Something magical happens after Thanksgiving.
Radio stations, restaurants, and departments stores switch from playing the current Top 40 hits to more seasonal sounds. This change also occurs inside choir rooms of schools across the country, as choruses prepare to entertain and inspire audiences throughout the month of December.
The Mountain View Academy Royalaires have been ardously preparing for their yearly appearance at the city's Community Tree Lighting ceremony, which takes place on Monday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Civic Center. For the 20 students and their musical director Douglas Knecht, Christmas is a very special time of year.
"For us, and for me, Christmas has a spiritual meaning," said Knecht, who directs the Royalaires, the choir and the band for the Seventh Day Adventist school. "When I think of the fact that the creator sent us his son makes Christmas one of the most important, other than Easter, for our school–especially as a Christian school. But it's also a family holiday."
Singing for the first time with the Royalaires, the 14-year-old Los Altan Genki Tsuchiya felt nervous about performing before hundreds of people despite coming from a musical family. His sister also sings in the Royalaires.
"My favorite song is 'Peace, Peace' because it's quiet and soothing," said the freshman baritone. "You sway to the rhythm and it puts you in a good mood."
For the students in the Royalaires singing the songs of the seasons is a also real delight.
"I think it's a lot of fun and we always look forward to it," said soprano singer Sofia Branderiz, 17, a senior and resident of Sunnyvale. "Singing Christmas songs is fun."
Of the selections the Royalaires will perform at the event—Frosty the Snowman, Peace Peace, Carol of the Bells among others—her favorite is Frosty because she likes singing it in such a small group.
Catch the Royalaires perform five holiday classics at the Community Tree Lighting ceremony, Monday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m.
What's your favorite holiday song? Share in comments!