Soroco teachers steal show at holiday concert |

Soroco teachers steal show at holiday concert

Melinda Dudley
Members of the Soroco Secondary Schools faculty and staff give a hair-raising performance during Tuesday night's holiday concert at Soroco High School.
Melinda Dudley

— Vocal stylings aside, the Soroco faculty choir’s festive outfits – Christmas sweaters, electric pink wigs and dark sunglasses – were a big hit with the audience at Tuesday night’s holiday concert at Soroco High School.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen my teachers in wigs before,” Soroco High School choir member and sophomore Kelsey Marx said.

The faculty choir, a brainstorm from Soroco Secondary Schools Music Director Kelli Turnipseed, had its debut with a few vocalists at last year’s holiday concert.

Since its initial performance, the ensemble has grown to nearly 20 teachers, staff, bus drivers and Principal Dennis Alt – though fellow faculty choir member Susan Rossi teasingly questioned whether Alt would lip-sync his way through Tuesday’s performance.

At the middle school, every teacher but one got corralled into joining the faculty choir this year, said Rossi, Soroco High School Library’s media specialist.

The faculty choir even recruited experienced help from outside the school grounds, in the form of First Baptist Church of Yampa’s new pastor, Kelly Carlson, and his wife, Joy. The Carlsons took care of the solos in the faculty choir’s selection, “Moonlight Sleighride.”

The sixth-grade concert band began the holiday concert Thursday, performing “Simple Gifts,” “African Noel” and “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree.” The seventh- and eighth-grade concert band followed, with selections including a Huron Indian carol and the classic “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” – a popular tune Tuesday night, getting a second rendition by the seventh-grade choir.

The high school choir shifted gears to the choral side of Christmas, with performances of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and an a capella-style rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Before the music concert, parents and students perused artwork on display in the high school lobby. Display pieces included sixth-grade paper, bookmaking and wood burning projects, and portraiture from 2D studies high school art students. Digital photography students Patricia Richmond, Matt Watwood, Ashleigh Poteet and Kindra Johnson also had portfolios on display.

Middle school social studies teacher Dan Kohler took practicing for Tuesday’s performance to a whole new level.

“He was singing for his students all week, running around with his headphones, listening to the music,” Soroco Middle School office manager Alicia Samuelson said.

When asked whether students enjoyed the classroom serenades, or if it was more like punishment when his classes were being bad, Samuelson said his students thought it was a hoot.

“He’s also been known to entertain his students with his banjo from time to time,” Samuelson said.

Before the male singers pulled a fast one and stepped out onto the risers clad in electric pink wigs, Rossi issued a warning to watch out for the troublemakers.

“Keep an eye on the guys – they’ll try to put something on us,” Rossi said.

“They were riding horses behind us in the back row during practice the other day,” Samuelson said.

“They’ll be too scared tonight,” high school leadership teacher Tammy Gilleland incorrectly predicted, as she waited for her turn to take the stage.

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203 or e-mail

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