Live Nativity scene brings music, drama to the holidays | SteamboatToday.com

Live Nativity scene brings music, drama to the holidays

Margaret Hair

Steamboat Springs — For their first professional recording session, Christel Houston's students at Christian Heritage School acted like professionals. — For their first professional recording session, Christel Houston's students at Christian Heritage School acted like professionals.

— For their first professional recording session, Christel Houston’s students at Christian Heritage School acted like professionals.

“They were so serious and so intense during the recording session, that the recording guy said he had never worked with a group like this,” Houston said of her choir, made up of first- through eighth-grade students. The group recorded a CD of holiday carols to use as a soundtrack for “Christmas Alive,” a live outdoor Nativity that runs from 6 to 8 p.m. today through Sunday.

Featuring five scenes from the traditional Christmas Nativity story, 50 student actors each night, costumes and elaborately painted sets, the event is the school’s holiday gift to the community, Houston said. And the CD – meant to narrate the scenes, as long as visitors don’t drive too fast – is the result of two months of rehearsing and recording.

Student actors will create two casts for each night to make sure the production’s four Marys, two Josephs and six wisemen don’t get too cold. Houston said the production is the first of its kind in Steamboat.

“There’s concerts and things that are traditions for us, but I don’t think there’s ever been anything like this in Steamboat before,” Houston said. “We want to make it something people do every year.”

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Because this is the school’s first try at an event that involves almost every student, family and faculty member at the school, Houston said she doesn’t really know what to expect.

“I thought if we get 100 cars a night, we need 300 CDs. And someone told me, ‘You’ve got to consider twice that,'” Houston said. “So I ordered 700. We’ll use the same CD next year.”

The school’s younger students did most of the CD’s narration – a touch Houston hopes will preserve the sincerity of the story.

“It’s simple,” Houston said. “I kind of like that part of it, because the Christmas story is really a pretty simple story.”