At the end of the 18-19 school year, the Tessa Administration asked us to direct the 1st ever holiday show and I will admit, we were equal parts excited and nervous. Just like you, we value the quality of education that Tessa provides and the unique community that Tessa has created and we really wanted to honor that in our work with the children. The task of putting together an original show for almost 100 students seemed daunting BUT we were up for the challenge!
We have always loved the portion of the Tessa mission statement that refers to Tessa students as “happy world citizens”. So we brainstormed for several weeks and 2 songs kept coming up for us: “It’s a Small World” and “We are the World”. We went into rehearsals knowing that we would incorporate both songs into our show somehow. In continuing with the world theme, we thought it would be fun and educational to highlight other winter holidays so we researched: Yalda, Pancha Ganapati, Omisoka and the Longest Night of the Year (a Winter Solstice festival celebrated in Ushuaia, the very bottom of Argentina) and worked with the Grade 1 and Kindergarten students to create short scenes to present on each holiday. The PreK 3 and PreK 4 classes were assigned winter or holiday songs to present.
It was important to us that we have at least one group number that included every student but we couldn’t decide on which of our world songs to use, ”It’s a Small World” or “We are the World” so…we combined them to create a finale song as unique as the students singing it! Because music did not exist for this new creation of a song, we took several students to SkyRoom Studios to record a Tessa original track that the entire student body could sing along to during rehearsals and the live show.
After several months rehearsing with the children every Friday, 30 minutes with each class, we began adding costume pieces in around 2 weeks prior to the performance. On December 20th, our group of “happy world citizens” took to the stage to present the culmination of their hard work