Thursday, December 2, 2004
What: Tea with Santa will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday followed by a free holiday concert by the Columbine Children's Chorale and the Emerald City Carolers at 6 p.m. Where: United Methodist Church, Eighth and Oak streets. Cost: Tea with Santa costs $6 per child and $3 per additional child and includes a professional photo with Santa, tree decorating, cookies and hot drinks and ornament making. Tickets are available at the door. Proceeds benefit the Emerald City Opera. For more information, call 879-1996.
Conductor Keri Rusthoi treats the group of 7-, 8- and 9-year-old girls like adults. And for a moment, they seem like grown women singing the Latin lyrics to Cantate Domino.
But the moment passes quickly as you realize that a few girls are faking the words or as one pauses her performance to pick her nose.
On Tuesday night, Rusthoi made the tiny members of the Columbine Youth Chorale raise their right hands and promise to practice the words of Christmas carols they were scheduled to perform in concert this Tuesday.
She tapped her conductor's podium and ordered the girls into two straight rows.
"The concert is only days away," Rusthoi said. The girls stopped their fidgeting, focused on the task at hand, and the little women illusion returned.
On Tuesday night, the members of the Columbine Youth Chorale will be wearing nice dresses. They will know the words to every song and, somehow, as it always does, the concert will come together perfectly.
The girls have been practicing since the beginning of the semester (the Columbine Youth Chorale is an offshoot of the similar Colorado Mountain College class for adults -- the Columbine Singers).
The task of memorizing seven songs for a concert can be daunting, but Rusthoi said she has been amazed at how well the girls have done.
"Learning two different parts that you have to sing is really hard," Rusthoi said. "And this year I picked some really hard music."
The Columbine Youth Chorale performed for the Festival of Trees Senior Tea at the Tread of Pioneers Museum and will perform once more after Tuesday's concert, at the "Jolly Holidays" show put on by the Oak Street Performing Arts Company.