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Two grade 6 girls in the concert singing about the last major holy day of the Christmas season – the blessing of water at an ice cross on the Feast of Jordan


torch On Thursday, December 17, 2015, the K-8 students of IHMS entertained an appreciative audience with their performance of a musical play entitled “Winter’s Coming Bringing Special Holidays”. torch


Grade 8 girls singing in Ukrainian


This year’s Christmas concert was different from those of previous years. First of all, rather than having two separate concerts, one for the K-3 students on one evening and another for the 4-8 students the following evening, all students took part in one large production. In addition, this year, in order to highlight some of the Ukrainian customs and traditions celebrated during the Christmas season, the Christmas concert was combined with the Ukrainian concert into one magnificent production.


Part of the grade 3 class singing to St. Nicholas about about how good they’ve been this year!



coloredarrow The students performed the play twice that day in front of an audience:

  • A dress rehearsal at 1:30 in the afternoon, and
  • A second concert at 7:00 in the evening



Janelle K. (gr. 8) and Alex P. (gr. 6) were the two MC’s for the concert. Alex spoke only in Ukrainian while Janelle translated into English.


The 1:30 p.m. matinee performance was the first time that the students performed in full costume, and the first time that they performed in front of a live audience. The entire process was repeated at 7:00 that evening. colored-masks-v4.html


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These photos show some  of beautifully intricate and and richly coloured costumes that students wore during the concert.  Note the amazing attention to detail.


Since most parents work during the day, the evening performance is always busier and more crowded than the afternoon performance. But the afternoon performance can also get quite busy with parents who work evenings or have prior commitments. In addition, the afternoon performance is a great opportunity for friends and relatives to attend a concert that is less crowded but otherwise identical to the evening show.


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Both concerts took place in the school gymnasium, which had been set up with a large stage, bleachers, and professional lighting and sound equipment. In addition, the evening concert was professionally recorded and will be available for purchase on DVD through the school office at a later date.
animated-arrow-3   Click here to view the concert program



The stage (top photo) and the backdrop artwork (bottom photo)



masks3 Narrators  masks3

Adrian B. (gr. 1)

Arianna B. (gr. 8)

Chrystyna D. (gr. 2)

Dennis D. (gr. 3)

Anna R. (gr. 8)

Adriana S. (gr. 8)



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Two of the narrators of the concert


“Winter’s Coming Bringing Special Holidays”  was a musical that involved every student from kindergarten to grade 8. Each class sang a different song in the play:


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Song List for Each Grade

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The format of the concert was more than just a musical. In addition to singing songs,  each class also participated in a short skit about Ukrainian custom and tradition during the Christmas season.



Winter appears with all of her gifts: the frost, the cold and of course, beautiful snowflakes!


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Grade 1

The rabbits can’t wait to show off their new  white fur coats while making a snowlady!


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Grade 2

The children can’t wait to enjoy a recess after the first snow. Winter is here!!


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Grade 3

St. Nicholas is on his way! We’ve been really good this year so we better get to bed early so he can leave us some gifts!


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Grade 6 Instrumentalists

Grade 6 Instrumentalists: Jessica K., Donovan M., Alexander P., and Ava S.


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Grade 5

Christmas Eve is the highlight of the celebration of the Nativity.

When will that first star appear in the sky so we can begin our Holy Supper?


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Grade 8 Girls

Close family and friends visit and begin the carolling tradition.





Grade 4

We remember the night Jesus was born with a “vertep”,  a short play with carols.


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Grade 8

Carollers are always hosted with tasty food, sweet treats and even money!





Grade 7

On New Year’s Eve a  celebratory masquerade of characters bring good wishes for the household.


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Grade 8 Boys

It’s the best of luck to have a young, handsome boy come through your doorway on New Year’s Day to  sprinkle or sow grains of wheats for a prosperous and healthy year.


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Grade 6

The Feast of Jordan marks the last major holy day of the season. Water is blessed at the ice cross on the river.


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“Winter’s Coming Bringing Special Holidays” was a tremendous success and seemed to be enjoyed by everyone in attendance. IHMS families who typically celebrate Ukrainian customs and rituals during the Christmas season appreciated the recognition and expression of their cultural values in the concert. For other families it was an amazing experience to learn about various Ukrainian traditions, such as the 12 meatless dishes on Christmas Eve, the symbolism of the sheath of wheat, Malanka (New Year’s Eve), and so much more. The story was very entertaining, and there was something in the concert for everyone. The beautiful props and costumes added to the appeal of the play, and the lively songs put everyone in the Christmas spirit!


A Christmas concert wouldn’t be complete without a nativity scene – in this case it was portrayed by the grade 4 class


The concert would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the teachers and staff of IHMS. Every staff member contributed to the success this concert.  In addition, props, sound, and stage lighting were managed by junior-high students under the supervision of an IHMS teacher.


     Click here for a few  concert rehearsal photos      


Finally, a special note of thanks to Mrs. Stanowych (who coordinated and directed the entire concert) and Mrs. Walkow who sacrificed many hours practising with the students and perfecting the script. It was because of their commitment that the concert was such a great success!



     Click here for additional Christmas concert photos      






Professionally filmed DVD”s of “Winter’s Coming Bringing Special Holidays” will be available for purchase through the school office.






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