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St. Henry's Christmas program will be unique experience for students

Joseph is played by Sam Muer. Mary, holding baby Jesus, is played by Breanna Zepper.1 / 2
God played by Ben LaFond.2 / 2

Staff and students of St. Henry's Area School are preparing for their annual Christmas program.

As in past years, the program centers around the story of Christ's birth. This year promises to be a unique approach to telling the story.

The public is invited to attend the performances free of charge at St. Henry's Church in Perham. The performances are: Wed., Dec. 10, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The title of this year's program is "Waiting for Love."

"This year we are performing a cantata, which is a vocal piece for chorus and soloists with little use of staging. We will use some costuming and staging along with the music to enhance the story, but also because that is half the fun of the program," said director Lisa Silbernagel.

When asked why she picked something you would associate with older students, she said, "this is a brand new piece of music and challenge is good."

This program starts with the piece "Adam's Apple" and ends with "Glory to the Lamb." "There are many of the traditional characters that you would find in a sacred Christmas program, but there will also be some rather unusual ones as well," said Silbernagel.

St. Henry's Area School has a long tradition of presenting Christmas programs.

Principal Jason Smith says, "We are truly blessed by being able to spread the true message of Christmas with our community. There is something about listening to the Christmas story being told or sung by children. We feel that these opportunities lead to the student's later desire to take on leadership roles in middle and high school in the areas of speech, music, and mock trial," said Smith.

Many students have the opportunity to sing solos and the parts are almost always memorized. Students are given the opportunity to try out for the part they wish to play. Staff, parents and grandparents, and other volunteers help sew and design costumes.