Sounds of Christmas filled Salem’s auditorium on Thursday as our Lower School and Upper School performed Christmas concerts for their families and peers. The concerts are the first large in-person events that Salem has hosted this year, and we had a fantastic turnout! The Lower School concert had around 300 attendees and the Upper School concert had under 200 people in attendance.
“In Christ Alone,” the Lower School concert, communicated the Gospel message of hope and salvation through songs and through telling the Christmas story. Following the heartfelt welcoming of Becky Link and the congregational singing of “Joy to the World,” our fourth and fifth grade band showed their skills by opening the concert with two songs, “Code Name B.A.N.D. Ready” and “Jingle Bells.” Each Lower School class participated in the concert, and each song told the true meaning of Christmas. Between each performance, students traced the Christmas story from the Old Testament to the New Testament, ending with the good news that Christmas brings us today- the Gospel message.
The Upper School concert, “Sing We Now of Christmas,” celebrated the joy that the gospel brings us. Middle and High School Handbells, Band, Chorus, and Drama students presented a variety of Christmas classics that remind us of the wonder and excitement of Christmas. The narration, performed by our drama classes, showed how we can easily get distracted during the Christmas season. The real focus of Christmas, though, should be Christ. Sophomore Kelsey Stinette performed a beautiful solo of “Silent Night,” and Mrs. Pope, our new music teacher, performed a solo of “O Holy Night.” The final narration of the concert emphasized that Christmas goes beyond the birth of Christ. The Gospel message is not complete without the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. After a congregational singing of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” Mr. Carson, Head of School, closed the concert with prayer.
The Christmas concerts were organized by Mrs. Alyssa Pope, Ms. Andrea Melton, and Mr. Brian Weer. Mrs. Pope is new to Salem this year and is teaching Elementary Music, Middle and High School Chorus, and Middle and High School Drama. A graduate of Liberty University, Mrs. Pope is also a classically trained opera singer who has performed in several operas in Virginia. Ms. Melton directs our Handbells Choir and teaches piano. With degrees in Elementary Education and Music Education, Ms. Melton has been a crucial part of our music department for the last eight years. She also serves the school as the librarian. Mr. Weer has been our band director since 2005. He also serves as the youth and music pastor at Edgewood Baptist Church and teaches band at ten area schools. We are so grateful for these three remarkable musicians and their impact on Salem’s students!
We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and pray that we will remember that the Gospel is the Good News of Christmas.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11 (ESV).