by Breanna Wood
Immanuel Schools has a long-standing tradition of performing the “All Is Well” Choir Concert during the holiday season, featuring all choir members grades 7-12. The name “All Is Well” was given to this performance in honor of the song, “All is Well,” that is sung every year to wrap up the performance, and welcome you into a holiday season centered on Christ. This school year marks Mr. Robbins’ fifteenth year as Director of Choral and Theatrical Activities at Immanuel. He describes the closing song as “an inspiring moment of the evening, when Choir Alumni are invited to join the 150-plus voice choir in grades 7-12 encompassing the room in a surround sound experience.”
Aside from “All Is Well”, one other major concert is performed in the spring called the “Sounds Of Praises.” There are definite observable differences in the performances. For instance, “The Christmas Concert focuses on holiday music, both sacred and secular, and provides the choral groups the opportunity to perform as a formal music ensemble for the first time of the school year,” Mr. Robbins stated.
Song choice is absolutely key in providing the best concert experience for audience and choir alike. On the topic of song choice Robbins said, “I strive to present a varied program of Christmas and holiday music that will appeal to audiences of all ages. The selections range from hymn arrangements and Golden Age standards, to Latin Calypso tunes and upbeat holiday favorites.” He also stated, “I like to offer a balanced palette of songs, and believe the students and audiences alike appreciate a widely diverse presentation of music. So, a concert goer can expect to enjoy a variety of holiday classics, as well as new Christmas tunes destined to become future favorites.” Sophia March, a second-year Chamber singer and senior at Immanuel High, also praises Robbins greatly for his choice of musical masterpieces for this concert. “He does an amazing job picking our set lists. He analyzes the choir and chooses pieces to sing due to the level of skill the choir that year has. He chooses very entertaining and challenging pieces that not only please the audience, but the singers as well.”
The holiday season focuses on family and the joy it brings. Besides this concert just being entertaining and enjoyable, the main point is to share love and joy to families and loved ones. Bransen Berry, a senior in the Chamber Choir, says, “The leading factor for this year’s experience is getting to sing for my grandpa. He’s the main reason why I strive to be a better person.” Aside from biological family, the Immanuel Community is definitely a family in itself. March says with much joy, “Growing up in the Immanuel family and being able to not only watch the concert but be a part of it is an incredible honor. It’s an amazing tradition. On the last song, “All Is Well,” the alumni are asked to join and sing with the choir. Allowing the alumni to interact once more with this amazing school is incredible, and I can’t wait to experience it myself soon as a proud alumnus.”
A huge amount of preparation has been put into this performance. According to Robbins, they started practicing right after Rally Day in August, so with three months of practice under their belts, this concert is sure to be spectacular. It will take place on Monday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free and a full house is expected in our 750-seat chapel, so be sure to arrive early! Immanuel School is located at 1128 S Reed Ave. in Reedley.
Also, don’t miss out on the Immanuel Elementary Christmas performance that will take place in the same week as the high school concert. This performance will feature all grades K-6 with a variety of songs to entertain all age groups. The Elementary Drama Club will also be involved in this concert . “The main goal of the concert is to remind everyone [of] the real reason for the season. The kids are passionate about Jesus and His love for them, and this is an amazing opportunity for them to share His story with others,” Mr. Laemmelen states; he is in his second year as director of the Elementary Choir. It will take place on Thursday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Laemmelen encourages as many people to be there as possible saying, “My greatest joy preparing for this concert is seeing the kids understand and appreciate the songs for what they really are. To see the kids worship God through these songs, not just to sing them and be cute. I know that will really show on Thursday night, so the more people we have there to join us the better!”
You can find more entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section.