The student news site of Reedy High School in Frisco, Texas

Reedy High School Media

The student news site of Reedy High School in Frisco, Texas

Reedy High School Media

The student news site of Reedy High School in Frisco, Texas

Reedy High School Media

A Winter Festival: Yuletide Magic

Kathy Speyer
Senior Parker Ferguson paints Santa upside down on the Thursday night show. During all of her 4 years at Reedy, she has taken art classes, led the art club as president, and volunteered in the National Art Honor Society.

Since Reedy’s opening in 2015, every other year, the fine arts department has held a Winter Festival.

Following themes such as “Light & Hope” and “Movies on Stage and Screen”, the biennial event aims to spread the holiday cheer to the Reedy community. But with the pandemic, the tradition lost its momentum. This year’s Winter Festival marks its comeback on Dec. 13 and 14 with the optimistic theme, “Yuletide Magic”.

“When we were deciding on the theme, we thought about how we could bring that holiday magic back to the season,” orchestra director and fine arts department chair Aryc Lane said. “We wanted to encompass as much of the holiday season as we could in a positive and uplifting way.”

Other than the concert’s winter themed focus, another factor that distinguishes the Winter Festival from the other concerts throughout the year is that it’s a cross-sectional collaboration across the different fine arts departments. 

“One of the key things that we do with the winter festival is that it’s a combination,” theater director Benjamin Shurr said. “You’ll see an orchestra with dance, theater with art, [and] theater with band students, for example.” 

The cross sectional focus of the performance requires students from the different departments to practice together outside of class. 

“Dance officers and the orchestra have to practice together after school to match each other’s tempo,” dance director Kristy Platt said. “We need to make sure that the tempo of the dancers’ choreography matches the tempo that the orchestra is playing in.” 

Along with dance and orchestra, the festival also features a collaboration between orchestra and theater. Before the orchestra plays I’ll Be Home for Christmas, the theater is doing a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas from the perspective of a soldier. Through the combination of theater and orchestra, the fine arts students are able to commemorate the soldiers who are not here, realizing a performance impossible for the departments to achieve as separate art forms. 

“When you’re in the orchestra, for example, and you see dancers playing in front of you, it makes students think differently,” Shurr said. “They realize both art forms are their own entity, but they also realize that both art forms can work together and create something beautiful.”

These collaborations across art forms encourage the fine arts students to feel a sense of pride and belonging within the fine arts department.

“Our goal is for our 500 students to feel like they’re part of a fine arts family,” Lane said. “It’s not just ‘I’m a band student’ or ‘I’m an orchestra student’, it’s ‘I’m a fine arts student.’”

The collaborative festival not only fosters a sense of solidarity within the fine arts community but also gives the students an opportunity to share their unified passion for the arts with the larger Reedy community. 

“It’s an exciting winter show from the Reedy fine arts community to the greater Reedy community,” Shurr said. “It’s an opportunity to highlight the great talent we have here and why the arts are important.”

Along with their passion for the arts, the fine arts department aims to imbue their audiences with “Yuletide Magic”. 

“I hope that the audience feels in the holiday spirit,” Platt said. “The crowd has loved our previous festivals, so I’m very hopeful that the Winter Festival is going to be just as great this year as it always is.”

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