With the holiday season gearing up, Santana Row, a popular San Jose shopping center, had their annual tree lighting ceremony, and The Harker School was once again invited to perform for the occasion. Harker has performed at this event for the last several years, and this year they were joined by choirs from Willow Glen High School and dance teams from Lincoln High School as part of the pre-show entertainment. The schools were followed by performances by two current pop singers and the actual lighting of the tree, which was moved this year from the plaza in front of Maggiano’s to the center of the Row next to the chess board.
Harker students from the lower school through the upper school got on stage at 5:30 p.m., performing seven numbers for the crowd that gathered. Downbeat, the upper school show choir directed by Laura Lang-Ree and Catherine Snider, kicked things off with a performance of “The Joint is Jumpin’.” They also performed “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” in the middle of the show, and closed things out with a rendition of “I’ve Got the Music in Me.” High Voltage, the middle school boys dance ensemble directed by Karl Kuehn, took the second number in the show, performing to “Smooth Criminal.” Dance Fusion, a dance ensemble with students from grades 4-6 directed by Gail Palmer, followed, and chose “Working Day and Night for Christmas” as their number. The upper school JV Dance Troupe, directed by Amalia de la Rosa, was also there, and performed “Party Rockin’ in the House Tonight for Santa.” Finally, Showstoppers, the middle school girls dance ensemble directed by Rachelle Ellis, rounded out the holiday spirit with the second-to-last song of the night, a lively rendition of “Jingle Bells.”
“All our groups introduced themselves as from The Harker School, and very sweetly told what their performance group was about – nice touch,” said Lang-Ree. She also mentioned that the location and staging was well done, allowing the enormous crowd plenty of room to watch the show. Overall, she said, it was a “huge hit.”