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GNS Students Shine in Winter Wonderland Concert

Junior and Middle School choirs

The annual Winter Wonderland concert marks the last week of school before Winter Break, and features all bands and choirs from the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools. 

At around 6:20 on a Tuesday evening, parents, grandparents and friends flooded into the UVic Farquhar Auditorium to hear GNS students, from Grades 2 to 12, wrap up the year of 2023 by singing and playing a selection of festive holiday songs, including Top of the World by the Carpenters, Walking in the Air from The Snowman, All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey, You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch and Sleigh Ride

Many students, especially from Middle School, said they enjoyed the concert and getting the chance to listen to the older bands and choirs perform. 

Senior School concert band

“I really enjoyed listening to all the other bands and choirs play, and I was glad I did not make any mistakes during my pieces,” shared Averi Kuo ’28, the piano accompanist for the Middle School Choir, “Being on the stage and performing the songs were the most stressful parts of the concert, but in the end, I found that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” 

Sophie Nielson ’30, said she loved the concert, “I got a chance to play a solo with some other students from different sections and it was really fun. The most stressful part was getting ready, because it was our first concert and I was really nervous, but I kept telling myself I could do it. My favourite part was the clapping afterwards.” 

“I enjoyed the concert and I think that the songs sounded good in the band,” said Kate McLaren ’29, “The most stressful part for me was playing The Christmas Song in the band because it is really hard. My favourite part was playing Holly Jolly Christmas.” 

While waiting for her turn to perform, Norah Phillips ’29 enjoyed the comfy chairs that “made her feel like an empress with the high backrests of the chair” and the “funny Charlie Brown GIFs they put on when the Junior School was transitioning to their seats.” For her, one of the most stressful parts of the concert was when the announcer called down the Middle School choir too early, and she wasn’t ready yet. 

Chelsea Mak ’25, the first soloist for All I Want For Christmas, shared her thoughts on the concert. 

“I enjoyed the concert a lot. I’m very proud of the choir and it was so rewarding to see us improve. Our songs were amazing, all the parts were balanced and our kickline worked so well!” She added, “The most stressful part for me was my solo at the beginning of All I want for Christmas is You, especially having the pressure of singing the first line of the song. I was still very nervous when we were waiting, but I just told myself to have fun and to enjoy the moment which made me feel much calmer and have more fun. My favourite part was singing All I Want for Christmas Is You. It was such a cool experience to sing, especially a solo in front of so many people, and it was such a great moment for me. I also loved listening to the Junior School choir. Watching them sing and dance was adorable!” 

Senior School choir

“The concert went very well,” agreed Alexis Kuo ’24, one of the piano accompanists for the Senior School choir, “and it was great hearing the well-known tunes mixed in with the jazz and medleys. It was awesome seeing how the Junior School students were bouncing in their chairs to the Middle and Senior School performances. Even though it may have been from just sitting for too long, they still managed to bob in time with the beat. My favourite part was the end, when everybody was laughing off their mistakes and chatting with their friends and family. It really shows the strong sense of community that GNS has, because despite mistakes or blunders, everybody is there to support you.”

We wish everyone a restful and well-deserved Winter Break, and that everyone returns from the holidays refreshed and recharged!