Tussey Mountain celebrated the holiday season in several ways for multiple days in December. The Tussey Mountain choir went around Saxton caroling at seven in the evening Dec. 7. Only seven days after, at the same time in the high school auditorium, there was a joint concert involving the hand bell choir and the concert choir. The song selections for hand bell choir was “Carol of the Bells”, “A Joyful Ring”, “O Holy Night”, “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”, “Christmas Medley”, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Silent Night”, “The Little Drummer Boy”, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Music director Sarah Johnson explained her reasoning behind the picks of the songs, “I choose the music each year to go with how many students I have that particular year because different songs require different amounts of octaves of bells.”
The song selections for Johnson’s concert choir were two songs from the famous movie Home Alone: “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas” and “Somewhere In My Memory.” The choir also sang: “Where Are You Christmas?”, “Breath of Heaven”, “Mary, Did You Know?”, “Al Shlosha D’Varim”, “Christmas Toys are On Parade”, “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World”. Johnson explains how she picked the songs that were sung. “I like to pick a collection of songs that will excite, motivate and challenge students. Student’s musical abilities, technical abilities, and available rehearsal time all factor into the song selections each year. You have to weigh the taste of the musicians and audience as well so this year many of the tunes were ones that had been popularized from their appearance in movies or just their growing popularity across time.”
Tussey Mountain introduced a new addition to holiday activities this year by hosting a door decorating contest. In the contest, teachers were encouraged to work alongside their students. The winning door belonged to business teacher Lindsey Myers. The entirety of the entrance to her classroom was decorated to look like a gingerbread house. The door was decorated by Myers and her senior business btudents who are taking the NOCTI exam this year. “Makayla Swope, Martin Kramer and Taylor Rankin did the majority of the actual door decorating,” said Myers. “But other students including Travis Lemin, Giuseppe Scavone, Steffany Flasher, Brooke Hobble, Mason Burket and Haylee Miller helped to make the objects for the door.” The second and third place winners of the contest, which were determined by the amount of money put in each teacher’s designated voting jar were Jennifer May and Sarah Elder, respectfully.
Two Tussey Mountain students, Amelia Dibert and Alivia Melius, entered the Daily News Christmas card creation contest. Dibert won first place for TMHS while Alivia Melius was given an honorable mention. Another occurrence students at Tussey Mountain participated in was the Daily News poem contest. Students wrote poems surrounding the theme of Christmas. The winner of this contest was freshman Danika Black who chose to write about a treasure hunt her family does every year.
Students also participated in the annual “Holiday Attire Day.” During this event students are encouraged to wear holiday themed clothing. Many students wore santa hats, antler headbands, and holiday sweaters.
Student council had a reward for participators in the cause of the Backpack Program and the Hopewell Food Bank Dec. 21. Students were to bring in five cans of food for these programs and were noted for doing so. When Friday arrived, everyone who brought in cans went to the auditorium to enjoy The Santa Clause. During the intermission, hot chocolate and a variety of popcorn flavors were served. The food bank fared very well, collecting a total of about 2,000 cans. Chris Carrier, the student council adviser, expressed his pride in the number of participators during intermission explaining that this year’s collection exceeded previous collections.
The Annual Holiday Volleyball Tournament, taking place during the afternoon of the same day, concluded in a win for the “Villasauruses.” The team was comprised of seniors Brady Villa, Mason Reed, Jordan Berkstresser, Alex Gonzalez, Brendan Gorey, Damon Lemin, and Madison Garner. Also on the winning team were juniors Matthew Leonard, Alexis Weimert and Sophie Brumbaugh.