Skaneateles first-graders shine at concert

All six of Skaneateles' first grade classes joined together Thursday Dec. 17 on the stage in the Waterman Elementary auditorium.

Belting out tunes such as "I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas," "The Magic of Hanukkah," "Whistle Bells" (a version of "Jingle Bells") and "Let There be Peace on Earth," the children sang to their hearts content and to a packed auditorium that left standing room only.

While most of the songs included all the children singing, some started out with soloists.

Near the end of the program, Elsa Landon made her way to the front of the stage and quietly began singing into the microphone the words to "Let There be Peace on Earth." Barely audible at first, Landon appeared to grow more secure in front of the crowd and by the time the rest of her classmates joined in, she could be heard loud above the rest.

Following her solo, director Richard Cangemi gave Landon a big hug and told the crowd she did a lot of work on the song.

"You practiced very hard," Cangemi said to Landon.

Cangemi said "Let There be Peace on Earth" is "one of the most beautiful songs in the world."

To finish out the afternoon concert, the children sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" only their voices weren't what made people take notice of the traditional song. It was how the children were performing that caught their attention -- every single child on stage accompanied the song with sign language, from the beginning to the very last word.

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