North Thurston High School hosted the 58th annual “Holiday for Strings” concert on Monday, January 10 where local string musicians gathered for a collaboration concert. Over 360 students from grades 5-12 performed in four separate orchestra groups.
Grant Sears, a retired North Thurston Orchestra teacher, was the Master of Ceremonies and introduced each of the four groups that played. Students from Mountain View, Pleasant Glade, South Bay, and Lacey elementaries; Chinook and Salish middle schools; and North Thurston High School performed during the concert.
The attending elementary and middles schools all flow into North Thurston High School. River Ridge and Timberline High Schools also hold their own “Holiday for Strings” concert for the schools that enter into their string programs.
The ensemble from North Thurston High school was led by Rebecca Gage who taught for three years in Aberdeen, South Dakota and for 17 years in Centralia, Washington. Gage is now in her sixth year with the North Thurston School District where she teaches at North Thurston High School and Pleasant Glade and South Bay elementary schools.
This was Gage’s first “Holiday for Strings” concert at North Thurston High School and she believed it was a fantastic event for the string students that will eventually attend North Thurston. “It is just a key moment for beginning students and families to see the potential progression of a student in the Orchestra program,” stated Gage. “The middle school and high school students did a beautiful job setting an example and inspiring the beginners.”
Joseph Sokolik, now in his 14th year with the North Thurston Public Schools, directed the orchestras from Chinook Middle School, and Mountain View Elementary. He was joined by Paula Fairchild who is the director at Salish Middle School and Lacey Elementary. She has been a teacher in the North Thurston District for 15 years.