’s winter choir concert.”  Keller continues, “There was a fiasco about whether or not they were allowed to sing the song as a public school, and regardless of people wanting to ban it they kept on singing it and it always held a special spot in my heart for that reason, growing up singing that with my dad and my sister.” Feeling privileged to sing “Silent Night” after years of watching close ones singing it is something that connects people even more. Feeling like loved ones are near brings so much joy and comfort, a great way for the holiday spirit to spread.


    Traditions can be around for decades, generations, years or even weeks. Some are newer than others while some are older. Mr. Talley, Ralston Valley’s main choir director, discusses the tradition’s journey. “‘Peace Peace’ I’ve been doing for 25 years and ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ has been 4 years now.” These traditions continue to grow older and expand, and soon our children will be the next generation to keep them going.

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