By Molly Seales
On Friday morning, December 18, the students of Riverdale Academy presented the musical “An All-American Christmas” for their friends and family. They practiced hard for a couple of weeks before the presentation and did a wonderful presentation. Principal and former music teacher Danny Rester led the students as they sang about American Christmas traditions and how they came to be.
The program began as the 3rd and 4th graders sang, “An All-American Christmas,” with narration by Trevor Bell, Hasty Davis, Porter Eaves, Brylee Halbmaier, Ellie Reese Hillman, and William McCoy. Next the 7th and 8th graders sang “Roots.” Then the 5th and 6th graders sang, “We Gather Together,” with narration by Madalynn Baxley, Kenna Coleman, Brooklyn Giddings, Jackson Hillman, Kaden McNeely, Ryder Shaver, and Isabella Stephens. The 5th and 6th graders also sang, “Over the River,” with narration by Cannon Breedlove and Kaleigh Pickett.
After this, Mr. Rester’s 10th Grade religion class presented a Christmas Eve service featuring the lighting of the advent candles. 3rd grade teacher Brittney Mancil gave the invocation before they began. Students participating in this were Ben Almond, Emma Clemons, Jessie Kate Cobb, Luke Greer, Emily Kirkland, Mason Murray, Tyler Parker, Molly Seales, and James Wagoner. During the Christmas Eve service, students and guests sang “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Away in a Manger,” “The First Noel,” and “Joy to the World.”
After the Christmas Eve service, there was a narration entitled “Babe of Bethlehem.” Readers were Darcey Bohannon, Destiney Bohannon, Preston Eaves, Ally Kate Hillman, Krista Mancil, Lexi Mancil, Alaina Boyd, Hanna Catherine Huddleston, Mary Claire Jones, Ayla Knotts, Makayla Pickett, and Gracie Stephens. After the narration, the 1st and 2nd graders sang “We Three Kings” and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”
As students neared the end of the program, a “Santa Underscore” was played and accompanied by narration from Shirley Boyd, Kacie Harper, Jadyn King, and Matthew Seales. PreK and Kindergarten wowed the crowd as they sang (and a couple danced) to “Must Be Santa.” For the finale, students in grades PreK-8th sang “Yankee Doodle Santa,” and, following a narration by Brennan Edie, also sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
I think that everyone in attendance really enjoyed the program. Afterwards, students were dismissed to their class Christmas parties and then went home to begin their much- anticipated Christmas Break. The teachers then enjoyed a pot luck luncheon where they revealed their Secret Santa’s. On behalf of everyone at Riverdale Academy, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and blessed year in 2021. Remember-Jesus is the Reason for the Season!