‘Tis the Season for Music!

by Peter York, Head of School

Our third graders presented ‘Twas One Crazy Night Before Christmas tonight (Thursday, December 8). They’ve worked for weeks learning the music, developing the blocking, and discovering so much about the art of performance. And I was thrilled to make a brief appearance as Santa Claus.

Our school has been full of rehearsals all week, both for the play and for the upcoming Middle School Winter Concert. The band, choir, and orchestra have had full-ensemble rehearsals this week, and those rehearsals will continue next week as they prepare for the concert held in the University of Lynchburg’s Sydnor Performance Hall next Thursday, December 15, beginning at 7 p.m.

I am always amazed at the dedication these young musicians and actors bring to their efforts to learn all they need to know in order to be onstage. They’re learning skills that will serve them well into adulthood: stage presence, musical skills, knowing that stage fright is normal and can be managed, effective presentation, and so much more.

James River’s emphasis on the arts comes from our dedication to educating the whole child and realizing these skills help our students in many ways beyond the performing arts. Studies show1 that learning to sing and learning to play music help the brain with spatial reasoning, help one’s body with proper breathing, and help build confidence and a sense of community with the other members of the cast, choir, orchestra, or band.


(1 - 10 Ways That Singing Benefits Your Health and 10 Reasons You Should Take Up a Musical Instrument)