GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Elementary students at Grand Canyon School will perform a number of original Christmas songs Monday during their annual winter concert. Students in Kindergarten through fifth grade will sing the holiday songs, each with a Grand Canyon theme. Teacher Mary Ann Garvey arranged the music for the special concert. Music teacher George Haughton will also lead the students in a few songs. He will also accompany Grand Canyon third grade student Emmet Hough in an original Christmas blues song. The students have been preparing for the show for over a month.
Haughton said the blues tune is called Mr. Santa Claus.
"Emmet Hough and I wrote it. It took us about five weeks to write," Haughton said. "When I have music with Emmet and the other third graders, they kind of naturally start clapping to it."
Hough has been a student of Haughton's for a couple of years.
"He has been taking guitar lessons from me since I think first grade, maybe Kindergarten. He comes in once a week and he's a very good guitar player. He wanted to do a song for the Christmas concert and I said 'Why don't we write one?' He thought that was a good idea and he went right along with it," Haughton said.
The winter concert will be held at the Canyon View Information Plaza Visitor Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.. Haughton said students participating in the play are expected to arrive by 6:20 and wear nice school clothes or attire related to the holidays. For more information on the concert, contact Haughton at (928) 638-2461, ext. 204.
Garvey's Grand Canyon-themed Christmas songs, Haughton added, are sure to be a special treat during the upcoming concert.
"She re-wrote several Christmas songs like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Little Town of Bethlehem; she rewrote them to reflect life at the Grand Canyon. Frosty the Snowman is Brighty the Burro, Little Town of Bethlehem is the Little Town of Tusayan - I think there are about six or seven of those songs that she did," Haughton said.
The concert is part of the area's annual Community Open House. Sponsored by the Grand Canyon Association, the free event will also host a visit from Santa Claus, games and activities with Grand Canyon Rangers, carolers, and a book-signing featuring Grand Canyon authors Lori Rome, Thomas Ratz, Todd Berger, Gary Ladd, Tom Martin, Tom Myers and Wayne Ranney. Call Libby Schaaf at (928) 638-7641, or Helen Ranney at (928) 638-7033, for more information on the Community Open House.