APTOS—The Aptos High School and Aptos Junior High School choir departments have been hard at work for the past few months, preparing for their upcoming “Sounds of the Season” holiday concert.
Along the way, they dealt with some bumps in the road—most notably the power shutoffs last month, which choral director Holly Ota said cost them days of practice. But the groups persevered.
“We worked very hard to take full advantage of our rehearsal minutes,” Ota said, “and it has really paid off.”
“Sounds of the Season” will be held at the Aptos High School Performing Arts Center on Dec. 7 and 8, and will feature the choirs singing pieces together and separately.
The songs were hand-selected by Ota, who said she is always looking for pieces that “broaden the horizons” of her students and audiences.
“As the year progresses I know better and better what the choirs and our audience will enjoy,” Ota said. “I seek out pieces that introduce cultural traditions from many lands, time periods and peoples.”
Ota said that the singers have been especially excited to sing together, after rehearsing individually for months.
“We open and close the concert with songs that all 62 of our singers will sing together,” Ota said. “It is a bold sound that is really exhilarating.”
At both shows the choirs will be accepting new, unwrapped donations for Toys for Tots. A choir leadership board member reached out to the organization, Ota said, and they were immediately on board. There is a big need for “manipulative” toys (which enhance children’s fine motor skills) and personal items such as body lotions and socks.
“I was told that because there is not a Toys “R” Us store operating anymore, [Toys for Tots] are having a harder time getting toys donated,” Ota said. “Also… they need more ‘elves’ for the holiday season.”
But the choirs’ charity doesn’t stop there. Later this month they will be singing at the San Andreas Regional Center’s (SARC) Santa Party in Watsonville. The event will offer low-income children with special needs a holiday party with art activities, gifts from Toys for Tots and a chance to meet Santa Claus. Food will be provided by Second Harvest Food Bank.
“The Santa Party is the only holiday many of the kids will have,” Ota said.
“Sounds of the Season” will be held at the Aptos High School Performing Arts Center, 100 Mariner Way, Aptos on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students and will be available to purchase at the door.
“I hope our audience will feel inspired and transported by our concert,” Ota said. “It is a great opportunity for the community to be inspired by people making music.”