Christmas programs are an important part of the Christmas season. They provide the opportunity to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. They also serve the purpose of drawing the community closer together on a shared purpose.
A full house listened to a musical concert, “A Gift of Song,” at Poinciana United Methodist Church on Friday evening, Dec. 7, with a 24-piece jazz ensemble, groups and soloists taking part. The event also included the traditional holiday songs, including “Jingle Jolly Christmas.”
Poinciana provided an evening of relaxing, pleasant holiday music for people to come and enjoy during the holiday season — to provide something of a festive escape.
Through the collective efforts of Hialeah Gardens Middle School teacher Jaime Petralanda, the Miami Springs Historical Society and Rev. Gordon Pike, they showcased the musical talents in the local schools. They approached students from Hialeah Gardens Middle School, Doral Middle School, Ronald Reagan Senior High School, and Miami Dade College ... and thankfully they all said “yes.” They then lined up two soloists from Reagan SHS, Joseph Morell and Daniella Schuss.
The program began with Rev. Pike welcoming the community to their musical showcase, followed by Daniella Schuss singing the national anthem and Morell opening the concert with “Mary Did You Know” followed again by Schuss with “Last Christmas.”
The concert was held as a benefit event. Poinciana and MSHS raised money through corporate sponsors and donated it to the musical programs of the bands and singers, for Poinciana mission work and for MSHS.
“It truly felt like Christmas,” said Pike. “Our church, working with Sandra and Tom from the MSHS, the sponsors, the volunteers — all coming together to provide what I thought was an excellent night of music and fellowship. It was like we all got together to make a gift for our community. The youth who performed clearly enjoyed making music for their family and friends. We got to hear top-quality local singers and musicians.
“We hope to do more of these events, perhaps hosting several during the year (and not just during Christmas). We want to thank all who performed, all who came, and all those who worked behind the scenes so that we could put on this night of song. It was a labor of love for those we love.”
In closing, the band played “Feliz Navidad.”
Band director Berman Lopez of Hialeah Gardens said, “I’m just really proud of these kids for all the hard work they’ve done so far this year. I think their hard work paid off on this wonderful performance today.”
The students brought an enthusiastic round of applause at the close of the night.
“This is a show that we put together between the MSHS and the church to raise funds for the community,” Petralanda said. “We got together to celebrate the holidays.”
On behalf of MSHS, president Tom Snook said, “The performance was excellent. I told the students I worked for the New World Symphony for 15 years and they were extremely talented musicians.”
After the concert, all were invited to take part in festive nibbles.
For more information about future events, call 305-888-0641.
What they said:
• Irene Priess: “I thought it was outstanding. I can’t believe that children that young are that good. I believe that it’s all due to their leader. They’re very lucky to have him.”
• Luisa Rodriguez: “I’m very happy to be here because my granddaughter Daniella was here. It’s good to see all the young people celebrate Christmas traditions and participating in church endeavors.”
• Sandor Delgado: “It was a wonderful evening. My son was one of the players in the band. It’s a great community and church. It’s a wonderful night.”
• Sergio Cuadra: “It was an honor to come back this year.”
• Patty Munagorri: “I think it was a blessing from God. I think these children are a blessing from God. It was great and I enjoyed it.”
• Alyssa Palma: “I thought that it was really great to see middle-schoolers with such talent. It was a great performance.”