Greenville High School band gives a boost of holiday cheer

Published 2:41 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Greenville High School Band Boosters put on its fourth annual Christmas at the Ritz fundraiser Dec. 8 and 9.

“With the help of generous donors and ticket sales, we raised just shy of $10,000 from the two nights,” said Cheryl Gates, fundraiser chairperson for the Boosters.

With this money, the band will purchase more chairs for the music room, as well as more music stands.

“The students have been using an assortment of regular straight-back classroom chairs; and there aren’t enough for everyone when the entire band comes together for rehearsals, “Gates said.

Several different events took place Thursday and Friday nights.

The fundraiser was a combined effort of the school’s symphonic band, directed by Sarah Haymon; the school’s Theater Troupe, directed by Kole Hovis; and the school’s Choir, also directed by Haymon.

Two participants from Fort Dale Academy, Stephan Hamilton and Alyssa Johnson, also helped out with their performances.

The W. O. Parmer Choir, directed by Rachel Jackson, also lent their tiny voices to the evening’s festivities.

Miss Susan’s School of Dance, owned by Susan Andrews, had 15 participants on stage.

And Sonya Rice from Sonya’s Dance and Fitness, brought 10 dancers along, as well as over a dozen of her older dancers, to participate in the various performances.

Dr. Jean Thompson, a board member at the Greenville-Butler County Public Library, responded on social media with a big congratulations to not only the symphonic band, but also the Band Boosters.

It was “an exceptionally outstanding Christmas at the Ritz program,” Thompson said.

Thompson mentioned the different dance schools and acting, as well as the musical talent.

Curk Mosley and Rosie Till had the audience enthralled with their rendition of ‘Christmas Hallelujah.’

Kathryn and Claire Bozeman had people laughing out loud with their skit.

There were so many excellent performers that it would not be possible to name them all.

Alyssa Johnson’s vocals on ‘Christmas Must be Something More’ captivated the audience as well as the musical ensemble of ‘Away in a Manger,’ performed by Ida Metzger, Vivian Gates, Reagan McLain, and Sarah Haymon.

The evening moved from quiet, touching moments of song, with Sandra Wright and Ben and Sarah Haymon, to laugh-out-loud moments when Sonya Rice’s 3- and 4-year-olds performed ‘Christmas Donkey’.

Patrick Van Cor wowed the crowd with his version of ‘Blue Christmas,’ and Kalee Russell did the same with ‘All is Well.’

Each person brought their own special talent to the stage of the Ritz Theater.

Gates said the performance could not have been such a success without the financial help from the generous citizens of this town, and businesses, families, and individual people gave their time, money, and emotional and physical support to this year’s production.

She added without their kindness and generosity, the Band Boosters would not be able to raise the much needed funds for their school.

The Band Boosters are already hard at work planning next year’s holiday event.

“We invite talent of all ages from our community to join us for the fun,” Gates said.