By LAASYA UDAPA, junior
THE EDISON CHRISTMAS TREE Lighting Ceremony occurred on December 1, 2021, at the Edison Light Tower. This significant ceremony, which involved exciting performances from the skillful JP Stevens Brass Band and the talented JP Stevens Chamber Choir, was a rousing success, with many viewers commenting on the amount of fun they had from the night. People from all across Edison including JP Stevens High School and Edison High School students, parents, and even the local police department attended. The Chamber Choir, led by Choir Director Mr. Lee, sang a variety of songs such as “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “Let It Snow,” and “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas.”
Though most of the choir members were familiar with the repertoire, they had been practicing for this since before Thanksgiving break in order to bring the songs to a new level. In addition, the JP Chamber Choir wants to continue to practice other songs as well in order to fully prepare for a large upcoming event in February. Mr. Lee ensures that the environment in which his choir performs is filled with a lot of joy and excitement as well as is an overall friendly atmosphere where all members can bond. After the recital, members of the choir were treated to hot chocolate and cookies to commemorate the great performance they took part in.
“Performing with my fellow JPS Chamber Choir members is so much fun, and we are all like one big family,” said sophomore Casey Decker, who believes that participating in the choir was an amazing experience as it fosters a positive and comfortable singing environment. “I was able to further bond with my peers as well as make new friends! I am very excited for more performances with them in the future such as our upcoming February performance.” In addition to the choir, the Brass Band led by Band Director Mr. DeNicola played a multitude of songs, including songs such as “Jingle Bells,” “O Tannenbaum,” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”
Through these classic songs, the band was able to hold a lively performance that thrilled all that watched them play. Similar to the choir, the members of the band greatly enjoyed taking part in this significant Christmas tradition that allowed members to volunteer and give back to the Edison community. Many members also noted that they would love to engage in a similar experience in the future as this was a lot of fun for them. “The event was honestly a wonderful way to help out the Edison community,” said junior Anirudh Ramkumar, when looking back on the exhilarating night. “It gave me a chance to hang out with my fellow bandmates and play a lot of good music. I look forward to participating in similar events in the future!”
Along with the performances given by both the band and choir, several speeches were given by many people, amongst them the Edison Police Department. After praising the spectacular performances from the night, the officers gave a speech that encouraged community members to participate in the Toys for Tots toy drive. This toy drive is an impactful program in which community members can donate both new and unwrapped toys which are then distributed to children in the community as Christmas presents. One of the most important events was the unveiling of an impressive ice sculpture, a huge surprise for attendees.
The main and most memorable moment of the night for many people was the lighting of the Christmas tree. After counting down, the tree was finally lit, fully showing it’s beautiful decorations. This was the perfect conclusion to the exciting night which had been full of entertaining festivities. In general, the night was a fun-filled, energetic night that encompassed many activities and traditions that celebrated the holiday season while bringing the JP Music Department and residents of Edison together.
“There was so much Christmas joy and energy radiating from every person during the night,” said junior Aayushi Mallik. “I greatly enjoyed the positive environment and it was such an honor to sing for the Edison Community with my peers and bring further hope to everyone for this holiday season!”