E.L. Ross Show Choir brought enough Christmas cheer to their BEST partners to make even the greenest Grinch glow with holiday happiness.
“We were just thrilled,” said Leslie Christian, First National Bank vice president. “That is the best treat in the world. It was a fabulous performance. Those kids are wonderfully gifted. We were looking forward to their arrival and it blew all of us away.”
Business & Education Serving Together partners aid local schools in meeting their needs. The program is set up through the Chamber of Commerce. Partners of E.L. Ross include Wholesale Supply Group, O’Charleys and First National Bank.
Aaron Owen, O’Charleys’ general manager, said he enjoyed the carolling.
“It was awesome. There were about 36 students and four teachers. They ate and then stood up to do their chorus routine. A lot of the staffers and diners were able to watch the show,” Owen said.
Show Choir members practiced every week since September in preparation for the three performances. Parents dropped off their students early once a week for an hour of rehearsal. Bethany Weimer said a lot went into one practice.
“During rehearsal the students warm up, practice good vocal technique, song memorization, choreography, acting and stage presence,” Weimer said.
Employees at First National Bank watched as E. L. Ross’ trained carollers went through 11 musical selections. Each song was accompanied with lighthearted dance moves. Carollers sang “Once Upon a Wintertime,” “White Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Do You Hear What I Hear,” and “Jingle Bells” among others.
A spin was placed on the popular “Night Before Christmas,” tale by three young boys. Each one rapped their way through the familiar lines. Weimer said she was proud of how her students performed.
“We still always strive to be better than our last performance,” Weimer said. “The BEST Partner’s response was amazing. We have fantastic partners! We felt very welcomed and we hope they enjoyed getting some Christmas cheer.”
Lisa Earby, E. L. Ross principal, said this was a way for the school to give back.
“They do stuff for us throughout the year, so we are always looking for ways to give back. We do not always want to take,” Earby said. “In the past, it has always seemed like a one-sided relationship. We cannot give money, but little things like this we can.”
A committee has been formed to look into what can be done for E. L. Ross’ BEST partners. Each business received Christmas cards in addition to the carolling. The school’s partners said they are pleased with the partnership.
“First National Bank focuses on supporting education and we love to support local schools. It is great knowing we are helping the kids through supporting education in the area,” Christian said. “We get the benefit of knowing our sponsorship money goes straight to the kids.”
According to Owen, O’Charley’s enjoys being a community helper.
“We are very big on our community involvement. We want to take care of our community,” Owen said. “It is a great honor to be able to partner with all of the local schools and churches. We look forward to doing it again in the future.”
Added Owen, “If anyone is interested in a partnership for schools, churches or non profit businesses then we would be willing to help out.”
The young carollers were treated to a chicken fingers lunch at O’Charleys. Both First National Bank and O’Charleys paid for the meals. Sustenance was needed as the Show Choir still had several more performances to make. It can be hard work spreading so much Christmas cheer.