It was a standing room only crowd as the Doctor Franklin Perkins School culminated the season with a joyful celebration of music complete with dancers, a rock star and the Back Porch Band during their annual Holiday Show held on Thursday, December 17, 2015.
Liz and David sing Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.
For nearly 90 minutes the hall was filled with the musical notes from a violin played by Jasmine, to a solo rendition of the First Noel by Princess and a duet of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree performed by David and Liz. All told, 53 of Perkins finest performers graced the stage.
According to Rick Cande –the co-leader of the holiday concert along with Bill Carrier—Princess had always wanted to join them on the stage, and this was finally her time. In possession of a lovely soprano, Princess belted out the First Noel harmonizing the last stanza and ending with the house erupting in applause. Her lack of nerves was amazing, and her comfort on the stage suggests that we will see much more of her over time, particularly in conjunction with the Back Porch Band.
The Back Porch Band.
The Back Porch Band is a six piece band led by Rick and founded in 1987. They became involved in the Holiday Concert when Janeway was built in 2002. Prior to that time, the Back Porch Band was seen during Perkins Fall Fest. Rick and Bill work together to make the holiday concert shine, and Rick loves nothing more than the end results.
“It’s magic,” he said. “We sometimes wonder how it will go, but when the curtain opens the kids all rise to the cause, cooperate and come together to shine. It is pure professionalism.”
As the show continued, Liz and David–clinician and student – entertained the audience with their version of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree complete with David’s dancing tree. The best part of that song–by far–the one that sent the whole back row into a fit of giggles was when they sang the line “A new old fashioned way,” David pointed to Liz on the word old. Granted, compared to him she is old, but she isn’t really.
The education leadership group headed by Sharon Lowry regaled the house with Frosty the Snowman. Midway through the song Education Director Cindy Wing arrived in her Frosty costume and danced a jig while her staff sang and tossed snowballs into the audience.
Jasmine plays Joy of Mans Desiring on the violin.
Jasmine swayed to the music and transformed before our very eyes as the violin simply became an extension of her arm –a sure sign of someone who has been transported by the music to a different place. Her rendition of Joy of Mans Desiring echoed off the rafters leaving us wanting for more. Mario, ever the showman, was full of vim and vinegar as he joined the Back Porch Band to bring the house down with his rendition of Carol of the Bells played on his electric guitar.
The Building Educational Success Through Transitions (BESTT) group entertained the audience with two commercial breaks touting the wares of the Snack Shack. In the course of their skit, a BESTT student passed under a triangle shaped roof made from paper to signify the A frame structure that houses the Snack Shack. It was a great advertisement for not only their location but their hot chocolate and coffee as well.
Mario rocks Carol of the Bells on the electric guitar.
There was also a showcase of dancers and rockers, a hula hooper and sign holders, but what stood out most of all was the support for each other through the show as constant calls of “You were awesome,” or “That was great” filled the hall. It had the taste of a family gathering where the whole group decided to have a sing along or a karaoke night simply for the joy of being together. Add to that the sheer joy of musicality that the Back Porch Band brings to their performances and Santa’s arrival, and it’s safe to say that everyone left with a bit more spring in their step and a heart that grew three sizes with the understanding that under a school roof, in the tiny town of Lancaster, the magic of Christmas still lives.