Nordonia Hills -- The idea of bringing all six of the school district's six buildings together for one big holiday musical concert has blossomed into an all-day event Dec. 8.
Nordonia High School will be the scene of the Nordonia Winter Festival, combining music, art and other activities (see Page 5 for schedule).
"It's a collaborative effort," said Melanie Smith, secretary of the high school's Parent Teacher Student Association. "The district decided to have one big concert so it was decided to tie it in with the annual breakfast with Santa we do."
Superintendent Joe Clark said the idea for the event came out of a conversation he had last year with High School Principal Casey Wright about the multiple Christmas concerts.
"We were talking about our busy Decembers and I thought parents might appreciate doing everything on one day," he said, adding that "it kind of morphed into this as more people got involved."
"I got the music teachers together and they liked it and I let them run with it and I then met with the PTAs and they liked it, so I let them run with it," said Clark. "A lot of people are involved."
Music teacher Trishah Snowden, who chairs the district's music department, said that the one-day event should simplify matters for families with children in musical groups in more than one school, especially if they have out-of-town relatives who want to attend the concerts.
"We as a department are excited to include in one day all the concerts to to make things easier for the families, but also to include other activities in the day," said Snowden. "We're definitely on board with this."
Clark said that not only will the district's various bands, orchestras and choirs be performing, but so will the Nordonia Youth Chorus. It came together in September under the leadership of John Pickering, district middle school and high school choral director, with any fourth- to sixth-grade student living in the district, regardless of whether they attend the schools, eligible to join.
"This will be the debut concert of the Nordonia Youth Chorus," said Clark.
The festival will also include an all-day art show. Lisa Dressig, coordinator of the district's art program, estimated there will be "at least 200 pieces" on display.
"It's a K-12 show," said Dressig. "We're probably going to have 20 to 30 works per building, probably more from the high school."
Dressig said there will be a "good variety of works," including mixed media, collage, painting and photography.
"It's nice to be able to incorporate art and music," she said. "It's something we hope to do more of in the future."
Snowden said that there is a larger purpose to the festival than just convenience.
"The main thing was to create a community event to reach out to the community," she said. "We hope a lot of people come, not just for the music, but to see what's going on."
Clark said he is optimistic the festival will become an annual event in the community.
"I'm excited by this," he said. "The first one will, I think, be the first of many because I think it will be really successful."