Staff Editorial: Winter music shows provide escape from upcoming finals stress, embrace holiday spirit

Every winter break, students are faced with a dilemma: while brightly-decorated houses and peppermint-flavored Starbucks drinks spread holiday cheer, the impending end to the quarter often drowns it out. As the end of quarter two approaches, with finals occurring the second week back from winter break, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos as classes work to wrap up the quarter’s content. As we wade through the grind, however, some groups on campus do their best to lighten the mood. Westview Gold’s classroom visits and the winter assembly show (which features musical performances from band, orchestra and choir) successfully combat that stress, providing students with a breath of winter cheer amidst this stressful month.

On this, the week before Winter Break, orchestra and band musicians have traditionally visited classrooms to spread winter cheer. These classroom visits provide a break from the rigid learning environment students tend to feel trapped in. Even if just for several minutes, students are not craned over a desk taking practice tests and concentrating on objective material, but rather experiencing the warmth of the holiday season.

This image is only further completed by the Christmas hats the band wears and holiday decor that can be found in some classrooms.

The gift of music isn’t limited to the day before break; last week, Dec. 15, we all had the opportunity to attend an assembly during which choir, band and orchestra all perform classic winter songs. According to ASB advisor Shannon Parker, this is a tradition that Westview has had for about the last ten years.

As students and staff file into the gym, the holiday spirit begins to set in, and outside stressors almost instantly disappear. In this hour, we are all granted the opportunity of appreciating the arts together, of journeying through the cold and fearful minor notes to the cheery and spirited major ones. The musical groups follow each other, alternating between band, orchestra, and choir. This show also provided each level of choir and band to showcase their skills.

For this hour, we get to experience music together. Instead of being split apart and working on our own grades, we get to spend a break being together.

Not only does this experience connect us with our  fellow students, but it exposes those stuck in their schoolwork to the humanity art can express. In that moment, the gym is “turned into a concert hall,” as Parker announced before the start of the assembly. For those with little exposure to the musical world, this can provide a unique experience, and hopefully, a greater appreciation for the art programs in our school.

Phones are then turned off, as virtually every student sets their eyes on the floor of the “concert hall.” This again brings a welcome respite from the repetitive schedule that students have become so accustomed to, pulling them out of the classroom and into the festive gym.

This is, undoubtedly, Westview’s Christmas present to the student body.

It offers students a pause, a reminder to just sit and soak the music in during this hectic time of year.

In addition, both of these events act as a transition that leads us out of the tedious cold winter school days and towards our warm and festive homes for the holidays. The music provides with a special entry into this magical season.

And because of all that Westview Gold and choir has done, winter at Westview has become a more enjoyable time.