Jonah Connely, a 12-year-old, from the Healey School, brought a little funk to the concert with his electric bass.
teachers of Somerville singing the finale The Christmas Song, with
Richard Saunders (the Music Supervisor) leading them. ~Photos by
Chelsea Whyte

By Chelsea Whyte

an old story that tells of the first time King George heard the
Hallelujah Chorus sung in his court. When the music started, he rose
from his throne and stood while the singers performed. Some say he
stood because he was so moved by the music, while others say he had a
bad case of gout and needed to stretch his legs. So was the story
Richard Romanoff told the audience Thursday night at the Annual
All-City Elementary Winter Concert.

"I'm not going to say
whether you should stand or not," Romanoff said with a smirk, "but if
you feel moved, you're welcome to show us." And as soon as the Chamber
Winds Ensemble started playing the Hallelujah Chorus, everyone in the
audience sprang to their feet and remained there through their applause
at the end, giving the children playing the standing ovation they

Romanoff is just one of the many music teachers in
the Somerville Public Schools that made the Elementary Winter Concert
possible. The concert brought together students from all grades in
every school in Somerville to celebrate the holidays and showcase the
musical talents of Somerville's students. The Somerville High School
auditorium was packed with family, friends, and neighbors who were
treated to performances by jazz ensembles, string duets, chamber winds,
the All-City Band, and the Somerville All-City Chorus.

As Rick
Saunders said in his opening remarks, "There is no greater show of
solidarity than children singing." Saunders, the Music Supervisor for
Somerville Schools, had only to wait a few minutes to be proven right.
The concert began with elementary school students from the All-City
Chorus filling the aisles and singing "Let peace begin with me," in
Hebrew, Arabic, and English. The all-inclusive program included
Christmas and Hanukkah songs, a sing-a-long to You're a Mean One, Mr.
Grinch, and traditional folk songs.

The concert was a chance for
the students of music programs in Somerville to perform together and to
show off for each other. The Somerville High School Chorus students
joined the All-City Elementary Chorus for a joint performance of Carol
of the Bells. Their voices rang through the auditorium, filling the
room, and you could see the excitement the kids had about performing

The high school students seemed to make an impression
on the younger students, especially when the Somerville High School
band did a surprise performance of Lady Gaga's Paparazzi because, as
Romanoff joked, "Nothing says the holidays like Lady Gaga." Saunders
said that the concert was also a chance for the elementary and middle
school music students to get a taste of the music programming in the
high school, and to see what kind of performances they may be involved
in when they get to high school.

To see what else the high
school students have up their sleeves, check out their free holiday
concert on Thursday, December 17 at the Somerville High School


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