Holiday village brings winter cheer to campus

Junior+Alexandra+King+builds+her+gingerbread+house.

Cami Culbertson

Junior Alexandra King builds her gingerbread house.

Will Burba and Madison Burba

Holiday music blasted over the speakers of the Ogilvie Lobby as students enthusiastically gathered the gum drops, sprinkles and peppermints strewn across the line of tables to decorate their gingerbread houses while sipping hot chocolate.

Wednesday Nov. 16 marked the annual Holiday Village hosted by the Fine Arts Leadership Board (FALB) for the Upper School. While continuing beloved traditions such as decorating gingerbread houses, the board also introduced new aspects to the event such as live music performed by students.

The FALB members had been planning this year’s Holiday Village since September and were responsible for supplying the gingerbread houses and decorations, coordinating with student musicians to perform and setting up for the event.

The mood was festive as freshmen through seniors all gathered in the Ogilvie Lobby. 

“This is my favorite time of year. I love all the Christmas music, singing, hot chocolate and candy canes,” junior Austin Howes said.

Students sat at long tables, covered with bowls of M&Ms, frosting, Twizzlers and other candies, and decorated gingerbread houses with their friends. These gingerbread houses would later be displayed in the lobby for the rest of the holiday season for everyone to enjoy.

“The best part of Holiday Village would definitely be making the gingerbread houses,”  sophomore Bridget Gray said. 

This year marks the first time that Holiday Village has ever incorporated a live music element, much to the excitement of the crowd. 

“A lot of people in FALB are very music-oriented, so we were thrilled to create this new Holiday Village tradition,” said junior Alexandra King, a FALB member. 

Not only did Gray participate in the festivities by decorating gingerbread houses, but she also sang for the Holiday Village attendees alongside junior Pierce Markowitz. 

“I like doing smaller performances like [Holiday Village] because it gives me more experience with performing in front of other people in a low-stress environment,” Gray said.

Gray rehearsed with Markowitz the entire week leading up to Holiday Village, meeting during lunch and rehearsing in practice rooms to improve their performance. 

Their practice paid off as they sang the popular Christmas song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in perfect harmony.

Markowitz and Gray weren’t the only students to perform live music. The Galchords, an all-girl a capella group, and the Electric Lunch Band performed as well. 

Junior Patrick Reilly played the guitar as the Electric Lunch Band performed Taylor Swift’s rendition of “Last Christmas.” Holiday Village was a great opportunity for Reilly, who has been playing the guitar for three years, to showcase his talents to the Upper School. 

Reilly and the band had only around a week to prepare and spent their days after school rehearsing for the performance.  

“I learned our band has the ability to perform on short notice, which gives us more confidence moving forward,” said Reilly. 

Junior Claire Hartung also performed at Holiday Village as a singer in both the Electric Lunch Band and the Galchords. With the Galchords, she sang “Mary Did You Know” in front of a crowd of 30 students. 

Hartung shared that rehearsing for the performance and spending time with the other members of the Galcords helped the band grow closer. 

“I had a great time performing at Holiday Village. I can’t wait to do it next year,” Hartung added. 

Aside from the performances and decorations, Holiday Village is really about one thing: the joy of the holiday season.

“Holiday Village is really about community and joy,” Director of Performing and Visual Arts Mr. Scott Lambert summed up.