Local choir to perform Christmas Eve

Fifth and sixth grade students in the Lathrop Street Elementary Select Choir perform a wide array of traditional and non-traditional Christmas music, as well as songs about the winter season, which will air Christmas Eve at 11:35 p.m. on WNEP, Channel 16. The choir’s performance was taped at the Holy Name of Mary Church, Montrose.

BY STACI WILSON

The holiday sounds of a local elementary school choir will hit the local television airwaves at 11:35 p.m. Christmas eve.

The fifth and sixth grade select choir from Lathrop Street Elementary, under the direction of Nino Bennici, was selected to perform for WNEP’s Christmas Eve broadcast. The performance was taped Dec. 9 at the Holy Name of Mary Church, Montrose.

According to Bennici, selections include an array of traditional and non-traditional Christmas music and songs about the winter season.

“People can expect to see a lot of different types of music, not just the traditional carols you expect to hear at Christmas time,” Bennici said.

The choir director said he thought people would enjoy watching a fifth and sixth grade group perform.

“I think it’s special to see children sing in the Christmas season,” Bennici said. “They’re a really great group of kids.”

Taping for a television show was a great experience for the students, said Bennici.

WNEP producers selected the Holy Name of Mary Church for the taping after scouting a few different local sites.

Bennici said acoustically the church was great and it also provides an ascetically pleasing backdrop for viewers.

He thanked the parish for their support and Father Gerald Safko for allowing the group to use the church for the taping.

The sound of the 59-voice choir sounds almost double in the church, said Bennici. “It’s more like a ‘Wow’ type of place. The kids understood the magnitude of what they were doing.”

“It’s a matter of taking those kids and pulling the performance out of them. I’m thrilled with what they did,” he said.

Bennici said, “It’s nice to be in a small school in a tight community, with a lot of great parents, school board, faculty and administration support.”

This is Bennici’s fifth year teaching at Lathrop Street. Prior to his position in the Montrose Area School District, he taught high school chorus at Blue Ridge for 18 years.

Bennici said, “I think the community is going to be very proud of what they did.”

After the Christmas eve airing, the show will then run in a cycle and be on every few hours. The performance will also be broadcast later and throughout the holiday week on WNEP2.

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